Thirty-five years ago today, August 2, you boarded a plane after saying good-bye to your wife and three children. Headed off for another business trip, this journey was supposed to be a little blip in your everyday work life.
Thirty-five years ago today you didn’t make it home.
A lot has happened in the past 35 years. You left behind children and a wife. I wanted to take a minute and tell you about your son, Matthew.
See Matthew was your firstborn with Madeline. He was 9 when he said his final good-bye to you. I had the chance to meet him 10 years later when he was 19. It feels strange to say but I’ve known Matt longer than you did; almost 26 years and counting.
Your son is one of the most loyal people I’ve ever met. While it may take some time for him to warm up to you, don’t be fooled. That son of yours takes care of his people well; fiercely and with fervor that many could never match.
He is a hard worker; respected by his peers and co workers. He does not settle for good enough; he’s always pursues the BEST for everyone. Matt began his work in politics, getting degrees in fields that reflected those passions. He quickly realized that his heart was for the the orphan and widow. I think losing you so young was influential in that passion. I heard you were always working toward the next thing Larry. You’d be pleased to know that your son is no different. There is always something to learn or explore for him. Thanks for modeling that in the nine short years you had with him.
Your son perseveres at everything he does. Nothing he sets out to do is done without research; so much research. He sees a goal and works his hardest to accomplish it. From the stories I’ve heard about you, I think you gave him this trait. I know about Matt’s persistence because I was the subject of it for 4 years in college. I became his wife in 1999 because of it.
Your son is an amazing dad. Boy do I wish you could see what a great father he is. He LOVES his children with all of his being. While the kids might say he is gruff and loud at times, I think that’s thanks to his Italian genes. He will spend hours making a financial spreadsheet for his daughter so she knows exactly what she needs to do for college. Knowing how much his son loves basketball, he made it their dream to be a Denver Nuggets season ticket holders. Together those two went to countless games before Covid hit. Our youngest daughter adores her dad. He will take her for all the junk food her little heart desires simply because. He gets her; having lost her first father as well.
Your son, well I can tell you he’s also a pretty great husband. He didn’t get to see a marriage in his home beyond 9 years of age. It wasn’t modeled to him because one half of that equation, you Larry, was gone. But that didn’t stop him from asking friends, seeking advice, reading and reading. He loves me. I know it to my bones. He pursues me, even after almost 22 years of marriage.
You’d be so proud of your son, Matthew.
Here we are, 35 years later, and I wanted you to know that while you haven’t been here, your legacy has lived on. You have a son who continues to rise above the challenges that came with losing a parent so suddenly so young. You have a son who loves his God, his family, his people with passion and intentionality.
Thank you for being part of Matt’s entrance into this world. And I thought you’d like to know “the rest of the story.”