Tales of the Zekey Trip Part 1- June 2014


I’m in the mountains of Colorado, under the stars where a lighting storm is threatening my escape from the place I have called home for the last 2 weeks and I’m finally able to share a piece of my heart with my beloved readers. What I’m saying is, I’m enjoying the very last night of the Zekey Trip and I want to share some of it with you.

God used many of you to bless us with celebrating Zekey on this most delightful Zekey Trip. Originally, Zekey was given a wish from Make-A-Wish which would involve traveling in an RV out West to see God’s beauty in ways only my husband has experienced.

Ya see, my sweet Zekey loved being outdoors.



Whether he was a healthy almost 2-year old…








running around, playing in the hose… .







and especially with his siblings by his side….




Zekey just loved being outdoors.

Zekey could no longer talk, so we searched the Zekey we knew and loved deeply and decided that visiting national parks out west would be a beautiful wish come true. But that’s not all- why not rent a fun RV to camp in?! Zekey LOVED riding in the car. It brought him much peace and it was a time I could blast his favorite Christian tunes to silence his unwanted chaos.







Zekey went Home to Jesus on March 23rd around 3am- too soon to take this trip. But we still wanted to celebrate Zekey. We wanted to honor the life he lived in a way that would burn his memory in our hearts for the rest of our days on earth, until all tears will be wiped away when we, too enter Home and will gather round the table again as a part of a much larger family- The family of God.

This is when the Zekey Trip came to our hearts. This is where God blessed us through people like you who gave financially so we could celebrate our boy through taking this trip out west, to visit some of the most beautiful places in the U.S.


This is where, from the bottom of our healing hearts, we say, “Thank You.”


I’m from the midwest. Okay, I’m from NW Ohio- we’re lacking in the natural beauty that I’ve seen on this trip. Mountains, rushing rivers, the Pacific Ocean, weird-shaped rocks, forests with BEARS (oh my!), tall trees, the smell of fresh pine, natural texture everywhere I look. It’s been breath-taking. It’s been inspiring. The beauty of God’s Creation has touched parts of my soul I didn’t even know existed until now.



Yosemite National Park- California


 Arches National Park- Utah


I’ve learned that I find a deep peace and closeness to God when tall redwoods meet water rushing over rocks. It excites me. It shakes me. My faith becomes child-like and I believe anything is possible with God. It’s as if a window opens and all of God’s truth cannot be snuffed out as it pours into me.



 Lake Tenaya- Yosemite National Park

I love adventure in hiking up water falls with my kids. I love watching them chase adventure, getting their knees scraped up, doing things I never got to do as a kid- well, maybe just not in this way.


Yosemite Falls


Emerald Bay- Lake Tahoe

I loved watching my kids grow and mature in even just two weeks, on this trip. I saw them lose silly fears and watched as courage overcame them. I imagine the strength Zekey had shining through them and that made my heart swell.


Emerald Bay- Lake Tahoe

 Ezekiel: God strengthens.

As the days of our trip kept feeling like floodgates bursting open with God’s blessing, I imagined God going before us, showing off His grandeur.   I imagined Zekey with that big grin,  sitting on God’s right shoulder, seeing the West with us. I saw him in awe and joyful and full of life, not death. (thank you, Jesus!)

We have talked of Zekey every day. We have shared stories from when he was healthy and when he was sick- all good because Zekey’s joy and light and strength were often present because of Jesus in him. Because Zekey didn’t let Batten disease take him over and I truly believe he could have. Zekey wanted to live a life worth sharing, even long after his life was over.

One night, Cyrus, my now 8-year-old (as of a week ago) said, “I wish heaven would come down right now so Zekey could join us on the Zekey Trip”.



 In front of Yosemite Falls

Eisley is always remembering times when she made Zekey laugh. Her favorite (because it was Zekey’s favorite) was when she would sing, from Super Why, “Up a hill, up a hill, STOMP, STOMP, STOMP!” and he would throw his head back, open his mouth wide and let out a laughter (he gets that from me…not so cute when I do it) that would bring Ebenezer Scrooge to a belly laugh.



