I want them to know Matt as much as they can even if he's not here. Like every bereaved parent, I don't want my child to be forgotten. I want people to ask about Matt. Parents love to talk about their kids, and bereaved parents are no different. It is a tremendous gift when we are given the opportunity, to not only talk about the ones here with us, but about the ones with whom we will someday be reunited. We take joy in our kids, both those who remain with us and those with whom we ache to see again.
For Matt's 21st birthday, I compiled a list of 21 things about Matt. Sticking to just twenty-one things is like asking me to pick my favorite book! There are too many good ones to choose from, but I exercised self-control and plucked from my shelf of memories whatever came to mind first.
21 Things About Matt:
- a deep thinker (It's partly where he got his nickname of "Mr. Stoic.")
- favorite color was blue (cerulean...look it up ;) )
- a smirk = a smile
- liked playing Poker
- could suck down a McDonald's Mocha Frappe faster than anyone
- enjoyed playing ping pong several times a week with the "Pong" group from Bethel
- favorite snack was Cheez-Its
- ate a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal every night before bed
- avid bird watcher - his favorite was the Indigo Bunting
- liked playing chess
- liked playing tennis - though he was the least athletic kid!
- liked playing golf - albeit only in our yard!
- loved Trout Lake Camp - one of his favorite places to go (ours, too.)
- Green Bay Packer fan - What can I say? He knew how to pick 'em. ;)
- Bethel Media Technician - he loved his job behind the scenes
- enjoyed learning Spanish - I like to think he liked Spanish because I always called him "Mateo" as a little boy. ;)
- favorite candy was Spearmint Starlight Mints
- loved playing LOTRO (Lord of the Rings online)
- loved his brothers and sisters deeply - especially when each was a baby
- brilliant with computers, especially troubleshooting and repair (He placed 1st in PC Troubleschooting & Repair and 3rd in Java Programming at the State Regional Competition level in 2011.)
- loved Jesus
On this milestone of a birthday, I can't help but be tempted to wonder and ponder the "What if's." Yet I know the "What if's" are unproductive, so I will turn them instead into "God knows." God knows every step I take. He knows every tear I shed. God knows the broken places that remain.
The broken places, however, are not the only thing to remain. I have hope. I have faith. And I have love. Love for God and love for my son.
On Matt's birthday this year, his 21st, I'd like to give away 21 Mocha Frappes. Will you join me in remembering Matt? On May 2nd, would you send me a picture, post a reply, or email me with your story of how you blessed someone with a Mocha Frappe in memory of Matt and in celebration of his 21st birthday?
***If finances are a challenge, no worries. It's really not about Mocha Frappe's. It's about telling a bereaved parent that you remember their child, you acknowledge their loss.