Friday, August 12, 2011

"The very worst thing he did was something people do every day."*

We met with the district attorney, two officers and an assistant this morning. The last of all the "legal" stuff we will ever do. Well, I'm actually going to pick up pictures of the car, the medical report (hopefully) and Matt's license next week. But aside from that, what's done is done.

From what I understand, the law is so vague about whether or not that tractor was operating on the highway illegally that there is nothing for which he could even be given a citation. The only thing I can do is send a request to the DOT to put up minimum speed signs on controlled access highways. If that's all I can do, I will try my best. The last thing I want is for something like this to happen again. No other family needs to go through a senseless tragedy like this.

I did ask more questions. I am still hung up on those pictures. Despite the expressions and exchanged glances; looks of uneasiness about me seeing the pictures, I think I'm going to at least get them on a CD so that if one day... I ever feel like I need to see them, I'll have them. But I'm starting to feel a lot more closure today. I don't know what it is... maybe just the feeling that all of this legal stuff is finally behind me, I can truly focus on what lies ahead. And I left the meeting feeling satisfied. Just because I don't like it and just because it's not fair, doesn't mean I can't at least feel satisfied for being able to understand. And the DA simply put it in perspective: "The very worst thing Matt did was what we do every single day." Distraction. The clock, looking out the window, changing the radio station, anything. It just came together at the exact wrong time... and a good man lost his life, two very young children lost their father, I lost my husband... because of it. It doesn't take long at 70mph. That's it.

I received Matt's cell phone, computer, two suit jackets, GPS and a couple CD's. One was a silly little mix I made for him for Valentine's Day but the CD wasn't in the case. It might have been in the player. The cell phone and computer both turn on. The screen on his phone is shattered but I was still able to use it for a short time. There's blood on it. The sargeant two days ago said that his phone was covered in blood. And some professional cleaners cleaned it off as best as they could but it was still pretty obvious. Doesn't bother me though. There's not really blood on anything else. The computer does turn on but the screen is completely demolished. The GPS is beat up and the screen is broken so it turns on but you can't see anything.

I found a bunch of voice recordings on his phone and you could hear road noise in the background. So this is what he did while driving. It was like an audio diary. I wish he had recorded more.

I still need to listen again and clean these up... some parts were unclear to me. I think he was working on an introduction to his story from his first car accident. Here is just a snippet and probably the most insightful thing of all:

You know how everybody always tells you when they're trying to teach you something that you always think it could never happen to you and you always say, "Yep, I've heard that before a billion times" and... well, I'm here to tell you it certainly can happen to you but it can also change your life for the better.

I have his voice... just that. So I can simply listen to him whenever I want. There is even a recording of one of his sales calls. And two political statements. And two other variations of an intro to his car accident story. I'll never have an excuse to forget his voice. He was amazing.


  1. He continues to be amazing in everyone's memories. You, also, are amazing <3

  2. Hey Stephanie,
    I'm not sure if you remember me, I used to work with Matt at Dell in the Woodland mall back in the day. I'm glad to see there are so many people to comfort you and send you their love, I can only hope that I might be able to give you something to help you through this terrible time. My sister-in-law lost her husband about two years ago, like you she also kept a blog to help her through it. She found that it helped her through the tough days to have those around her who have gone through the same thing. So, here is her blog from those times:
    hopefully it will help you not feel quite as alone on the hardest of days. She is always willing to talk to others about their experience to help them out.

    -Erika H