West Coast

Bexley, my youngest, only 2.5 years old when her beloved brother passed away, talks of him most often. She spent the days with him while the other two attended school. She laid in his bed and watched his favorite shows. She held his face and kissed it- she loved her Zekey-zoo and He loved her back. She has really surprised me with her memory. Every single time I break down in tears, she knows why.

“Mom, do you miss Zekey Zoo?”

“Yes, baby, I miss Zekey-zoo. I miss him so much.”

“Mom! Zekey-zoo is in heaven. With Jesus! He’s running and jumping and flying!”

Well, when I was in the back of the RV, sobbing, she started sobbing too. It wasn’t a wine, it was a sob. I was taken back and I asked, “Bex, why are you crying?!”

“I miss my Zekey-zoo, mommy!”

And we sobbed together until she wanted to make me happy. She wanted to do her part and remind me of the truth- that Zekey was happy, in heaven with Jesus. I wasn’t ready to be happy for her quite yet. I was really missing him.

Bexley took my face in her hands and said, “Mommy, you can be happy, Zekey’s happy. I miss Zekey. I love my Zekey-zoo.”

I couldn’t help but smile. She was right-she’s always right and that’s the beauty of it all. Zekey really is “happy and running and jumping with Jesus”.

Next, she started to stare off for a minute. I asked her, “What are you thinking about, Bex?”

She giggled and said, “Zekey’s singing me the ABC’s”

Me, getting really excited and feeling like I just received a beautiful gift, “Zekey’s singing you the ABC’s?!”

Bexley, “Yeah! Zekey sings them to me! Mommy! You happy now? Did I make you happy?”

Me, “Yes, Bexley, mommy is very happy.”


Marina Beach- California


Lake Tenaya- Yosemite National Park


Andy and I think of Zekey often. We tell each other what is going on in our hearts and minds because, we both ‘get it’. And the other listens and understands and then we cling to truth- Zekey is alive. We will see him again. All will be well.



Until next time when I share more tales of the Zekey Trip. You can follow along on my Instagram feed or Twitter to get pics I have captured along the way. You may also visit TheSometimesPreacher.com to the Zekey Trip part 1 and part 2.

Love to you from Colorado!


 Enjoying this trip to the fullest.








  • Reply June 24, 2014

    Shannon Chappell

    Absolutely beautiful. Love the healing this trip has brought to you- what a blessing! I couldn’t get through it without crying but what a beautiful message. The pictures are gorgeous- so glad you guys were able to do this. Love to the Holt family!!

    • Reply June 26, 2014



      You are always so sweet and share your heart boldly. I love that about you. Love right back to you!

  • Reply June 24, 2014

    Terri Hagenmayer

    There couldn’t have been a better, more visually, spiritually, exciting, charming, photogenic (of you all, as well as the magnificent scenery), and inspiring tribute to your precious Zekey than this display of love and honor in this presentation you’ve shared in the written word and in pictures! You’ve captured it all through the tender moments, the joy and laughter, and above all, an amazing faith that has reached out and touched us all to the very core. Truly, The Lord has bestowed grace and a peace upon you all and what a beautiful gift you have shared with us. Thank you for taking us along on your incredible journey!

    • Reply June 26, 2014



      Thank you- that’s exactly why we took this trip. We could have done other things with the money, but this will have a lasting effect on our hearts (and we are most motivated by our kids’ hearts) and the memories and celebrating Zekey’s life was more than worth it! Thank you for your sweet words. Blessings!

  • Reply June 24, 2014

    Stuart Meyer

    Beautiful on so many levels.

    • Reply June 26, 2014



      Thank you. Blessings!

  • Reply June 25, 2014

    Mary Rumschlag

    We are so glad you got to experience worshipping the Lord through His creation these past few weeks. But glad you will be coming home too…we missed you! Still praying for God’s comfort for all of you as you continue to wrestle with these past couple of years of pain and trial. Love you guys!

    • Reply June 26, 2014



      Thank you. We are ready to continue taking steps where God leads us. Love to you!

  • Reply June 25, 2014


    Gorgeous photos to accompany more beautiful storytelling. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply June 26, 2014



      Thank you- so glad you enjoyed them! Blessings!

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