I Lost a Friend Today

My nephew Zachary James Smith, died today @ 3:05 pm.  One year ago, the day before Mother’s Day, he learned he had stage 4 colon cancer.  I have a feeling I’ll have a few things to say about Zac over the next few days and weeks.  A couple of weeks ago he called and asked my to give the eulogy at his funeral.  But tonight I simply want to say, a very dear friend of mine died. He left this world and joined Jesus in the next.

Tonight I went to the NewSpring service alone. Most of the family went this morning while I stayed behind with Zac and Mandy.  I loved every minute of my day.  As we arrived at his house, I couldn’t believe I had the chance to speak with him one more time.  More on that later, maybe.

As I walked into NewSpring, I suddenly realized how surreal this was going to be. To be at Zac’s church, without Zac. There’s really no reason I would ever be in Anderson, South Carolina, or NewSpring Church, or know a handful of amazing people who I now know because of Zac.  I sat in the back and wept through most of the service. This one time, I kinda liked the idea of being alone.   The music, the memories of walking around the campus and the auditorium with Zac. This is only my 3rd visit to this place, but I’ve felt a sweet connection with this part of Zac’s life.  I really wanted to walk upstairs to his office and see his coworkers and say hi.  I wanted to walk to where his desk was. But I didn’t. I’m grateful for the memories of Zac throughout that place of worship and work.  I’m grateful for the many people that made that a special place for Zac.

My thoughts are many tonight. But for now, let me just say, Zac was not just a nephew that I loved, he was a friend. A really good friend. I already miss my friend.

8 thoughts on “I Lost a Friend Today

  1. Matt


    Zac’s honesty and faith is a huge testament to your family’s devotion to our Lord. I will pray that Jesus comforts your loss and that he fill all of your memories with nothing less than the full peace that Zac was certain of in Jesus.

  2. Jason Sterner

    I was remembering when we went on a missions trip down to mexico and Zac and I were in one of the hotel rooms or somewhere watching MTV and you and James Smith walked in. Zac looked like he was in deep trouble and you had this look on your face, like what are you thinking???

    Just a funny moment in life that I had to share when I think of Zac.

    I’ll be praying for you and your entire family!

    Jason Sterner

  3. Karen C

    Zac thought of you as more than an uncle, but a friend. I was thinking of what a wonderful Smith family reunion there is going to be in heaven. Our love to you and all your family.

  4. Mary Olson

    Hi Mark,
    I am crying too.
    Yet what victory we have in Jesus.
    Here and Forever.
    Thanks for sharing your heart with us.
    I came to love Zac through his blogs.
    What a gift he was
    Much love,

  5. Jenn C

    Tom and I will be praying for Zac’s wife and kids, as well as you, Laurie and the rest of the family. Thank you for sharing him with us. Zac’s faith has ministered to us during our trial and has made a huge impression on Livvy. He has left an amazing legacy. He will always be remembered.

  6. Thanks for your comments. You guys rock. Laurie and I are encouraged. I’m a little nervous about the funeral tomorrow. But I’m blown away honored that I get to speak for Zac.

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