5 years ago today, on a Monday, in the early hours of the morning, Matthew slipped away from our physical lives forever.
To me, he simply slept through his 2:30 am feeding. In reality, he was gone forever. No amount of CPR, emergency care or praying would bring him back to us. We would walk out of a hospital without him once again, and this time we wouldn't be able to go back and visit him every day. His short life was over.
A week later, on October 22, 2007, he was laid to rest. Never again would we have the opportunity to stare into his face, study his sweet head, kiss his tiny toes and wrap his little fingers around ours.
Our lives have forever changed in 5 years.
Kaitlyn lost a brother. That innocence of childhood was ripped from her a month before her third birthday. She's since questioned, as we all have, why do some babies die? Why do some get to live while some do not?
How do you answer that?
Our answer has remained the same over time, I don't know. I don't know why some babies die. I wish that I did. I wish I had a good answer for you, a reason to make it all make sense, but I simply do not.
I do know that love knows no distance. Family bonds extend far further than our eyes can see.
I've learned so much in the past 5 years. I've learned that family is so much more than a blood bond. Blood is not only required to be family, but also does not mean family. It means blood and nothing more. I've learned that good friends are more valuable than their weight in gold. I've learned that time is so precious and each moment should be treated like the gift that it is. I've learned that life holds no promises. Tomorrow is not guaranteed and each sunrise and sunset we are blessed to see should be celebrated.
Life is too short to waste. It's too short to dwell on the would haves, could haves and should haves. It's too short to spend on people and things that bring negativity to your world. We only get one life, it's our responsibility to make the most of it.
While we can never get Matthew back, and we can never have more time with him in this world, we can carry his memory in our hearts. We can make a difference in the world in his memory. Our lives are forever better for knowing our sweet little man and nothing can take that away. He is the reason the sky is so blue, the rain is so sweet, the reason we are so passionate about the work the March of Dimes does and is the reason our hearts as large and as warm as can be.