Memories of Matthew Patrick
Pop Pop’s Memories of Matthew Patrick
June 12th, 2006, a date that I will remember forever. I remember getting a call that it was time for my daughter to give birth to her 2nd child. The child was not supposed to be here yet but complications with both of them made it necessary to deliver now. I remember sitting around her room helping to pick out names from a baby book, both boys and girls names, since we did not know what was to come. I remember us all really concentrating on girls names since I think we were all convinced it was a girl, but picking a boys names, just incase we were wrong. The boys name was to be Matthew, Matthew Patrick Wade. I remember looking up the meaning of Matthew and seeing that it was the Greek word for “Gift of God” and that it was. My life and the life of many others changed from that day on. He brought our family that was always close even closer before he even arrived. Matthew was born on a Monday evening and taken directly to CHOP so that he could get the intensive care that he needed. He was born just 3 lbs and I remember preparing myself for our first meeting, I thought for sure that I was going to see this little tiny blob with tiny hands and feet sticking out of it but instead he was this fairly long baby with real looking arms and legs, topped off with this perfectly tiny shaped head, looking so much like a little doll laying there. We connected from that first moment on and for the next `14 days and nights my life was consumed with him. This little guy did not do much, other then lay there with tube after tube going in and out of him, never saying a word but touching so many people. I remember looking around and seeing the Doctors and Nurses interacting with the other children in the unit since most of them were a little older and could interact back and thinking that nobody is going to pay much attention to our little Matthew since he was to young and sick to do much of anything but I was so wrong. This little guy had an almost eerie way of touching you. I remember going into his little cubical all throughout the night, night after night and the tears just flowing every time I would even get close to his bed, no matter how many times I told myself that I was not going to do that and that I was going to be strong, “Mr. tough guy” (so I thought), I know I can do this and time after time he would just reduce me to tears. I am not sure why God allowed this all to happen and asked that very question over and over again other then he wanted him to spend some time with us to make us all a better person and I think that he has done that a thousand times over. I know that I will look to him for strength whenever things get rough throughout the rest of my life for as tough as I thought I was. I’ll never be a match for that little guy. In just 14 short days he taught some Doctors and medical personal procedures that they had never tried before. He touched every family member that came to visit him and many that never even had a chance to meet him. He had people praying for him from Ohio to Florida, from England to Rome, even had some of us that had not thought much about praying for a long time, going to church and lighting candles and asking God for his help.
Well on June 26, 2006 God was ready to take him back. That day had to be the hardest day of my life and life of all of us around him. It was a dark cloudy day raining throughout the night and still continuing throughout the day. As they were removing all the tubes and IV’s so that his Mom could finally hold him in her arms I started to relive everyday and every night of the past 14 days. Every up and down, every time the Doctors would not give us much hope and every time Matthew proved them wrong, Every time I would get to see him and he move his little arms and legs when the Nurses would lower the anesthesia to check his reflexes and most of all the night that he opened his eyes and looked right at me and had a smile on his face and started to blow bubble, almost like thanking me for hanging out with him. Then when the doctor gave Matthew to my daughter to finally hold in her arms I turned my head and look out the window and almost something like you would read in a bible story, the rain stopped and the sun came out like it was a beautiful summer day and stayed that way for at least 15 to 20 minutes, almost like clearing the way for Matthew to reach the heavens because after that it went right back in and turned dark and started to rain heavy for the rest of the day. Again this little guy who never said a word and who never had a chance to interact with me was touching me again like I never had been touched before. When my daughter was done holding him she asked me if I wanted to hold him and I remember putting out my arms and her placing him in them. I remember wrapping my arms around him and never wanting to let go. I remember being overcome with emotions but at the same time thinking he was finally getting to rest, no more tubes, no more IV’s, no more needles, he could just lay there in peace at last.
Well these are the memories that I have of Matthew, just 14 days of them but many that will last a lifetime for me and I am sure many other family memories. We have now lost a family member but gained our own “Family Guardian Angel” forever.