Zachary is a huge, huge, HUGE Star Wars fan.  If you talk to him for even 3 minutes, you will realize he’s not your regular run-of-the-mill fan.  He is absolutely insanely obsessed with Star Wars.  We have a dog named Yoda, Zachary’s room is covered in Star Wars, and he can tell you every conspiracy, character and planet (nation?) that has ever existed.  Sometimes it is a tad bit annoying and at other times, it’s so fun to see him a fan of a movie from my childhood.

Scott is not a huge fan of Star Wars.  It’s okay, we don’t judge.  He knows some of the things about Star Wars, but not a large amount.  Me on the other hand, I can fill in some of the information that Scott can’t.  I figure between the two of us, Scott and I are one complete fan!

Zachary’s favorite Star Wars character is Princess Leia.  Yes, we had mourning and tears at our house when Carrie Fisher died.  Princess Leia in the gold bikini is Zachary’s favorite and yes, Princess Leia was his first crush.  (He would be so upset if he knew that I was writing this!) My favorite character is R2-D2.  Every word he says is bleeped out (potty-mouth)!  I also love an At-At Walker.  I have a remote control one sitting on my desk as I type.

Since Zachary was a little boy and became obsessed with Star Wars, he and I have always talked about Star Wars.  I shared experiences with him from when I was a child and wore my C3PO under-roos and my brother played with his Millennium Falcon and AT-AT Walker.  It was what we did.  It was our culture and it is now Zachary’s culture.

At CHLA, Zachary was part of a program for boys’ that all had cranial-facial deformities and one of the guests that came to their Tuesday night meeting was the actor that played Jar Jar Binks, Ahmed Best.  Ahmed taught the boys about self-defense and protecting themselves. Zachary was so excited he couldn’t even stand it!  He talked about it to anyone who would listen.

I share this because you need to understand the love and connection that exists with Zachary and I because we talk Star Wars, we love Star Wars and we often play with our remote controlled BB-8 (Zachary) and my AT-AT Walker.

A few surgeries ago, as they were wheeling Zachary off to the operating room, he turned to me and said “May the Force be With You.”  Fighting back the tears, my response was “And also with you.”  This has become our thing.  Before when they would take Zachary back, I would be crying and sobbing, he would be getting upset and it was an ugly scene.  Now, through our usual tears, we share our love for Star Wars and we connect even more every time.  Our one simple statement, says so much.

More than anything when Zachary goes to the operating room, I do pray and hope that the “Force” is with him.  I am hoping that God and His angels are standing around to help our little boy.  I know that they are and I hope that Zachary is able to feel them and that he is comforted by the “Force” in those terrifying moments.

Each and every time the nurses wheel Zachary away, I want so desperately to take his place.  I want so desperately to take from him the pain that I know he will experience.  Scott wishes he could do the same.  However, we aren’t able to do so.  Our brave little boy goes into that operating room and he fights.  Maybe not with a light saber, but he is a fighter.   He is the Yoda master of surgeries!!

One of the lessons that I have learned from all of this is that I hope the “Force” is with each one of us. I hope that in times of despair, trials and heartache, we can feel the “Force.”  Sometimes, we need to be Force in each others’ lives.  Sometimes we need to continue fighting.  Sometimes we need to look upward and have faith.

May the Force be with all of us. 20161029_175549

  This was Zachary in Halloween of 2016.  Yes, he is the dark side here.

Kylo Ren is cool, right?!?!?