Mother of the Year

When Heather lost her three year old son Zack, she didn’t stop being a mom. Though her heart was broken, Zack’s brothers needed her more than ever. So she embraced them and loved them as mothers do while she made a plan to keep a promise; the one she made to Zack and to herself as they said goodbye. She vowed to keep his memory alive and to have Elmo, Zack’s comfort and joy, speak his name. And that’s just what she did.

Heather tirelessly raised money to create a room (two rooms in fact!) in Zack’s name at York Central Hospital. She also persevered until Kevin Clash (the puppeteer who IS Elmo) knew how much Zackie loved him. Kevin knows and he was touched. And Elmo did speak Zack’s name. Heather is healing with her family and she continues to tell Zack’s story, not only to keep his memory alive, but to help other families deal with the pain of losing a child.”

Heather and I became friends online. We bonded over our special needs kids and soon discovered we had many other things in common. When my daughter was in hospital shortly after Zack died, Heather kept tabs on us at Sick Kids, the very place where she had lost her own child. She knew how worried I was and so in her typical nurturing way, she held my hand.

Heather’s family have suffered the ultimate loss, yet they go on with a plan to move forward. Heather has brought people together and has raised enough money to make Zack’s Dream Room a beautiful reality. They say there’s nothing stronger than a mother’s love and nobody more determined than a mom on a mission. It’s true. Heather, you are a truly amazing mom to all of your boys. You spend so much time and energy caring for others, there’s no doubt that you set the standard for motherhood. For peoplehood really. Happy Mother’s Day Heather. xo 

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