I want to start by talking a little bit about what Matt was like before the drugs. It’s only fair to his memory for you to get the full picture of him; of who he was before the monster meth destroyed his life and our family. I think it’s also important to illustrate how much a person can change under the influence of drugs.
Matt was born two years after me. Although we were close in age, we couldn’t have been more different. I am tall and broad, with dark hair and eyes. As I described in my last post, I was class president, star of the school baseball team, and a straight-A student. Matt was smaller, and wiry, with an unruly mess of blonde hair and light blue eyes that reminded me of a cold glass of water on a hot day. He was terribly smart but had no interest in school or sports. He loved music and theater and was in every stage production at our school. Matt could play a mean guitar, as well, and more often than not I’d come home from baseball practice to find him plucking out a new song in his room.
Where I was quiet and serious, Matt was boisterous and jocular. He could light up a whole room with his smile. He was the kind of student that wouldn’t turn in his homework and would make jokes all through class, but the teacher couldn’t help but love him because he was just so funny and adorable. Girls loved him, too, because he was smart, witty, talented, and had the goofy bad boy thing going for him.
Before the whole mess with addiction started, Matty was never a big drinker or anything like that. He was popular and went to parties where he had a few beers, sure. And maybe he tried marijuana a few times as a lot of high school kids do. But as far as I knew, there was nothing beyond that. The one time he came home drunk after a party (a friend dropped him off), my parents found out and grounded him for a month. Our family was very close, and he was too afraid of disappointing our parents ever to do it again.
It’s hard to reconcile this image of Matt with what he became. Keep reading to learn more of his story.