Tag Archives: Jake

celebrating Zach

Zach would have been 28 today. One year ago today, about 100 people gathered in San Francisco to celebrate his life. Every time I had to refer to the gatherings we had a year ago, I kind of choked on the word ‘celebrate’. We celebrate birthdays, we celebrate graduations, we celebrate weddings. We celebrate happy things, in my world. At least in my world before November 14th last year.

Now we gather to celebrate a life, but it’s a life that has ended. It doesn’t seem right.

I’ve said when I visit Rosalie, she shows me how to celebrate life. She lives life. The world is her oyster and she’s discovering something new every day. It was tremendously inspiring to be near her. (Remember, this is a grandparent that lives 3000 miles away talking. I don’t have to deal with the day to day hassles, the illnesses, the sulks.)

This blog is my celebration of Zach’s life. Like Rosalie, it is living. It’s not about Zach, per se, but inspired by Zach, by his discipline, and hopefully by his ability to see all sides of a point.

I remember when Zach told me he had been writing 75-80,000 word a year in a journal. I was impressed, but now that I’ve read much of it and I’ve tried myself to write on a regular basis, I’m in awe. I believe it was his housemate Jake who told me, back in the spring, that they had left his desk as it was as a testament to his work ethic and as an inspiration to him and Micah.

Through us, Zach lives. Happy birthday, son.

ghost bikes

A couple of weeks ago I re-posted a picture Micah had put on Facebook. It’s in this blog post.

Then last week I saw an article in the SF Examiner about ‘ghost bike’ memorials. You can read it here. What caught my eye more than the headline was the picture.


Now I understand the lineage of what Micah (or Jake) was doing. There are a lot of important issues facing Americans these days and maybe this isn’t the most important but it’s important to me. Almost every day I see drivers doing dangerous things. They run the gamut from changing lanes without using turn signals to running red lights. I mean really red. I often see drivers rushing to be first on merges, too.

It all stems from people thinking they need to get somewhere now. Really, folks, what’s the rush? Three quarters of the time I see a guy (or woman) slide through the red right turn from Linda Mar to Highway 1 without stopping – or sometimes without even slowing down – I pull up along side then at the next light. Are you late to work? Late to getting the kids to school? Going to the grocery store? Hurrying home with your Chinese take out?

Whatever it is, it it worth killing someone? Yeah, I know, you’re a careful driver. I’m sure Shawn R. Allen would have said he was a careful driver before November 14th last year. Maybe he still thinks he is.