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Life Lessons from Zack   

Never underestimate your Mom and lover her no matter what!

By                 Sister, Allison
Zack Age       5
 

It was a normal day, and Zack was testing mom to see if she meant what she said.  He was saying a bad word to mom, and she was getting aggravated. "Don't say that word, Zack." She told him, “It is very bad."  He wasn't getting the picture, so he said it again."Alright, young man.  If you say that word again, I'll put soap in your mouth to clean it out." 

I was surprised, surly she wouldn't do that.  Zack still didn't listen. He said it again.  "That's it"  mom exclaimed.  She picked him up and plopped him on the table.  I was scared.  Was she going to feed him soap?  She picked up a bottle and held it in front of his face.  I couldn't take it.  I ran up stairs and threw myself on Zack's bed, sobbing. 

A few minutes later, mom came up. Teary-eyed, I looked at her.  "Mom, why did you put soap in his mouth?"   I asked.  "Well, he gave me a reason to." She replied." I would never do anything to hurt him.  And the soap wouldn't get in.  Zack held his teeth tightly shut."  I was glad.

The lesson Zack and I learned was to never underestimate what mommy will do.  And love her even if she puts soap in your mouth.

Always be polite

By            Ba (Grandma Tran)
Zack Age  2

Zack was a very sensitive and considerate little boy.  During one of his days at Ong and Ba’s house (Grandma & Grandpa Tran), Ba gave Zack a new food item to try.  Zack happily tried the new food without any questions or fuss. 

He took a bite, chewed, and swallowed.  He then gave back the food to Ba and said with a smile "it's good but, I want to save it for later". 

Making Milkshakes

By            Zaccone Family
Zack Age

If you drink milk and jump up and down on a mattress you make milkshakes. This lesson comes from a time when we were visiting the cabin with the Trans and Zack, Alli, Adam and Paul decided to have fun with their night time ritual. 

A mattress was laid out on the floor for sleeping and the children of course had to turn it into a jumping, tumbling session--- they ran to the kitchen drank some milk and then went jumping --- this repeated as we watched on knowing how wonderful it must be to be a kid.  I can still see the smiles on their faces.

Glow sticks are not poisonous if swallowed!

By           Zaccone Family
Zack Age      

While camping we all awoke to a distraught mother (Michelle) who realized her son (Zack) had bitten into a glow stick.  The kids love these camping. Poison control was called and everything was alright.

If you don't bring your hockey sticks to the ice--- what's the point!

By            Zaccone Family
Zack Age

The Trans, Zaccones, and Crews were skating on a man made rink, but Zack was upset about not having his hockey stick and puck.  He was all dressed up with nowhere to go.  He sat on the ice and wouldn't budge.

There is always time for one more

By        Aunt Karen
Zack Age       As soon as he could talk!

 

Knowing, loving and sharing time with Zack has made me a much better person.  No matter where we were or what we were doing Zack always had to do it one more time. 

 

Almost every time this happened we were running short on time and we all had to take a deep breath and let him do it one more time.  I have to admit that most times I felt frustrated and I really didn’t think it was all that cute! 

Today, as the mother of two beautiful, energetic girls I encourage them to take one more slide, one more bounce and one more swing. Each time I do I think of Zack and thank him for teaching me the importance of enjoying the moment.

 

Love, Be Joyous & Live in the Moment

By        Great Aunt Jane

I first met Zachary Nam Tran at his Aunt Karen's house when he was about 2 weeks old, an absolutely beautiful, perfect baby boy, an angel sent to earth.

When Zach was about 18 months old, he was fascinated with Brio trains. He seemed much too young to be able to assemble his trains the way he did. Can he really be this young? He is so smart and so focused. When most children this age move from one thing to another, Zach was totally engrossed in his train yard, traveling to places only an 18 month old can go.

We visited Uncle Larry, Aunt Mikki, and Cousin Matt in Colorado when Zach was about 3 years old. What a bundle of energy, going from sun up to sun down, not wanting to miss a moment of life's excitement. We have a photo of Zach sitting on his daddy's lap after a day of adventures. Both daddy and Zach are sound asleep. Play....enjoy....celebrate! Drink in every moment of each day until you can go no more.....this is the message of Zach.

Zach loved wrestling with his cousin, Chris. He would climb all over Chris, and Chris would ever so gently rough house with him and tickle him and encourage Zach to come back for more "torture". Giggles and excitement and twinkling eyes! What fun to be a little boy!

October 1, 2003 we were vacationing with Grandma Judy and Tom, when the phone call came that our angel had moved on to heaven. Such unbelievable grief! How could this happen to such a beautiful child? How could this happen to such wonderful parents and big sister. No one can answer this question. What we can do is cherish every single moment we have with our children, with our parents, with our friends.

I have Zach's picture at my desk at work and I think of him everyday. I miss him everyday. Often times, seeing that smile on his face brings a tear to my eye. But I love the smile, I love the twinkle in his eyes, I am grateful for the short time Zach touched my life. Zachary Nam Tran - a spirit sent to this earth to teach us all the lessons of love, joy, living in the moment. We love you Zach.

A funny story to make you laugh

Fortune Cookie Fun

By        Lu Family
Zack Age  4

After every dinner at a Chinese restaurant, we would read our "fortune" from the cookies and end it with "in bed". When the kids were little, we were able to do this and get away without explaining the meaning of it.  All they knew is that we would read the fortune and add the ending, “in bed” which would make everyone throw their heads back in laughter.   

