Not a week goes by without a story or an update about Zachary in some sort of media, so I am sure everyone knows what I am talking about here.
I have said "thank you" more times in the past 11 months than I am sure I have up until that point in my life.
However, is thank you enough?
Some think so, some do not, yet others really enjoy giving and doing things for others without ever requiring a thank you, but still enjoy it.
I was raised like most everyone else, to say thank you at every appropriate opportunity.
Not until Jan. 20, 2011, did I ever question the words 'thank you' or the sincerity behind those words.
Just the other day, I had one of those opportunities to thank someone from out of town who not openly helped with one of the out-of-town fundraisers, but has posted on Zachary's Caringbridge Site, sending prayers. My thank you to these out of town people came from deep inside my heart, and after thanking them I had to step outside to catch my composure.
As I stepped outside, someone held the door open for me and, being polite, I said, "Thank you."
That's when it hit me - I just said "thank you" twice in less than five minutes with it not even being close to meaning the same thing.
So how do you say "thank you" to people without it sounding like a polite gesture?
I am hoping that, if the people who have done and given so much know just how much they have helped Zach and me, they will realize just how sincere I believe "thank you" is not enough.
I said "thank you" many times to the doctors and nurses who saved my son's life, and I am sure they know just how sincere I was.
I said a very public "thank you" at the State Basketball Tournament to the doctors and nurses who were in attendance at the D-G-F game, along with emergency rescue workers who kept my son alive until he reached the hospital.
Although it was a wrong forum for a thank you to come across as sincere, I hope they realize that without them, I would not have Zachary with me today, and for that I thank them again.
I said a very private thank you to my cousin Randy, his wife Liz, along with the rest of my family; even though their support is still strong today, for the first two weeks I don't think they ever left my side.
That support helped keep me strong and focus on Zachary.
There was a very close group of Zachary's friends and their parents, along with coaches, who never missed an opportunity to visit Zach in both hospitals in Minneapolis, and still today they are there to support Zachary in his full recovery. This close group of Zachary's friends and their parents, the coaches, and my family would never require a thank you, but too bad, they are getting one: "Thank You."
Most everyone above I have personally thanked, but how do I thank thousands of people who have said a prayer or donated money for the Zach Gabbard Benefit Fund?
Again, I hope if they know what it has done for Zachary and me, they will know how sincere my thank you is.
For the thousands of people who have set up, worked at, and donated to the Zach Gabbard Benefit Fund, please know you have truly helped out, and without the donations, Zachary would not have been able to receive the extended health care, physical therapy, insurance co-pays and so much more above and beyond insurance coverage.
Although the financial help was needed, it was still hard for me to accept help.
Because of that, I have kept a spreadsheet detailing all expenses in my care and am willing to share it with anyone who would like to see it.
For everyone who joined me in prayers, thank you.
Although my faith in God has never wavered, I may have forgotten how powerful prayer is.
I am sure many people saw me or even heard me while I was kneeling next to Zachary at the D-G-F school; I said the first of many personal and private prayers.
There were more than 1.5 million hits and prayers on the Zach Gabbard Caringbridge page and there have been too many coincidences to believe everyone's prayers did not help.
There were just too many times when personal or group prayers were said and within five minutes good news came from the doctors and nurses.
So, I thank everyone for their prayers and for reconfirming my faith in the power of prayer.
Back to my first question, is thank you enough? I wish I had come up with this quote, but I am just repeating it: "If thank you is all you got, then it is more than enough." But know, my thank you also comes with a prayer that everyone and their family has as many friends and family who come to help, if needed, just as Zachary and I have hand.
Steve & Zachary Gabbard.