Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A short life well spent

Today was an especially hard day. Today we said goodbye to one of my troop's Boy Scouts, a 13-year-old boy who will never become an Eagle Scout, but who got so much out of the program and who so loved Scouting that he might well have been thought of achieving that hallowed rank. Zachary Malik Tyler was an amazing kid, a boy whose teachers, doctor and classmates all marveled at his kindness and cheerfulness despite years of courageously battling an insidious disease known as Langherhans Cell Histocytocis (or LCH). Zachary's parents permitted him to take part in Scouting activities like camping that might have scared others away and increased chances of infection. But there was no holding Zack back. In the end he succumbed to the ravages of a disease that shut down his organs, but kept his mind alert and focused. The outpouring of love for Zachary was evident at the memorial service held in his honor at Lakelawn Funeral Home. There was no body. This was not a funeral, but a celebration of his life. There were only pictures and videos of a really sweet kid enjoying life as best he could while dealing with the harshness and reality of his disease. The Lusher School Strings provided musical accompaniment in addition to choral singers and a guitarist. Special readings both religious and spiritual in nature including a poem written by Zachary were read aloud. Most of the memories recalled were humorous, revealing a playful side to Zack that everyone will recall many years hence. It was a hard day, but it was also one that bound everyone together in the celebration of this young man's life. I will be forever grateful and proud I was a part of it and sorry that I won't be able to share any more of my life with Zachary as a part of our troop. He may not have made Eagle Scout, but he was one of those rare Boy Scouts who truly understood the program and reveled in it. God speed, Zachary.

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