His Guitar Still Lives On

1_IMG_3459_zack_fbOn Christmas day 2017, my Brother’s only child and my only Nephew, Zack Jarratt died from an accident. He was only 29 years old at the time of his death. A few days after his death, the family was burdened with the task of clearing out his apartment. Zack had LOTS of stuff in his apartment, and there was no way that our family could take it all out. In fact, we even left some furniture, appliances and also a huge universal weight set. We were so busy dealing with the grief that it made it difficult as to what to move out of his apartment and what to leave. Once we went through everything, there sat his guitar sitting over against the wall. No one really wanted it, none of us could play it, and so it just sat there. But I couldn’t bear the thought of just leaving it there to be thrown away or someone else getting it that had no idea as to why the guitar was abandoned.

IMG_4443I asked my Brother if he wanted it and he said he had no use for it since he couldn’t play, so I ended up taking the guitar. I brought the guitar home and sat it against the wall in my computer room. Over the past few months since his death, I considered learning to play it, or just storing it. At one point I thought I might just sell it, but none of those options seemed “right” to me. To be honest, I didn’t even really know what I had in regards to the guitar. Luckily, my friend Jason Parish came by and gave me an honest assessment of the guitar. He said it would be a good guitar for someone to learn to play on…especially a left handed person. I had no idea that Zack was left handed or that it was a left handed guitar (my Brother is also left handed). That’s when I made up my mind of what I was going to with it.

beautiful noiseIn Searcy we have this well known music store that is owned by one of the best guitar players in the area, and he also teaches guitar. I contacted Jason Coleman, the owner of Beautiful Noise and told him the significance of this particular guitar and what I was hoping to do with it with his help. I continued to explained to Jason my plan was to donate the guitar to his store in the hopes that he may have a student that needed a guitar for their lessons. Jason said not only would he do that, but he already had someone in mind that had not yet started lessons because they were waiting on a guitar to be found. I gave the guitar to Jason along with a short note I had attached to it giving a brief explanation of the importance of this guitar. I left, not really knowing what would ever happen to the guitar. That was all last week.

gabe_turley2Gabe is the 8 year old boy that will get this guitar, and today I got a beautiful message from Gabe’s Mom. That in itself would complete the story of this guitar, but of course there’s even more to it and this is not the end of the story.  Something both strange and wonderful happened. The Mother that messaged me is a friend I have known for more than 15 years. In fact, her husband and I worked together for 15 years when I was at the hospital. The strange thing is that Jason had NO IDEA that I knew who these people were and he also had no idea that they knew me. It was all supposed to be anonymous.

guitar_noteAccording to Gabe’s Mom, Missy…when Jason handed her the guitar, she read the message I had attached to it. As she read further into the message it occurred to her that the “Family” was the Jarratt Family. It still gives me chill bumps thinking about this…It could have been any student, it could have been any Mother, it could have been any FAMILY and yet some sort of DIVINE circumstances brought this all together. God does work in mysterious ways.

So there you go. Thanks again to Jason Parish for your knowledge, to Jason Coleman for your business, your generosity and your help, and to Missy and Gabe for giving a lost soul (guitar) a new home and a new beginning. This beautiful ending is the result of a great group of people helping each other out. Thank you so much.


From the darkness comes the light. And from the storms comes the calm. –WJ




3 thoughts on “His Guitar Still Lives On

  1. A beautiful, heartwarming story. May the youngster make wonderful music with your nephew’s instrument.


  2. I love this story…Zack lives on through you, his family, his friends and through his guitar to that precious young man and his mom!!!! Awesome Wally!!!!!


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