Zak Dievendorf, a 13-year-old boy with a brain tumor passed away this past Friday morning. Some of you may remember that Evangeline and I did a benefit concert for him this past June (check the June posts). Please pray for the family, as it is a very hard time for all of them! (Above is a picture of us with Zak this past August, at another benefit held in his honor.)
Last Christmas our family started a tradition where each of us three girls would write a story and then read it to the rest of the family on Christmas day. This year all the other girls had written one, but I just couldn't get inspired. So I kept putting it off, and putting it off until Christmas morning when the story kinda' hit me. I honestly can't remember what inspired me to write this, but this story line just unfolded, and it ended up being with Zak in mind. I emailed it to the family Christmas night - I just felt I needed to send it to them then, and not wait. Little did I know Zak would pass away the very next morning. (The story is at the bottom of this post...)
This has been such a hard time for everyone who was blessed to know him....
December 26, 2008 Zachary Dievendorf, 13 years old, of Fulton, lost his battle with cancer on December 26. Having been diagnosed with pon-tine glioma, he was an inspiration to all who knew him. Zachary passed quietly at home in the arms of his family. On May 14, he was called to the mission field with an inoperable brain tumor. This mission took him to St. Jude Children's Hospital, where he received inspired treatment and support. Research associated with Zak's illness was carried out with the hope that it will help other children afflicted with this disease. Over the course of his seven-month battle, Zak demonstrated a strength and faith that belied his age. His sense of humor helped all around him to see the silver lining every day. As Zak's cancer progressed and it became clear that his time on earth was limited, he began reaching out to others with hugs, smiles and words of comfort. It was this giving spirit that will be a part of Zak's legacy to family and loved ones. Zak is survived by his parents, Jennifer (Brown) and Timothy Dievendorf; his sisters, Sarah and Victoria; a brother, Joshua; maternal grandparents, Keeno and Deborah Lampman of Phoenix; and paternal grandparents, Fred and Carol Dievendorf of Fulton. Calling hours will be 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, with an 11 a.m. celebration of life on Wednesday. All services will be held at Fulton Alliance Church, Route 48, Fulton. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Zachary Dievendorf Benefit Account, c/o Key Bank, 121 South First Street, Fulton, NY 13069 to help cover expenses. Notes to the family may be left on www.caringbridge. org/visit/zacharydievendorf, as well as view pictures and see Zak's story. Foster Funeral Home, Inc. fosterfuneralhome.com
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2008 04:47 PM, CST
I started out journaling this morning and it kept erasing, I guess it was becuase Zak wanted me to wait a bit. I woke up from sleeping all night with Zak at my side at 7:30am. By 8:30 he began to breathe differently. By 9am his breathing became very soft and quiet. Tim and I sat by his side for a long time just watching and waiting. Finally we decided to call the gramas and the grampas and they were there quickly. Just about 9:45am Zak had taken his last breath. It was very peaceful. His fight is finally completed. He is the victor. I truly believe he has won and is now celebrating with our Lord and Savior Jesus.
It was very hard to watch him go. We spent a couple hours with him before we called for arrangements. We got him dressed and removed his cathedar and port and saw him as Zak with out all the tubes and stuff. He is now whole.
We have all along believed that Zak was destined for Heaven and we still believe that. I feel he waited to go today so he didn't take anything away from Jesus birthday. He was thoughtful like that.
I am glad it's over but I'm so lost without him. It just doesn't feel real. I am relieved but heartbroken at the same time.
I will leave you all with that for now. Arrangements have not been made yet. We are meeting with the funeral director tommorow morning. That too will be painful I know. It was so hard to just watch them take him today. I couldn't watch and now I know his body is at the Funeral home in waiting. When they came I had to leave the room and not look back. His room was empty and it was the strangest feeling.
We will let you know what happens next as soon as we make plans. We are blessed to have you all praying for us. If you can recall any one liners you remember from Zak please share it here. Zak became quite the comedian over the last 6 months. I will miss that humor. He made us smile and laugh so many times during all this sadness. I just can't believe this is going on. AGGGGGGG!
Kicking holes in the kingdom of hell,
Jennifer, Tim and Angel Dizz-zee Zak
2008 Christmas Story)
"Thank you all for greeting the train and me with such a warm welcome. This great beauty behind me represents a sacrifice of time, love and involvement. For the right price I present to each and everyone here the opportunity to ride this magnificant contraption".
He paused and looked into the expectant faces of the townspeople. Everyone held their breath. Who, if anyone would have enough money to buy a ticket?
"My gift to you" was all he said before turning back to the train, and opening the passenger car door. He motioned for everyone to step up.
Zack watched all this with amazement. He had never seen anything like it before, in all his born days. He was still standing bewildered by the depot platform, when he roused himself to hear a voice speaking to him.
The Glory Land Express.
Where miracles are eternal,
and disappointments are unknown.
Price: Paid in Full"
All my love,