Some of you may already know this story so feel free to skip to the bottom for the “point” of the story.
When I was little – I mean REALLY little I had a best friend. Matt Myers. We lived across the street from each other and he was only a few weeks older then me. I must have been at his house everyday – at least that is what my brain remembers from my 5 year old days.
In first grade we moved. And its not like first graders are good at keeping in touch. I since his house and my old house were on the same street as my grandparents I would still see Matt occasionally when I visited my grandma.
In third grade he moved. I didn’t see Matt anymore.
In Fifth grade I got a call from my Aunt saying she had been at a funeral and saw Matt and his family. She got his number for me just in case I needed it/wanted it. Of course I did!
A fifth grader is much better at keeping in touch then a first grader. So I called him. We made a plan to meet, but my pet cocktail named Lucky plucked the paper with his number off my dresser and shredded it to pieces with vigor. Since I had not memorized his number and he didn’t call me again (I’m pretty sure I actually never gave him my number) we revered to our old ways and did not “keep in touch”.
I used to sit on my grandparents porch sometimes after that. And although I knew Matt didn’t live in his old house I had this hope that I would still see him come strolling up the street to meet me. That obviously didn’t happen.
Then my sophomore year of college I was visiting my grandparents and my grandma said something to me “Oh, the Myers (Matt’s family) still owns their old house. They were renting it out, but now they are going to let Matt’s Grandpa live there so they’re cleaning up the place.”
What?! My stomach filled with butterflies as I walked down the street to their house. I don’t know who I was expecting to see or if they would recognize me. I mean my 5 year old self looked much different them my 20 year old self.
I approached the house to find a man painting out front. He stopped to look over at me and smiled. He did recognize me (or at least my red hair). I on the other hand did not recognize this man in the slightest. He looked at me and said, “Rachael?”
It was Matt! I smiled and then we just sat and talked…for hours. We remembered times of Lincoln Logs and playing Batman and Robin (I was never allowed to be Batman since I was girl). We walked through his “old” house and remembered games we played and conversations we had. We were smart this time and exchanged numbers and promised to hang out again.
And we did! He “brought me home”. It was amazing to see his parents and his much older little sister. It was an odd sense of a home away from home. We hung out that night and just talked some more. This time not about our past, but about our lives after our time together. We learned about each other and our plans for life.
We talked on the phone a few times after that with plans to meet again.
I walked out to my after taking my CBEST and looked at my phone to see a few missed calls from Matt. I also had a voicemail. I listened to the voicemail and my world seemed to start moving in slow motion – I totally felt like I was in a movie. It was Matt’s dad. Matt had been hit by a car while jogging at school and was in serious condition. He probably wouldn’t make it.
There was such a mixture of emotion. Fear. Hurt. Anger. Seriously? We JUST started to connect again? Why?
I called my boyfriend at the time (now husband) a wreck. I needed to go see Matt, but didn’t know what to do. Justin told me he’d take me. We searched the internet. We called hospitals. We could not find what hospital Matt was at. I just sat and cried and prayed for a miracle.
The miracle did not happen. And my first best friend went to be with the Lord (rejoice in the fact that he is a believer and spending his eternity in God’s presence!)
Matt’s family started a 5k at CalPoly – Where Matt was hit. All money raised goes toward scholarships in Matt’s name. A recent conversation with coworkers reminded me of this and I think I’ve decided that I need to do this 5k. It’s in the fall every year around the time of Matt’s death. So friends my NEW GOAL inspired by my OLDEST FRIEND is to run in Matt’s Run (that really what it’s called!) in October. You can join me if you want!
Picture of the day we "reunited" at his old house.