Matthew had just graduated from Texas Tech with Honors a week earlier. He was going to get me through this summer.
You only have one or two people in your life, ever, with whom you are truly, really, deeply connected. Matthew was mine. He knew he was going to die young, and he told me I would know, too. He was right. Before I got the call from his friend Lyle, I dreamed it exactly as it happened. And I had the most horrible headache all day and night, while he was on life support because of *massive head injuries*. He had been driving home from a friend's wedding when his car ran off the road and flipped into a ditch somewhere in West Texas. What a horrible waste of the one person I could not imagine living without.
Matthew and I connected on every level, from the mundane to the spiritual. We often talked about grace, and our life verse, which we learned and wrote out for each other, was Romans 8:1-2: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the law of sin and death." At the funeral, they mentioned finding this verse in his wallet. I kept his copy in mine. He wrote at the top, "Just wanted to let you know you made a difference."
Matthew's organs saved six people. His funeral more than exceeded the capacity of his church in Haskell. People who only heard of him through me grieve his loss. He really was a gift from God, like the name means. I do not mourn for him, because I have no doubt he is with the Lord, and probably the life of the party, since he always was down here. I have no regrets about our last times together, in which we not-so-ironically talked about his death as though it might come soon. He is free from the law of sin and death! I only mourn that I must continue on this pale, poor Earth without him.