In March 2000, my husband and I heard words that no parent ever wants or expects to hear. We were told that our beautiful, happy four-year-old had a brain tumor. All of our lives changed forever from that moment forward.
Matthew went from days spent learning and playing with his friends at pre-K to days filled with CT scans, MRI’s, IV’s, and so many specialists. Within weeks of his initial diagnosis, he was being wheeled into an operating room for the first of 11 surgeries over a nine year period.
I could write entirely about Matthew’s procedures, specialist visits, radiation, chemotherapy and everything else that related to his care and fill an entire book. I’d rather tell you about Matthew.
Matthew was…is…our first-born son. He was welcomed into our lives in January 1996 with all of the love in our hearts. From day one, he showed a love for music. I would sing to him every night as I rocked him at bedtime. Music seemed to soothe him – even my off-key singing. Music continued to play a big part in his life as he grew older – he shared a love for KISS with his dad, even dressing up as Gene Simmons one year for Halloween. In middle school, he joined the orchestra and learned to play the string bass. He enjoyed composing music on the computer and hoped to learn to play the electric bass guitar.
Hours were spent drawing pictures. In class, when given a picture to color, it was fairly common for Matthew to just turn the paper over to draw his own picture instead. He was definitely an individual! If you asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would tell you he was going to be an artist. In fact, he would announce that he already was an artist!
Matthew was an inspiration to so many people who knew him and even people who he never met. He faced everything that came his way with extraordinary courage and determination. We were so blessed to have this child in our lives for 13 beautiful years. He loved his little brother Cameron, his music, his art, the beach, buffalo wings, Japanese steakhouse dinners and hanging out with his best friend.
Matthew went to Heaven on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2009 and we continue to miss him every day.