My brother and i were 18 months apart. we are the baby of six siblings. Matthew was one of the nicest, funniest and most caring person that i have has the pleasure of knowing.
He was Mr. Popular..he had friends everywhere and in turn i had friends because of him. He was a truly good kid. Never fought anyone, didn't do drugs and kept out of trouble. he was very humble and polite and he would help anyone the best he could.
i admit that we didn't always get along but what siblings get along all the time?? he was annoying in his younger years. Matthew was a very effeminate person who was full of energy and me, well I'm effeminate when i feel like it. I used to say things to him that i regret now. things that he didn't deserve at all. he was always trying to be nice and i was always mean to him...well sometimes he deserved it besides we were kids.
it wasn't until we moved out of our luxurious house and into an apartment where we had to share a room that i learned that he was way cooler than i realized. at this time, he was 16 and i was 15. we had gotten really close to one another. he would tell me his secrets and i wouldn't tell anyone. i used to play tricks on him and we would just have fun. when he started to work, he would buy us Domino's almost every night and we would get free cinna stix because one of his friends worked there. he bought us bunk beds so that we'd have more floor space. it was great. many memories of us joking around before we fell asleep. just hearing him laugh would make me laugh.
13 weeks before he died, he was sucker punched by his girlfriends ex-boyfriends older brother. Matthew fell and banged his head on the curve causing a blood clot in his brain. he was rushed to the hospital where he had surgery and he was revived on the table twice. my family was infuriated that someone actually laid hands on him and left him so critically injured. it didn't help that the kid was 25 to his 18. before Matthew was hit, he was calling our older brother Chris to tell him that he was about to get into a fight and he needs him.
that night was one of the most craziest nights of my life. my family and friends went on a man hunt for these kids before discovering that he needed the surgery. I'll never forget that night. i was never so scared and mad at the same time in my life. to see Matthew laying on the ground with blood dripping out his ear was a nightmare. i told him and myself that i would protect him from there on in. we told the police what happened. we had phone numbers, addresses and the make and model of the car and even two wittiness and still nothing. a few weeks later, we went to the kids house (group of about 30) and tried to reconcile things in our own way but the kid wasn't home. he apparently moved to queens because he was scared.
Our landlord was also Matthew's friends parents who lived next door to us. Matty would go over there a lot to hang out with Francis, his friend. Francis's family loved Matty but who didn't? They would cook him dinner and take him places and give him stuff. Even the 2 year old who didn't like anyone loved Matthew. so when they moved to PA, Matthew was more than welcome. There are strange things that happened before he died that i will always remember. examples, a year before he died, i had a premonition of him dieing in a car crash, a week before he died, he saw a white spirit in our hallway, my mother dreamed that he was at his wake, and i drove with Francis and discovered he wasn't really a safe driver.
Matthew had just gotten a puppy he named Taz. He was really cute and goofy. See a few weeks prior, our dog Spencer died and we were devastated...anyways when Matthew announced that he was going to PA for a few days, i was more concerned about getting stuck with taking care of the dog so i charged him $30.
Matthew called just hours before he died saying he would be home soon and i was mad because i had to take care of his dog. so basically my last words to him wasn't nice words and i regret that i was so mean to him that whole conversation. i wish i could tell him that I love him and that he was my best friend. but i cant and i have to eat it and its very hard to swallow. i know that he knows but i just wish i would have said it.
a few hours later around 8pm, we received a phone call from Lehigh Valley Hospital in PA saying there was an accident so i give the phone to my mom thinking that it was my aunt because she lives there too. so me being nosy starts to listen in on the other phone and i hang up the phone in disbelief. i run out the front door and down the block to get my cousin James who was at a friends house. at this point i was more panic than anything. i tell them Matty's been in an accident in PA and i grab James and we go back to the house. i picked up the phone and listen for a few seconds before completely breaking down. everything that i predicted and mom dreamed of was happening. as James sits at the table in silence and shock, i run outside and walk aimlessly in tears. His best friend Mike told me stop thinking negative because that makes it seem like i gave up on him. and i told him, Matthew is gone.
Calls were made and brothers come over and we sit in the living room waiting for my parents to get ready for the ride. the air was silent. there wasn't anything to say. at first i didn't want to go. i told myself I'll see him when he gets home but i knew that he wasn't coming home alive. so i went and it seemed like the longest drive ever. i cried almost the whole way there inconsolably as "how far is heaven" played on the radio continuously..weird
when we get there, we are immediately pulled into a conference room where they explained to us what happened. at that moment, i wasn't scared. i thought he would make it so i wasn't sad or worried. i dint even remember what the doctors said. that part is a blur to me.
the driver of the car was Francis who survived the crash with just a concussion. he said that there was a deer in the road and he swerved to avoid it going over the side of the road and hit a tree. turns out that the third passenger said that there wasn't a deer. he just was speeding on a curvy unlit road and went over the side of the road. the car hit a tree and Matthew was thrown 50 feet from the car and landed on his knees and started to seizure. he was then airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital which is one of the nicest hospitals i have ever been in. Matthew lost brain function, has severe lacerations everywhere and i believe his pelvic bone was shattered. My sweet, kind hearted and loving brother was basically DOA. his brain was swelling so fast that even cutting his head open to relieve pressure wouldn't help. i remember opening his eyes and there was just a dead stare. i would shake him to try to wake him and nothing. i put my hand in his and he didn't squeeze back. my bother was gone.
they kept him on life support until my sister arrived when we all decided that we were going to let him go. i refused to be in the room when they did that. i waited. my father, mother, three brothers and my sister all had their hands piled on his heart until the very last beat. and just like that, Matthew was taken away from us on 11/10/04...11 days before my birthday and 13 weeks after his brain surgery.
Back in NY, news spread like wild fire. One by one, people broke down. My mothers job rented a hall where over 200 people showed up for his memorial. People reminisced and cried for and about him. All that is left of him is a box of his ashes that weighs no more than 10lbs. This gorgeous boy who was 6/2 and maybe 185lbs was reduced to a wooden box weighing 10lbs. It's crazy. He could have been so much. He could have done anything he wanted and now he's not even here because of careless driving and not wearing a seat belt. My beautiful brother who was only 18, is gone forever and all i have is a memory...