The worse day of my life was Febuary 1st 2011, I did not know what the day had in store for me, even if I had I could not have handled it, and the truth is I still cant.

It started like any other day, I was up at 3am to go do my end of the month counts. All we kept hearing about was the worse blizzard of our lives. The culmination of a perfect storm sweeping across the Midwest. I have never much cared for snow, I never knew what it would take from me.

I finished work around 2pm, the snow had started to fall, the drive home was better than expected. There was talk of closing the store the next day due to the weather, that would mean back to back days off for me which does not happen often.

I started that afternoon off work by meeting up with Kristi for lunch at Panara bread. We ended up sitting in the parking lot for over a half hour due to the fact that I was on a conference call regarding the storm, we were closing the store early, with pending closure for the next day, we would have another call at 6 to determine the course of action for the next days business, little did I know that I would not care less about that call.

We got lunch and chit chatted like we always do, the only part of the afternoon I remember talking about was that the woman working the counter was an old flame of Marks. My cell phone rang, it was Colleen, the mother of my child, we had been fighting a lot since our breakup and her moving out, she had been very bitter, so I figured this phone was no different. So I ignored the call, it rang again seconds later, Kristi told me to just answer the phone it might be important. It was.

"Ray." Colleen said, "Matthew was in a car accident, they are taking him to St. Anthony's in Crown Point, he is in critical condition."

I don't know what I said, but I was off the phone quickly, I brought my hands to my face and took a deep breath, Kristi already knew something was wrong, "My little brother was in a accident, the are taking him to St. Anthony's, I need to go to Crown Point."

"Lets go." Is all Kristi said and we were moving, we stepped outside and I knew instantly that it would be an awful drive. I spoke with Shannon and told he it would be ok, and that I was on my way, but it might take me awhile.

I had planned on actually driving, but Kristi would not hear of that, "Your in no state to drive and your car is front wheel drive and mine is all wheel."

That was the longest drive of my life, it took a lifetime to get there. We had to stop several times to clean the wipers off, and the entire time, I could not help but thing that my brother will be ok, I told Kristi several times, not to worry about how long it took as long as we got there, because in the end the outcome would still be the same, but apart of me was already preparing for the worse, I just had a feeling in my gut, that today was going to be the day that I would lose Matthew, sadly my gut proved right.

I ran through the hospital, it was damn empty, I got to my family, my mom was crying, my dad was not talking, only Shannon hugged me when I walked into that waiting room. I asked if they had heard anything, I was told that he had been hit by a semi, they had already removed his spleen, and that he was in for a CAT scan to determine his other injuries. Kristi came in, but did not stay long, maybe 20 mins, Shann and I sat together, I finally said I needed to smoke, and she asked to go with me. Walking down those empty halls I told her before she could ask, "If you need a cigarette let me know." She did. We rounded the corner, I could see the snow falling out the doors, coming down in a complete white out, I thought about Kristi driving home in this, Then I heard it, The words that took what little hope I had, "CODE BLUE IN CAT SCAN." My heart sank, my body went cold, Shan looked and me and said "Was that for Matt?"

I told her we needed to get back to mom and dad. As we went back they met us with a couple nurses and a Chaplin. What I had thought, and was later confirmed, my brother had just flat lined for the second time.

We ended up in a different waiting room, we were across the hall from the CAT scan area. My dad went in to be with Matthew, my mom did shortly latter, Shann and I just sat there in silence, I was trying so hard not to break in front of her, but she leaned over and started crying, and the tears just came, I was scared, I was not repaired to lose Matthew. Shann ended up going in as well, leaving me alone in the waiting area, and I lost control, I held my head and cried, and cried. Until I knew I was able to pull myself together, I went in the CAT area. I only remember seeing my Dad, sitting in a chair with his head bowed. I went to him, I could see Matthews feet, but I could not look further, I did not want to see my brother in pain. I could not look, and I never did, I told my dad to have faith, that all we could do. I went to look for my mom shortly after.

We all wound back up in the 1st waiting room we had been in, we all sat there in a stunned silence, hoping beyond hope, I will never forget asking god to please give me this one more miracle, he delivered one with my daughter, maybe he would do the same for my brother. A couple of nurses came in to tell us what was going on, they told us, they had already removed Matthews spleen, and that he had a collapsed lung, he was about to go in for surgery on a partial torn aorta in is heart, that it would be a long surgery, but he was young, and he was a fighter and that maybe just maybe everything would be ok.

I don't know how long we sat there waiting, it could have been a half hour, it felt like a million years, but my dad had gotten up and said he needed to go for a walk, I told him I would let mom know we were going, but would be right back, as I walked out of the room and about 10 steps down the hall, I heard my mom call my name, I turned around to see a surgeon walking towards my mom, I yelled for my dad, as I walked over towards them I heard the words that would shatter my world and change me forever, he said "I'm sorry, we did everything we could, he did not make it." I will not ever begin to explain my next actions, but as my dad sat next to my mom, I turned and ran into the hall, I could hear my mom crying saying "Not my baby." I made it to the wall across the waiting room, I don't know if my knees gave out, or I could just not stand, but I squatting down, and I completely lost it, words cannot describe it, I was devastated, and destroyed. My brother had meant so much to me, I had plans for our future, and now that was all gone. I went back in at some point, I hugged Shannan and we cried together, I told her we would make it through this, no matter how hard it was.

Somehow we ended up by one of the entrances to the hospital, at first it was all of us, then my Mom, and Dad went to go see Matthew, they asked me and Shannan if we wanted to go, but I told them I could not see my brother this way, I was not ready to accept that. Shannan ended up on her phone making I don't know how many phone calls, I head her say he did not make it, I don't know how many times. I told her to stay off her phone, then told her to call whoever she needed to call, I think apart of it was I just wanted her there for me. I called Kristi, I fought to find the words, maybe it was because of how many times I had heard Shann say it, but all I could do was cry and I told her he did not make it.

