I was just scrolling through our old text conversations on his phone.
Thu, Mar 3, 2011 - We were talking about baby names
Me: How about Ryker
Matt: Sounds like a badass with guns
Matt: I can just picture somebody with magazines of bullets draped across the chest, dark hair, shirtless, camouflage pants, firing an automatic weapon at a group of terrorists... possibly smoking a cigar
Matt: and maybe a camo headband
Still "LMAO"... he was so funny. We all miss his sense of humor; that's one of the things we miss the most about him. No one else is funny like Matt was. I'm the closest.
Technology is a blessing when it comes to memories. I was looking for a letter I saved in a Word document and, somehow while I was looking for this letter, I came across some song lyrics that Matt wrote and I had never seen before. I wonder if this song is about me. Maybe it's about someone else... but I think I will just go with the idea that it's about me, especially since I stumbled upon it. I think it was under my "recent docs" even though I have never seen this before. It's called Symphony for the Angel. It was written in May of 2003, which is shortly after I paid him a visit at college. I was still a senior in high school and Matt was a freshman at Aquinas. I know (I think) he had a girlfriend at this time but the lyrics don't really read "girlfriend" to me?
Here's your good message
I love you
Perhaps in a different way now than before
but I love you
and I wouldn't trade moments
shared with you
for anything in the world.
You means so much to me
and I never want to lose that.
The pain of not being with you
will go away, but
the true pain rests in not being your friend;
Hopefully you still see me
as one of your good friends,
because I sure as hell still put you
in the best friend category.
You are still an angel, and
still one of the greatest
things to happen to me.
Nobody can take that away.
because that is what
I love you.
Maybe it's about another friend. I don't think it's a break-up song... but it could be. If he never showed this song to anyone then I'm claiming it! :P I know he always appreciated the fact that I was there for him even after he dumped my ass the day before he almost died. I was always there for him. I loved him. Never underestimate the power of high school teenage love.
I have a lot of catching up to do from last week. We went to Beulah on Wednesday and then down to Grand Rapids on Thursday (Thanksgiving). Then I went up to Mount Pleasant Friday night. Then to Clare on Saturday and back up to Petoskey Saturday night. It was a lot of traveling. The kids do so well. I guess they really had no choice but to make good friends with their carseats in the last few months.
It was a pretty emotional holiday. I missed having Matt there with me. I missed him for Chloe's first Thanksgiving. I've been avoiding all those cute little bodysuits and sleep & plays that say "My 1st Christmas" or something similar. They just make me sad. I almost bought one the other day and as I was looking at it, I just thought it would be best to kind of dismiss the fact that this is going to be Chloe's first Christmas. There is already going to be sadness in the fact that Matt isn't here at all. I'm not trying to compound that issue with all the other things that go along with it.
However, despite everything, I am doing well. I am finding comfort in music, in family and in memories. And, of course, in the Bible. I'm also doing things for other people, which helps me, too. I try to give back year-round but every Christmas I commit to a charitable donation. Like... an angel tree, Salvation Army, donating supplies to the animal shelter, etc. Well, this year... I kicked it up a notch in memory of Matt. Plus, so many people have done things for ME and my kids in the last few months, I want to pay it forward. Matt had a special connection to Mary Free Bed after what he had been through in 2000 so I'm making a donation in his memory and including a letter about him that also contains words I took from his TBI blog. So, in a way, I'm hoping he can speak directly to other patients in a similar situation as his. I didn't want to send the donation without sharing his story.
Secondly, I picked up the Press last week and saw that they compiled wishes from those in need. I wanted to fulfill a wish that Matt would have wanted to fulfill. The one that caught my attention was from the Easter Seals West Michigan Therapy Center, a nonprofit clinic for children with special needs. I remembered that Matt was the president of Aquinas College's Project Open Heart, a club to establish positive disability awareness. And so... voila. I thought this might be right up his alley. They wanted a basketball hoop but when I called, someone had already fulfilled that wish. But she said they are also looking for Apple gift cards to purchase an iPad to help with speech and fine motor therapy. Well, that's perfect. So I ordered an iPad for them instead.
It is just a simple hope that I can make a small difference in someone else's life. I have been blessed. I have been taken good care of by Matt's company and by family, friends and strangers alike. If I am able to do something so generous, I will do it. Especially in memory of my beloved. He had a heart of gold; I want to be like him.