Today is Zac’s birthday, His dad, my brother, is my guest blogger today:
Exactly 34 years ago today, on Friday, September 10, 1976, at 1 p.m., Zachary James Smith arrived in Denver, Colorado. He was in a hurry to get here. He was born two months early and weighed in at 4 lbs., 3 oz. Before he lived very long, his weight dipped below 4 lbs. Kind of a scrawny little guy, he was taken by ambulance from the hospital where he was born to the Children’s Hospital in Denver where he lived for many days in NICU. His heart and lungs were not fully developed. He had no sucking reflex. He was weighed every night at midnight. We would stay up and wait until 12:05 so we could call the nurses and see if had gained any weight.
His beginning was somewhat frightening to his dear mother. I think I was scared, too. But my memory works differently than hers and what I remember most was the overwhelming weight of responsibility. I had married an amazingly beautiful wife at a young age and now, all of a sudden, I was a father. We went from two rather small salaries to the smaller of the two.
The 30 days in the hospital finally came to an end and young Zachary came home to our little house on Kansas Drive. By now, he was in a hurry again. He was quick to develop and catch up with the growth charts and the statistics. We could tell from very early on that his mind was advanced. He had inherited some stubbornness and some IQ from his grandfathers. That turned out to be a really good thing.
That first Christmas, he wore a newborn Santa outfit and we bought a long-play record of John Denver’s Christmas songs. Among them was A Baby Just Like You. This was a song Mr. Denver sang to his son, Zachary. Merry Christmas, little Zachary. That turned out to be a long-standing tradition.
Zac learned to read, listening to his mother read to him incessantly. He knew his letters and was putting together words when he was 2 years old. He loved to read. Before he was two years old, his little sister arrived to complete the family. He knew from the very beginning his role as a big brother. (Further chapters to follow…)
He was in a hurry to exit, as well; wasn’t he? He has left his parents and sister and wife a heartful of memories. He has left his amazing children an incredible legacy. Join me in thanking God today for Zac’s life.