S E C T I O N S

Matthew's Letter

 I've been trying to write this letter for months now...I don't know if it's
a letter to Fran, or a letter to everyone to let them know my feelings about
Fran, or a letter to the family? All I know is that I wanted to take the
opportunity like many others to share some of my own thoughts about Fran and
the way in which she has affected my life. Maybe, I'll do a little bit of
each.

For as long as I can remember back, the Yacs have been a part of my family's
life. When I was younger I must have spent more time with them than anyone
else. We had the best of times. Whether it be at Canada's Wonderland,
bowling, going to movies or just playing around with each other, friendships
were formed that have lasted until now. Over the years, the friendship
between the boys somehow drifted a bit, by no one's fault, but the
friendship between Fran and my parents (Karen and Teddy) only became
stronger. Fran knew all when it came to my brothers and I, and my mom knew
all when it came to Yoni, Jordy and Jesse. My mother regarded Fran as her
best friend and I know that Fran felt the same way.

When it came to my relationship with Fran, I don't think there's any other
adult in the world that I felt as comfortable with and talked with as much.
Fran and I would always joke around and have a good time together. When we
saw each other we would catch up on each other's lives. We would always joke
around that she was the first girl to ever "sleep" with me. (I got hit in
the head with a baseball at practice once. My parents were out of town, so
after all the stitches were in place, I had to sleep with Fran the whole
night to make sure I was alright) She always loved reminding me that all the
other girls should be jealous of her. It was her claim to fame. When it
came to emergencies, I think I called Fran every time that I needed help.
She was just always the first person that came to mind. I guess it goes to
show how close we were. I never really thought of it like that. Through all
my little ups and downs, Fran always wanted to know what was going on and I
loved telling her. It was like her way of knowing all the gossip on me
before others did. She knew some things that my mom didn't even know.

(I wrote all of that about two months ago, I just haven't found a way to
write about the hardest part)

Fran, I don't think I will ever forget the moment that my father informed
me of your death.It was one of the worst, no, it was the worst thing I have
ever had to hear in my entire life. I had just come back from camp and I
had just gotten off the bus. As you know Franny, last year was a very hard
year for me. I finally had a few months to clear my head and take in all
that had happened to me. I was so excited to tell you how great I finally
was. We had conversations where you kept expressing your concern for me, and
I was finally going to get a chance to tell you that I was better. Somehow,
I never got that chance? I was supposed to see you that night.So many other
bad things had happened that week and I wasn't prepared to deal with them,
but I never would have thought that I would be saying goodbye to you as
well. I don't think I've ever cried like that before. It was the worst
feeling I've ever felt in my life. Everything seemed so surreal. I've
never seen my parents cry together before, but I watched them crumble right
in front of my eyes. In that moment, I felt as though all the air in my
body had been sucked out me and I couldn't breathe. All I wanted to do was
get back on the bus and it would have been like nothing had ever happened.

Fran, you never really knew how much people cared about you. You were loved
by so many.. I know my parents loved you more than you'll ever know. It's
hard to watch my mom. She has so many things she still wants to do with you.
I wish she could get to do them. I know that my brothers and I loved you. I
don't think I ever told you that? Maybe it's because I didn't know I did
until that day at the buses. You did so much for my family and I want to
thank you for every single thing you did. I know we're not related to you
by blood or by name, but I've always felt as though the two of our families
have always been "family".

Fran used to always make fun of me for traveling all over the place to see
my favorite band, the Dave Matthews Band. There's a quote from one of their
songs that I haven't been able to stop repeating to myself since the day of
Fran's funeral. It says, " Celebrate we will, because life is short
but sweet for certain". That saying means so much to me. Fran, your life
should have been a thousand years longer than it was. Why it was your turn
to leave, I'll never understand. You were one of the most caring and
selfless people that I have ever met. You did so much for the people around
you and all you wanted in return was their smiling face. In your life I
hope everyone celebrates, because even though it was cut short, you did more
for others than I could do in ten lifetimes. It's hard not to be selfish
and get mad because you left so suddenly, leaving so many things and people
behind. But I can't. I hope that everyone can one day smile because they
were lucky enough to have had you as a part of their life, whether it was as
a big part or if they just met you in passing. I think about you a lot. I
miss your giggle so much. Whenever I hear it in my head, it brings me to
tears.

It's hard for me to believe the notion that all things happen for a reason
because I'm having a tough time understanding the reason for this. There
just doesn't seem to be one. If I'm supposed to learn something, then I'll
try and find the "good " in this. I know that I've been different since the
funeral. I know that I now realize how lucky I am to have the family that I
do. I used to take my parents and my brothers for granted and I try to do
my best not to any more. I can be so greedy at times, but I now know that I
have more than I could ever ask for. It's hard not to think about all the
things that were supposed to be. I guess that anyone who knew Fran should
just appreciate that they were lucky enough to have had her as a part of
their lives and realize that anyone they care about can be taken from them
at any moment.

Fran, I'm a better person for having gotten the chance to have met and
spent time with you. I hope that your boys take with them the incredible
sense of morals, values and humor that you have instilled in them. You live
on in my memory and everyone's memory that knew you. We had our own ups and
downs, but it doesn't matter. I've never been one to believe that there's
an afterlife or something of that nature, but I do know that I'll see you
again somewhere, someday. Fran, I miss you. Sometimes I still feel like
I'll see you when I come home from school to visit. It still doesn't seem
real.

Once again, thank you for everything you ever did for my family and I. Above
all thank you for just being you. I enjoyed my time with you and I cherish
those memories dearly. I could write forever about the millions of stories
and good times we had, but I don't have to. I know you remember them as
well.

I'll always love you,
Matthew