4 Years Ago; our 3 year-old Zackaël

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Before I start, I realized today that the Comment box wasn’t working on French posts. I apologize for this, it’s now fixed! Also, as you might have read in earlier posts, I first write my posts in French. Reading the “original version” is usually better when possible, so if you know French, I would suggest reading the French posts as they are probably more well-written.

I am continuing today to share beautiful moments we had with Zackaël. I go back 4 years, February 26, 2017, the day of his third birthday. In the morning, I had taken a video while he was having fun jumping and running on the sofa. It was his favorite activity. He could spend a ½ hour frolicking like this on the sofa.

In the video, I’m not sure why, but you might hear Maxandre in the background trying to convince Zackaël that it wasn’t his birthday. Maybe to tease him? We added captions to the video. He is so cute!

How I wish I could go back and be on the sofa with him so he could throw himself in my arms, or even jump on me. I used to take him in my arms and sing to him “en bateau, mamie mamie”; he loved it so much when I bounced him on my leg singing this song. I think he must have learned the song at daycare.

As he got older, he even improved his “sofa skills”. At 3 years old, we would see him running and jumping on the sofa. When he was 4, he started hopping even higher on the sofa. Sometimes we would come into the room and see him standing on his head on the couch. He would sit there on his head for minutes at a time, I don’t know how he did it. And at 5, he would use the couch to do all kinds of somersaults.

Zackaël has always been a little climber and a jumper. A natural gymnast. Watching him wasn’t always easy for me though, he would nearly give me heart attacks. I always had to watch him and tell him “be careful Zackaël!”. I was so scared he would fall when he did this, but luckily it never happened.

Thank you to everyone who will wear green tomorrow or make any commemorative gesture. I just brought tonight the big photo in front of her memorial tree to Le Prélude school. Don’t hesitate to hang a ribbon or light in the tree. If your child knew Zackaël and would like to take a picture with the big photo, there is no problem.

For tomorrow’s post, the choice is yours! I invite you to participate in the survey! Thank you for participating!

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Happy Times Together

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Some of my best memories with the kids are of bringing Maxandre and Zackaël (and eventually Adélie) to museums.  Living in Ottawa, we’re fortunate to have so many good museums at our disposal, and I found it to be a great way to get out of the house and do something interesting and educational with the kids.  

I started bringing Maxandre to museums when he was young and when Zackaël was born, he would tag along with us.  As he got older, he started to become more interested in the displays.  Like most kids, the Dinosaur exhibits at the Museum of Nature were among his favourites, and when the Museum of Science and Technology re-opened in 2017 it quickly joined the ranks as one of our favourite destinations.  The Aviation Museum rounds out our top 3. 

Zackaël always brought enthusiasm and excitement to everything he did.  He never complained and was as happy-go-lucky as a kid could be.   I could have brought him to watch paint dry, and he still would have been happy if it meant he was spending time with us. His enthusiasm was contagious, and one of his favourite expressions when he was excited or impressed by something was to exclaim “WOW!” or “WHOA!”

Because of COVID, visiting museums hasn’t really been an option since Adélie got out of the hospital. Closed during lockdowns, the museums re-opened in September, and again last week, but we generally avoid non-essential visits to indoor places.  

Like so many other things since the accidents, I now have very mixed feelings about museums. There are so many places in this city that I love bringing the kids (Rideau Falls, the Parliament Buildings, the canal, the list goes on and on).  These places bring back so many memories of happy times together. However, these happy memories can’t be separated from the inescapable reality that doing activities together will now never be the same.  Often, just driving by places we enjoyed together can cause memories and mixed emotions to come rushing in. 

This doesn’t mean we won’t go back.  The accident took so many things from us, it would be counter-productive to allow it to rob us of doing the activities that Zackaël used to be a part of.  But it does mean that happy family outings will now be mixed together with some sadness, and a feeling that something is missing.  I hope at least that going back to these museums with Maxandre and Adélie will allow us to feel connected with Zackaël, and feel like he’s with us in some small way.   

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Remembering our Moments Together

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I dedicate this post in memory of my uncle Armand Lehoux

Today has been a difficult day for us. We received the coroner’s report about Zackaël’s death in the mail last Friday. This morning, Carl told me he had read the report earlier in the morning. He said it wasn’t a good idea and he found it difficult. I immediately started to cry. I hadn’t even looked at the report. I will read it another time when I feel ready.

This is one of those days when whatever the situation, emotions are coming out. I cried most of the day. People might think birthdays or special occasions are the hardest days. This is not necessarily the case.

Unfortunately, we have some tough days that appear without warning. Either way, we are trying our best to live normal lives and enjoy the beautiful times. But spontaneously, the pain suddenly resurfaces. And that’s normal. On that note, as I mentioned in a previous post, it’s better for our health to release our emotions than to hold them back.

Sharing our beautiful moments

This Friday February 26, Zackaël would have been 7 years old. In honor of Zackaël, every day this week, I will try to share a beautiful moment that I had with my little angel. There are moments that may seem trivial to you, but to me, they have a certain meaning.

Memory of the day

Zackaël was an observant little boy. He wasn’t the type to talk a lot, rather he liked to observe others. I always found him very visual.

It must have been only about 1 month before his death. One evening, before the kids went to bed, we were in Maxandre’s room. On the wall of the bedroom, we have a map of North America.

I asked Maxandre if he remembered where Hearst is located. Hearst is my hometown, a small town in northern Ontario. Maxandre could not remember, he took a guess and didn’t point at the right spot. But here is little Zackaël, who suddenly points his finger directly at Hearst on the big map. I was very surprised, I didn’t even remember that I had shown him. He was happy when I said “bravo Zackaël”.

I was surprised, but at the same time I was not. He was a very attentive boy.

This is a photo of Maxandre’s map, where you can see Hearst.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of Zackaël pointing at the map. But I still have the memory of that moment, which will be forever etched in my mind.

💚 Zackaël, forever 5 years old 💚

That’s it for now!
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I appreciate them so much and your private messages!

If you would like to receive my next post, you can click “Follow by email”.
Or you can send me a message and I will send you an invitation!