Sunday, January 09, 2005

Remembering Matt

This is a picture of me and one of my closest friends, Matt. It was taken on the last day of our senior year of high school almost 10 years ago. (Yes, those are marching band lockers behind us and yes, I have a grown-out perm. You guys are fine.)

Two years ago today Matt passed away. While leaving a Browns-Steelers game in Pittsburgh on January 5, 2003, he was hit by a car. He was in a coma for three days before his poor damaged body gave out. He was 25 and had been married to a beautiful girl named Brooke for only two months. I think of Matt all the time, and this picture sits on my dresser so I can see him all the time. Sometimes I miss him so much I lose my breath-like I've been punched in the stomach.

Matt was beautiful inside and out. He was so funny and so smart--literally the most brilliant person I've ever known in real life. He had one of those loud voices that you could hear over everything even in a crowded bar--especially when he laughed--which probably would've annoyed me if it was anyone else, but with him it just made me smile. He helped me through Calculus, got me a job at Target so we could work together and made sure we spent time together on every college break. He gave the absolute best hugs. He loved work and beer and above everything else in the world, his wife. I think my favorite memories are when he would take me for rides in his sister's Miata (he even let me drive it once), and we would ride around and just talk about absolutely everything.

The thing I treasure most about Matt was that he truly cared about me, and he made sure I knew it. Since the day we met he was always telling me that I was the nicest and funniest girl he had ever met. He was the kind of person who laughed at everything I said so I felt really funny. I love those kind of people. To be honest I never really understood it--where all the affection came from. I was just grateful because he was so special, and it meant so much to have someone in my life who cared about me like that.

I honestly can't think of anything negative to say about Matt. Do you know how almost impossible that is? I mean, literally there is nothing I would've changed about him. He was a little cocky and over-confident, but he had the goods to back it up. He handed out unsolicited advice, but it was usually right-on and always endearing. I always knew it came from a place where his only intention was to help me and to look out for me.

On his wedding day I went up to him on the dance floor to tell him I was leaving, and he grabbed my hand and made me dance with him for the next two songs. It was great back then, but thinking about it now I can only think of it as an honor, really. I'll never forget as we were dancing he looked around the whole place, looked at his new wife and then gave me this big smile and said, "So this is like the greatest day ever. I'm feeling pretty lucky to be me right now."

Thinking about those words now is really hard and really tragic. Matty, I think about you every day and wish you could just come pick me up in the Miata so we could go ride around. I think about what you would've accomplished had you not had to leave us so soon. I just know with all my heart that you would've been successful in absolutely every area of your life--a brilliant worker, a wonderful father and husband, and a lifelong friend. I miss you so much, and I hope you know just how much I adored you and still do and always will.


danielle said...

hey hor, just wanted to tell you that you are pretty effing great and definitely the funniest girl i've ever known.

John said...

me too

Erik with a K said...

Yeah, what they said, except without the hor stuff

Carly said...

He sounds really wonderful - what a great tribute.

spaceface said...

What is really odd about your blog...and about this post specifically, is that, i have been reading it all day...when i am supposed to be working and such...and...(not to say that I am anything NEAR as funny as you...) but I wrote a post entitled "For Matt" (for MY Matt who this month, will have been gone two years...)It really just freaked me out, how I just stumbled across your blog...and found something so...familiar...
Thanks for making me laugh though!