Matt was cute. And charismatic. And fun-loving. He was the kind of boy you hope your daughter brings home. He was one of the good ones.
When I last saw Matt (Sunday, October 19th), I took special notice of him. He was blessing the sacrament and had just gotten his hair cut short. But there was something else about him. Something different.
As I watched him I thought, "Matt has grown up so much lately. He is a good role model for the youth. A good example. He's kind. I'm so happy that Taylor will be turning 12 soon and joining the Young Men's program with boys like him."
Since the accident, I have learned from other people at church, including my brother, that they also had taken special notice of Matt at that same moment and had similar thoughts. I have heard this over and over again. There was something different in his countenance. His spirit was different or something, maybe somehow aware of things to come.
Unfortunately, Matt wasn't alone in the car. His younger sister, Caitlin (15), was his passenger. She survived the accident, but is in Shock Trauma. She has been in a medically-induced coma since the accident. She has swelling in her brain, a bruised brain stem, and a broken pelvis. She had surgery on Monday to remove part of her skull to allow for the swelling. The doctors are hoping for a complete recovery, but said it should take 6-12 months.
Our church has fasted and prayed on behalf of Caitlin and her grieving family. She is in my constant prayers. She is one of the girls in the Young Women's program in which I serve. We are together twice a week, Sundays and Wednesdays.
I plead with you to please keep Caitlin and her family in your prayers, thoughts, and hearts. To my faithful LDS readers, please keep Caitlin in your prayers on Fast Sunday. She needs all the prayers she can get.
Tonight is the funeral. I know it's going to be sad. Although, I suspect there will be a fair amount of laughing, too, as they share stories of Matt. I know there will be many tears. Every fiber of my being aches for this family. It's so tragic. It hits home for me and my family. I have lost my sibling.
But, we know Matt is okay. His last entry on Facebook reads, "Matt has this store-bought way of saying he's okay." (Wed., Oct. 22)