On Matthew's 40th Birthday
Matthew’s Early Life
You came crying into this world
On August 12th, 1981 at Norfolk General Hospital
There to greet you were mom, dad, the doctor and hospital staff.
That day surely felt like Christmas
For you as a blessed gift had entered our lives
This feeling lasted for years
And it was a premonition that a special person was born
You were baptized Matthew Joseph Thomas
At the Church of Holy Apostles
On that day the congregation couldn’t take their eyes off of you
Dressed in a unique baptismal gown handmade by Nonnie
The Catholic priest Father Ray Barton held you up
As the church accepted you as a new member of their family
Holy Apostles became an important part of our family.
Your first babysitter was Mrs. Ethyl Weeks in College Park where we lived.
Months later we chose babysitters CeCe and Barry to do this job.
Then, you were at Gloria and Children’s World.
Dad would pick you up after work
As a toddler you liked vacuuming, doing dishes, baking, and attending Gymboree classes.
You celebrated birthdays with your cousins and family on our Oregon trips.
In Virginia Beach birthday parties were held at Chuckie Cheese, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Bowling Alleys, and at Princess Anne Park.
You loved playing with Legos, blocks and Voltron
You attended Westwood Hill Baptist Pre-School at ages 3 and 4, three days a week
As a child you went to Woodstock Elementary School and had excellent report cards.
Where mom and dad were often present for a number of social events
Dad even visited one of your classes to talk about Life in Guyana.
And he was happy to receive thank you cards.
You participated in Easter egg hunts, trick or treating, and more.
You played on basketball and soccer teams
And would climb in and out of the tree house in our backyard
In elementary school you joined the Cub Scouts and made a trip to Mattaponi reservation.
You loved pets and cared for a gerbil, turtle, and rabbit.
You won reading awards at the Virginia Beach Public Library.
You received blue champion ribbons for baking banana bread and chocolate cookies at the Chesapeake Jubilee.
Our family went on vacation and spent a week at Chincoteague and Westmoreland State Park.
You made trips to Richmond, the Living Museum, Jamestown, Boston, Busch Garden, and Washington D.C.
For many years Dr. Navarro was your pediatrician
And Dr. Brown was your dentist
You attended Dawn Morton’s church summer camp
Dad brought you to one of his classes at Norfolk State University
Where his students asked him if you were his grandson
We took a family vacation to Disney World and Chris Sawyer came too.
And both parents and kids had a lot of fun
Matthew, we loved seeing you grow with Teddy, Daniel, Adam, Jimmy, Aaron, and many more friends.
Throughout the years we greatly treasured being your parents.
As a child you always had an enjoyable life.
Your childhood days were filled with a variety of activities.
Many incidents with your boyhood friends are memorable.
Some of these friends have continued to be part of your life.
And like you, they have moved on to better things.