Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Time to Die

I just received news from a family I was once a nanny for, many moons ago, that Matthew, age 15, recently died peacefully. For those of you who know me well (and long) you probably remember me sharing stories of this special boy who was burdened with many complications. He had an "undiagnosed disease of the central nervous system" that included cerebral palsy, mental retardation and epilepsy. I cared for Matthew in his early years, from about age 6 mos -2 1/2yrs, until his siezures became uncontrollable and he required constant care, hospitalization, and finally specialized foster care. I lost touch with the family over the years, and in the back of my mind wondered if he was still alive or if his prognosis had ever changed. Today I learned that no, he never progressed beyond the physical or mental capabilities of a three month old, although his body continued to grow. I am saddened by this news, and yet, relieved as well. It is terribly painful to see a child imprisoned by their own body and mind because of some bizzarre misfiring in the brain. I remember him happy and bright eyed, a lover of peanut butter and graham crackers (before the necessary feeding tube) and then he slowly slipped away... I loved that little guy. We called him Bud-Bud. The same morning of his death his grandmother also passed away. I think perhaps she was called to welcome Matthew into glory.