I’ll Never Forget Him

I’ll Never Forget Him

From Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul

I’ll Never Forget Him

His name was Matthew. I always called him Matt. He had white-blonde hair and blue eyes. He always had to do everything that annoyed me, but I guess that’s what little brothers are for. Inside I still loved him. He was only four when he died of meningitis.

It was a beautiful winter day. I woke up, got ready for school and went to the bus stop. When I stepped on the bus that morning my brother, Matthew, was outside riding his bike. That’s what he did every morning.

After a normal day of third grade, I rode the bus home looking forward to playing with my friend, Jessica. Two years ago she had moved next door to us with her parents, her little brother, T. J., and her sister, Brittany. They were all attached to Matt, like they had known him forever. When I got home I went straight to Jessica’s house.

At three o’clock that afternoon, my grandmother, who I call Nana, and my other grandmother, who I call Grandma, took Matthew to the doctor. My grandfather said that Matthew was complaining about not being able to move his head or neck.

The doctor examined Matthew and diagnosed him with the flu. My grandmothers were told to give him something for his fever and that he would be fine in the morning.

When they came home from the doctor’s office, they put Matthew in my room. I remember getting a sleeping bag and finding a cozy spot in front of our fireplace. I don’t know all of the events that took place that night, but my Nana told me what she recalled. She said that Matthew woke up and had to use the bathroom. By then he was so weak he couldn’t even walk on his own. His eyelids were stuck together, and he had little purple splotches on his face and arms. He had to be carried to the bathroom.

I woke up later and heard the ambulance driver in our kitchen. He was saying that he wouldn’t take my brother to the hospital in the ambulance because “it’s only the flu.” Since the ambulance driver wouldn’t take him, my Nana and Grandma got ready and drove him themselves. When they were about halfway there, Matthew started to hallucinate. He said, “Sissy, my feet are burning.” By the time they were at the hospital and the doctors diagnosed him, it was too late. They couldn’t do any more for him.

My mom and dad woke me up at about 6:30 the next morning. I knew there was something wrong. It sounded like they were crying. Maybe they were. But when they told me what had happened, I wasn’t sure if I was awake or still dreaming. I remember not crying, but inside I felt like it. Later that day, a lot of people we knew came to our house. They all asked if they could do anything for us. But they couldn’t bring Matthew back.

Over the next few days, I tried not to think about what happened. I knew my brother was in heaven, but I wanted him back. A few of my teachers took off from work to come to his funeral. For awhile, I couldn’t concentrate at school, but eventually things got back to normal—as normal as they will ever be without Matthew.

A few years later, at a youth rally, we were asked to write advice on a piece of paper and throw it back into the air. I wrote, “It helps to cry when you lose someone.” And today, I know it’s true.

Megan Weaver, twelve

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