On the night Matt died there was a few seconds the two of us collectively knew it was serious. The phone was lying by his head, speaker phone on, operator asking me questions. My hands were grasping Matt's face, just inches from him with our eyes connected. All I could manage to say was, "He is my husband, I love him." I repeated it over and over to her.
"He is my HUSBAND, I love him"
"He is my husband, I love him"
As if getting her to understand that this was not some stranger I had happened upon in need of help, but my one and only, my soul mate, my husband she would press a different button that would call on someone who was sure to save him, because this operator knew the woman on the other side of the phone was nothing without this man. . .My plea to her did not work.
I do have peace that those words were the last Matt consciously heard. He saw in my eyes that I was taking care of him, that he was loved, and that he had a wife who was desperate for him.
But what if I had one moment more, a common question people in my spot I'm sure often ask. What if I could slow that minute down and think about what I was going to say to him, those last seconds with him on Earth. Here are a few that have been floating through my mind the last month.
I would tell him I did not regret leaving this summer (to some this may be news, and the details are meaningless). It was in those months that Matt took a step within himself that I can not define, but we figure out that this road we were journeying together was a hard one, but one we would do together no matter the cost.
I would tell him the best choice I had made in my life was coming home, and I wish I would have done it sooner.
I would tell him that one of the sweetest things he had ever done was read, "The Five Love Languages". A suggestion our counselor had made. And I would have told him my only love language was him, and that he has spoke it fluently since the day I met him.
I would tell him that he did tell me I was beautiful often enough. He would say to me almost everyday, "You are so beautiful, I don't tell you enough." I'm sure he really thought he didn't, but at the time I didn't want to correct him in fear he might quit saying it so much.
I would tell him sorry for any hurtful thing I had ever said, but that I wasn't sorry for pushing him to be all he could be.
I would tell him that he was all I could ever ask for in a husband and more.
I would tell him thank you for making a home for his family, for being a great dad, and for never giving up on anything or anyone.
I would tell him he had made a difference on this Earth, for many people including the kids and me, and he should be proud of that.
I would tell him I was proud of him.
I would tell him I knew he loved me, and I was sorry for anytime I had ever questioned that fact.
And what would he have said to me if he had a chance? I'm sure I knew Matt well enough to nail it down pretty closely. He would have given me a Mattyo smirk and said, "Stephanie, you will be fine without me. You are a beautiful woman, a hard worker, and a great mother. I don't know what you are worrying about." The statement would have been breezy, it would have been casual, and it would have been stated as if it was the truest thing he had ever spoken.
Matt had a way of erasing life's worries for me, it was the first thing that drew me to him. He was such a carefree soul - a fact that had got him into trouble a time or two. And although I know it will now be Jesus, and not Matt, to remind me that there is nothing to worry about in this place the last thing I would have told Matt is this; that I promise to hold his carefree spirit near to my heart. To do my very best to let it shine through me; praying I can give some other worrisome soul out there the comfort that he had continuously and freely given to me.
Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."