This next part is a little fuzzy, at this point I had no concept of time, and I don't remember how everything happened, but this is the best I can remember.

Eventually my parents came back and we all sat together crying, it was a complete white out outside, one of the administrators of the hospital told us there were going to make a room for us to all stay in, I went out side to smoke, my mom came with me, I told her that there was no way I was staying in this hospital all night long, it was still snowing, and was not supposed to stop untill sometime the next evening. So if we were going to go it would be best to go now, if not we might be stuck there for days, and that was the last place I wanted to be, honestly I just wanted to go home.

Seeing as I did not drive, Kristi had brought me, I already knew about how long it had taken her to get home and it was around 2 hours, my mom thought I was going to try to walk home, it's a 45 min drive in good weather, I told her Joe was going to come get me. At this point I had not even asked him about it. I texted Kristi and asked her to ask him for me. We walked back inside, Mom went over to Shannan and my Dad, and I saw the hospital administrator walking by, I followed her down the hall a bit, when I knew I was out of ear shot of my family I called out to her, I asked her if I could please go see my brother. She said yes and we talked abit, I have no idea what was said, but it felt like the longest walk of my life, as we came to the door that was morgue I had to take a deep breath to try to steady myself. Then walked out another nurse, and told me that I could not go back there because the coroner had already left. I did not know what to say, so I said thank you and walked back to my family. I stopped at the mens room as I went back, as soon as the door closed I sat on the floor and just cried and cried. I never knew I had so many tears in me. I just did not want my family to see me like this, I had to be strong for them. I needed to be strong for them.

I made it back to them, we sat in silence for awhile and my Dad asked me to come outside with me, he asked me if I thought it was a good idea to be leaving in this blizzard, I told him that I loved them, and if it ment going home with them, actually going home or just getting the hell out of there I was leaving, I could not just sit and do nothing. He asked me if I would come help him see if he could get there truck out of the parking lot.

We walked outside and it was far worse then it had looked, you really could not see anything past a few feet in front of you, but we cleaned his truck off. He told me that they were going home also, that they needed to be home. My dad never came back into the hospital after that, and I cant say that I blame him, I was with my mom and sister for about 20mins before I saw Joe pull up, I told her he was there, and her and I went outside to smoke one last time before we left, she told me to be safe, and be strong and that we would get through this somehow, someway.

I got into the car with Joe, and other than to tell him how to get back towards Rt30 I did not say much, I just looked out the window and I cried. The drive home was as bad as we thought it was going to be. We stopped at his place, because I asked him to get his Xbox and some clothes so he would not have to go back out for anything. It took us close to three hours to get home. After we got there I called my mom to let her know we had made it, they had made it home over an hours before I did. I called Colleen to let her know I was home and safe and to tell Kaylee daddy loves her very much, then I called Kristi to tell her I was home. She asked if I had ate anything, I told her I did not even think about food, she said she would being me something, I told her not to worry about it, and she told me to let her worry about me.

Now I will admit I am not proud of this next part, but its apart of the story so it is what it is.

I stood outside and got high for the 1st time in over two years, when I say high I mean pot, nothing else. But I needed to hide from the pain, and I did not trust myself to drink, because I honeslty did not think I would stop, and I did not need to be sick on top of everything else.

Kristi finally got to my place and she bought a ton of grocerys from walmart, I told her she was crazy and she did not have to do that but that's why she is a great friend. So we sat and ate, and played Xbox, I took breaks throughout the night to go in my room and cry, I did not want them to know how much I was hurting. Eventually I just could not stay awake any longer. I told them goodnight and went to my room, I layed there and I cried, what felt like an eternity, untill I heard a knock on my door. It was Kristi, she asked if she could come in, I told her yes, she asked how I was doing, and I just started crying again. She got in bed with me and held me, and just let me cry and talk. I don't know how long we talked, but I know all I talked about was Matthew. At some point I passed out.

That's everything I could remember about the day my brother passed away, I just needed to get it out, I could write about the week between his death and his funeral, but I honeslty don't know if I can. Today is March 14th, and it all still feels like it happned yesterday. I have been trying to put the pieces back together, but its been a slow process, just taking it one day at a time. I do know this is the saddest point in my life thus far, I think I am in a mild depression, I find myself withdrawing from everyone and everything, nothing seems to satisfy me. I know I am heartbroken still, and still griving. I also know I will always miss Matthew, nothing can change what has happned. Nothing can stop me from missing my Brother.

This is a song I played at this funeral, if your able to listen to it I do recommend it, but I does make me cry every time I hear it now.

Here are the lyrics.

Confess, your kiss still knocks me off my legs. The first time I saw you was like a punch right through my chest and I will forever, ?cause you? I'll forever be my one true broken heart, pieces inside of me and you'll forever, my baby be. You will rest your head, your strength once saving. And when you wake you will fly away, holding tight to the legs of all your angels. Goodbye my love, into your blue, blue eyes, your blue, blue world, you're my baby blue. Confess I'm not quite ready to be left. Still, I know I gave my level best. You give, you give, to this I can attest You made me, you made me. You and me forever, baby.

You will rest your head, your strength once saving. And when you wake you will fly away, holding tight to the legs of all your angels. Goodbye my love, into your blue, blue eyes, in your blue, blue world, you and me forever. You will rest your head, your strength once saving. And when you wake you will fly away, holding tight to the legs of all your angels. Goodbye my love, into your blue, blue eyes, in your blue, blue world, you and me forever.

I love you Kid,

Forever your Brother.

Ray