I realize it has been quite a while since you heard from me and there is a really good explanation. Hopefully you read about the loss of BFF’s Grandpa right before the holidays but in January, we had a devastating loss of her 23-year-old nephew, Mathew as well. BFF and I have been best friends for over 20 years and her family has adopted me as another member, with her brothers calling me their other sister and her nieces and nephews calling me Aunty 2. So, when we got the news Matty had died in a horrible car wreck, I was devastated right along with the rest of the family. You see, I had known Matty since he was little and I loved being his Aunty 2. It was so hard to think about writing and words could not seem to come to me to even begin to express my grief over such a young soul. But this week, as I was musing over Matty and how he lived his life, the words he lived by inspired me. Live Grand.
Matty may have only been 23 years old, but the life he lived was so full and rich. We like to say he lived life going mach 3 with his hair on fire, but really he just lived grand. He LOVED adventure. This kid ran river tours in the Grand Canyon with the Hualapai tribe for many years and they loved him so much he was actually made a member of the tribe. He loved to take chances and was a budding photographer, doing anything to get the perfect shot. So many photos of Matty not only show his beautiful smile but they also show him on the edge of cliffs, playing in the Colorado river, snowboarding down the mountain and many other things that made his life grand. He loved spending time with the family, never missing a function if he could help it and was always the first one to take selfies with everyone. His laugh and smile were contagious and you could forgive him of any transgression by that smile and he knew it. This spirit, this essence of Matty is his legacy. to all of us. This sense of loving life and living outside the box is what inspires me. This is where my challenge to you, my dear readers, is going to present itself. In memory of BFF and my nephew, I challenge you to Live Grand.
Take a moment and reflect on your life and what makes it grand. Find one thing that you can do to make it more rich, fuller and bursting with life. Whether that be traveling to a new destination, creating your own adventure or even just spending more time with your family, find that one thing and do it. Do not wait until tomorrow or put it off to next year, I want you to do it now. Matty wants you to do it now. Plan it, execute it and make your life grand. It’s that simple. This is my challenge to all of you…to keep Matty’s spirit alive and make your life grand. I want you to tag me in posts on Facebook, Instagram and even send me snapchats with the hashtag #LiveGrand and show me how you can change your life to make it your best life ever. I want to see you #LiveGrand no matter what that means to you. Show me! I plan on spending more time with my family and traveling more to make my life grand. Because if there is one thing Matty taught me, it was that family is not always about blood. It is about those people who love and support you the most and BFF and her family are some of those people. Thank you BFF and her family. You all have given me something I cherish….your love.
Mathew. I am proud to have been your Aunty 2. I am glad you never hesitated to tell me you loved me. I am proud to have known you and been blessed by your smile, laugh and your love. I am so proud of the man you had become and I will miss you my sweet nephew. While I will never hear you call me Aunty 2 again and get some random snapchat from you showing me your smile, I will always love you. You lived grand in life and now you can continue to Live Grand forever. “Through every door, a new path awaits.” Enjoy your new path Matty. And #LiveGrand.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did discover that even through great grief, you can discover a new joy in life but I didn’t die. Thank you Matty. I am Fat Girl who is going to #LiveGrand Running. The experiment continues…