Matt and his sisters

Last year, around this time, my nephew, Matt, came over to our house to deliver his family’s Christmas presents. We were supposed to have gone to his parents’ house for Christmas Morning brunch but half of us were sick with a stomach flu. That disappointed all of us but I know it especially disappointed Matt because it was his heart’s desire for all of his family to be close.

Matt was like that, a natural leader who was able to get people together. He was one of the most loving young men I have ever known and when he walked into a room it became brighter and full of warmth.

The day he brought the gifts was one of the last times I ever saw Matt. We opened presents together and Matt took the rest of the gifts home to his parents. His favorite gift was the Motorola RAZR cellphone. We spoke often via cellphone and Matt was always known to return his calls.

So when Matt didn’t return a call for half a day in early February, his father became alarmed. He drove up to the city where Matt lived and……

I still can’t put it into words. Our Matt died on February 8th, 2006 of an undetected heart defect.

It’s still too painful to even speak of Matt around the family. We are closer in our grief to each other but to even whisper his name causes a retreat back into the vale of tears, of which, we have been entangled for the past year.

For a few weeks after Matt died I would call his cellphone just to hear his voice.

Many things have happened since last February. Our son is in Iraq and that in itself would have been of big concern to Matt.

That is really all I can write at this point. Matt is missed. Oh yes, he is missed.