One evening, the Trans and the Lus had dinner at the noodle shop called Wonton Gourmet.  At the end of the meal the fortune cookies came out.  Zack grabbed one and broke it apart to get the fortune paper out.  Before any of us could read ours, Zack pretended to read his.  Zack was too young to read so he said "bla bla bla, in bed", then threw his head back and started to laugh!  We all laughed so hard because it was so unexpected and hilarious!!  We obviously don't do that anymore because the kids have gotten wiser to ask for the meaning.

There is Never a Dull Moment

By        Aunt Karen & Uncle Randy

Zack was always up to something and we always looked forward to our phone calls with the Tran family because we knew we were going to laugh. And, the laughter never stopped with that one phone call. We shared the stories over and over again with our friends and families.

I will never forget one year, Zack was full of trouble. He colored Grandma’s grout with highlighter, used his crayons on the wall during a timeout, closed the garage door on the van and threw his Dad’s volleyball out the window of the van while on their way to gymnastics.

How boring work would have been if we didn’t have these wonderful stories to share of a nephew who made sure to make every moment count.

Precious Memories

Adoring Big Cousin

By        Aunt Andrea
Zack Age 2 1/2

This is a memory of Zack's tender side.  Zack was 2-1/2 when his cousin Alex was born.  I remember how gentle Zack was when he held Alex in his arms.  He held Alex like a pro and would bend his head down and gave kisses to Alex on the head.  As Alex got older, Zack played the big brother role very well every time we were together. 

He would play and show Alex things a big brother would.  Zack was no longer the baby of the family and I think he enjoyed having someone younger that he could help take care of.

Cut the pickle, tickle, tickle

By        Cousins Katie and Chris
Zack Age       5

On a trip to Colorado with the Tran Family, Zack taught us how to do a new high-five.  On the way back after a fun day of skiing, Chris offered Zack a high-five.  He slapped Chris' hand and then said "Up high...down low...in the middle..... (put his index fingers pointing at each other) cut the pickle...tickle, tickle, tickle!!!"

I don't know if Zack used this one all the time or not-- but we got a kick out of it.

Laughing, Playing Loving

By        Beth, Bob, Tyler, Danielle and Ari

For Zack's Baptism, I read a poem called "Sometimes". It went like this....

Sometimes.....
Let’s just blow bubbles.
For no good reason,
Lets just blow bubbles.
Laugh a little, watch them disappear,
not even wonder where.
Smile and touch the rainbow colors
watch them float in air.
No reason why-
no objective, no structure.
Sometimes......
Lets just blow bubbles.

Often, when I blow bubbles into the sky with our wide array of bubble wands and "mega dipper" tools, I think of Zack. I imagine that he is floating in air, watching down on all of us, and begging us to keep laughing, playing and loving!

You are always in our hearts.

It is the Boogie Man Calling

By        Aunt Karen
Zack Age 4, 5 & 6

My sister and I are very close and I call there house often. Ok, I admit it almost every day. Whenever Zack answered the phone he would say, “Hello who is this please.”  I would always answer, “The boogie man.”  Each time Zack would say Aunt KAAAREN.  It is one of my most precious memories because we shared so many laughs over such a simple and silly thing.

“Can I see that?”

By           Cau (Uncle) Tu

Zach asked me that of my hat as I picked him up to throw him around.  Usually it was followed by “pleeeeeese” after I denied him the first time.  Of course, I would eventually relent and it would turn into a game of keep Cau (uncle) Tu’s hat away from him.  Zach had an undeniable charm about him that made it almost impossible to say no to when he wanted to play.  And play he would – chase, wrestle, tag, you name it.  Even if you couldn’t name it, he would make it up, like hat keep away, or throw me around just one more time.  Zach’s energy was full-throttle in the way he played, and it remains very much alive today in my mind.  So, “can I see that?”  Of course, Zach, now start running because I’m going to chase you down.

   “Like my hat?”

  “What are you looking at?”

 

Longshot

By           Great Aunt Miki
Zack Age 5

Our angel Zack is a very focused and determined and delightful boy.  Our ski days with Zack and his family were full of laughs, love and logistics.  One wonderful, sunny, powdery day, the group decided to try for first tracks on Longshot.  Located above the Elk Camp area of Snowmass ski area, Longshot was a twenty minute hike up the mountain on a narrow path and not for the weak minded.  It was decided that Q, Allison, and Zack would ski down Elk Camp and we would meet at the rendezvous spot.  Zack had other plans and would not miss this powder run and fun for the world.  Off we went, Uncle Larry, Aunt Miki, Cousin Matt and Mom Michelle carrying our skis and hiking in our clunky ski boots.  Coming up the rear, but not for long, was Zack.  It did not take long and Zack had passed me and kept up with the front runners the entire hike.  As a five year old, this was quite an accomplishment but we all know how determined Zack is.  By the time I arrived at the top, there was Zack lounging next to Matt and I am sure wondering what took me so long.  We skied down Longshot in the wonderful powder.  Forever it is a day that I will remember always as I will remember our sweet angel Zack for always.  Love to all who join us in remembering the many wonderful fun experiences we have with our Zack.     

Clouds

By           Allison Tran (12)

Watching them march
The ants marching in a straight line
So organized

Unlike the fluffy white clouds in the sky
Placed randomly against a pure blue background

Me and him
walk across a bridge
staring at those white puffs of magic

So magical
What magical shapes do the form?

An elephant? A diamond? An orangutan?
A heart...

A heart for the love we share
The love between brother and sister.

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This site was last updated 07/27/07