Friday, April 29, 2016

Matt's 21st birthday

Most of our close family and friends know the following 21 things about Matt. But Matt has been gone for over four and a half years, and many new friends have since come into our lives, friends who wonder who he was, who desire to catch a glimpse of this boy of mine who would now be an adult, a young man of 21.

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:
  1.  a deep thinker (It's partly where he got his nickname of "Mr. Stoic.")
  2.  favorite color was blue (cerulean...look it up ;) )
  3.  a smirk = a smile
  4.  liked playing Poker
  5.  could suck down a McDonald's Mocha Frappe faster than anyone
  6.  enjoyed playing ping pong several times a week with the "Pong" group from Bethel
  7.  favorite snack was Cheez-Its
  8.  ate a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal every night before bed
  9.  avid bird watcher - his favorite was the Indigo Bunting
  10.  liked playing chess
  11.  liked playing tennis - though he was the least athletic kid!
  12.  liked playing golf - albeit only in our yard!
  13.  loved Trout Lake Camp - one of his favorite places to go (ours, too.)
  14.  Green Bay Packer fan - What can I say? He knew how to pick 'em. ;)
  15.  Bethel Media Technician - he loved his job behind the scenes
  16.  enjoyed learning Spanish - I like to think he liked Spanish because I always called him "Mateo" as a little boy. ;)
  17.  favorite candy was Spearmint Starlight Mints
  18.  loved playing LOTRO (Lord of the Rings online)
  19.  loved his brothers and sisters deeply - especially when each was a baby
  20.  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.)
  21. 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.  


  1. Dear Angie,

    I grieve with you for Matt and I celebrate his life with you. I won't be able to get out to buy someone a mocha frappe, but I have made myself and my husband a mocha in Matt's honor. I have prayed for you and your family. Thank you for sharing these things about your beloved boy. His life was and is beautiful, meaningful, and everlasting. I'm so happy you will see him again. What a reunion it will be. Love and blessings in Christ.

    1. Tammy,
      That's awesome! Thank you so much for participating and remembering Matt with us, though you didn't get the chance to meet him in person. As you know, when our children are remembered, it is a balm to our grieving hearts. Much comfort to you, as well. ((hugs))

  2. Thank you for telling us more about your lovely boy, you must miss him so much ❤️

  3. Awww...Thank you, dear friend! I'm looking forward to learning more about your Leah, too. ((hugs))