A Son's Final Goodbye

A Son's Final Goodbye

From Nicole L. O'Neil

I wish for my Nephew Matty to have the Goodbye he wants and needs with his Father that passed away on Nov 26th. Please read Matty's story to find out why this is so important to Matty & our Family. Thank you

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Last Tuesday my nephew Matty at only 23 sat with his Mom & family and heard from a funeral director the cost of saying Goodbye to his father was more money than he had.  Matthew Armstrong (Big Matt) is Matty’s Father and Hero. Big Matt at only 41 yrs old passed away after a long struggle with kidney failure & was on dialysis at the time of his death.  Big Matt was funny & could make everyone he was with laugh out loud when he would tell stories or jokes.  Big Matt was proud to be Matty’s Dad and wanted to give him the World.   Matty left the funeral home with only one wish to be able to see his Dad one last time and say Goodbye.  He also left with the fear of not being able to give his Father a Proper Goodbye.  

At 10 yrs. old Matty's whole world changed.  His Parents separated and he moved to a new town & new school with his Mother.  But what truly turned it all upside down was the addiction that both his Dad & Mom struggled with. Before the addiction, he was just a kid with no worries and Parents who were together and made him their #1.  The Addiction took that away and I am sure many who are reading this understands that when someone is fighting a disease like addiction it changes a person and distorts one's priorities.  Matty has had more hardship then any child should endure. For the next 10 yrs. he shuffled around and lived with his Mom & Baby Brother, his Maternal Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles and at a time foster care.  He was also held in DYS custody a few times.  Because of his anger, he fought with his Mom and would rebel against any structure he had well living with extended family.  Life was tough and he was only a kid!  Big Matt was living through his own problems and then found out he had Kidney Disease & would require dialysis for the rest of his life.  Matt was also shuffling around and requiring frequent hospital stays.  Through it all  Matty cherished the times they did share and never held his Dad's struggles against him, He is Forever his Son's Hero!

I was one of the family members that helped care for Matty over the years and watched a confused kid turn into an angry teen who couldn't let go of the life he once had with his parents.  He couldn't see that there was a life filled with happiness and success and he was the only one that could make it all happen.  In this last year and a half, Matty has turned his life around and has taken action toward the life he wants.  He is learning to let go of the anger he has toward his childhood and not let his past define his future.  Matty's Mom has been sober for 7 yrs. now and they both work toward bettering their relationship, he has a younger brother that he has loved and protected always and who idolizes him.  He has Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins that are all proud of what he has accomplished for himself.  Through this time Matty found a PT job at a fast food joint, this was not his dream job but it was a start and there were days he would let the anger and frustration control his mood and he would talk about quitting but then he would take a breath and go to work, those are the moments where you can see all he has learned over the years and chooses to process his feelings instead of lashing out.  A few months ago Matty found a new FT job that pays more, has future opportunities & he enjoys getting up and going too.  Matty has goals now and sees his hard work is paying off and given him his confidence.  He is able to buy his own clothes, enjoy a night out with cousins and pay his rent & bills. He hopes to save enough money in the next few years to lease a new car and enroll in college.  Matty has come a long way and I pray each night he will continue down this path.  Through all his accomplishments he was always looking to spend time with Big Matt and would always have happiness in his voice when telling us about his visit or phone call.  Matty has so much to be proud of and has overcome a lot I know Big Matt was always proud of him and he is now watching over him and guiding him like he always wanted too. 

On November 26th Matty was in the living room watching TV when he found out his Dad had left this world, yes he knew his Dad was sick but he had been really sick for a couple years now, there was no warning for Matty that his time with his Dad was almost over, it just happened.  He hugged his Uncle and whispered My Dad Died and then cried.  We all cried, Big Matt was our family and we all shared great memories of him.  Two days later he woke up and went to the funeral home to plan his Dad’s Services.  It has been 7 days since he met with the funeral director and we only have half of what is needed and only 7 days left to give Matty his Goodbye and Celebrate Big Matt.  I want him to smile at the memories that others will share with him about his Dad.  I want those memories to be the ones he treasures and shares with his children in the future.  Matty will always be proud to be Matthew Armstrong's Son and no matter the time or distance that love never stopped and never will. 

I am asking for your help for all the reasons I shared with you but also because I want Matty to see the Kindness in the world so he will be able to always remember that it was the kindness of others that helped him have the Goodbye he needed.  Thank you for your support and please know your help is appreciated. A Sons Final Goodbye

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