Today is seven years since Matt was killed in the car accident. It seems like a long time ago, but parts of it feel very recent.
We just got back from hanging out and the Lake with Mum and Dad, Jerm and Maria, Eva and Lydia. One of our Matt Day traditions is to get together for dinner (it used to be at Shirley and Faye's) and then we all open our Christmas stockings that Santa (aka Mum) stuffed for us; we also do a Pickle Gift and a White Elephant. This year Shirley and Faye couldn't join us, so we nixed the elephant gift - pray for Faye, she's in the hospital recovering from pneumonia, and pray for Shirley, she's nursing a swollen ankle and badly twisted knee.
It was fun hanging out with the family, playing the Wii, eating pizza, gorging on Christmas cookies and "Can we drink this yet" punch. Earlier in the afternoon Tara and the kids went with me to Huntington to spend a few moments at Matt's grave. And Ben's. I was glad to have their company, and we took some pics there of the kids running around the cemetery, climbing on the gravestones, and generally having a good time. Going to visit Matt there is a good ritual for me, a way to remember him, a way to remember reality, and a way to remember what I pledged to do different because of his life.
As we shooed the boys into the van, Emma remembered to grab some pebbles to put on top of Matt and Ben's gravestones. I had already put one on Matt's, and she did also. She asked: Who died first? I answered: Matt. Oh, she said, and then she took the pebble off of Matt's gravestone, put it on Ben's, and then proceeded to put a different pebble on Matt's gravestone. Very thoughtful of her. Tara and I like to teach Emma and her brothers about their very cool uncles. Not a week doesn't go by that we don't chide Emma Reigh for her big booming Ben voice. Often times we shake our head at Levi Matthew - his stubbornness, his silliness, his refusal to look normal in a picture is so true to form for his namesake uncle.
Miss you Matt.