I will start by confirming that the old saying of "time flies" is very true. I can't believe that six years have gone by so fast when it seemed that time literally stood still six years ago to this day. I will never forget the news and the chaos that followed and all of the hardships for Matthew. With that being said, I could have never imagined in my most positive mindset back then that Matthew would come so far. There are times where I look at him and I just don't understand why he smiles so much and has no cares in the world about his disability. Sure there are times where he expresses how big of a pain it is to swim at pools or walk on the beach but in general he never complains. His will power and spirit at 10 years old is more developed than most adults I know including myself. I don't know where the future will take him especially as he starts to hit those "odd tween" years of life, but if history is a predictor of the future he is going to be just fine. I want to take a moment to thank all of those in our life that surrounded us with love, prayers and positive encouragement during the worse of times and helped provide a guiding light so we could find our way. I love you all and remember to help us keep spreading the word about lawn mower safety. Thank you!
Matthew has had quite the adventurous Winter. Christmas time, wheelchair basketball tournaments and amputee bowling outings have been the big ticket items the past few months. Matthew was a very good boy this year and Santa rewarded him handsomely! He can’t wait to use his high-powered telescope that Santa brought him to view into the heavens! Now, if we can only get rid of the snow and overcast skies that seem to be hanging over North Carolina. In late January, his Jr. Thunder team took three out of four games against the Charlotte Bobcats, with Matthew leading the way with 24 combined points in all four games. This means the trophy will stay here in Raleigh for at least one more year! In February, his TAG group met at a local bowling alley for some fun filled times. There were five amputee kids all bowling together and sharing good times while downing some pizza! Happy St. Paddy's Day to everyone!
Boy, time sure does fly. It's hard to believe that it's already December! Here are some photos of us from the past few months - enjoying the last warm days of the year at the park and our haunted house on Halloween. Matt was a clown and Sam was a corpse bride. She looked right at home in the cemetery, and Matt, well he just looked terrifying!
I am convinced that Matt can do anything he sets his mind to doing. He may have to work a little harder and think about his movements more than the average guy, but that's not going to stop him from participating in sports. This weekend we headed out to the ball park to play a little ball. Needless to say, some innocent practice quickly turned into a home runner derby competition between Matt and Sam. I won't say who won, but you can probably tell from the pictures, who was there to play and who was there to sashay. Both players cooled down with a dip in Grandpa D's pool afterwards.
Today is a bittersweet day. It's been 5 years since Matt's accident. It's hard to believe it's been that long, yet all the emotions of that day are still so real, so close to the surface. Then I see Matt, running with his friends, swimming at camp or just playing with his sister, and I realize how far he has come. He's achieved such much in his 9 years of life and I know that he is destined to do many more great things. He inspires me on a daily basis.
What happened to Matthew is a preventable tragedy, yet thousands of children are critically injured or killed by lawn mowers each year. Please keep Matthew's story in mind when you are operating equipment and remember that lawn mowers are tools, not toys.
The last weekend in June we attended the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) Conference in Orlando. It was a great opportunity for us to reconnect with ACA friends and to visit the happiest place on Earth....Disney World!