For those of you who don’t know me I’m Matt’s older brother Ryan. Unlike Matt and John I was the un-athletic theater kid. But despite our differences Matt never thought less of me, he always supported me in everything I did. Not only that but he would go through the effort of finding ways to connect with not only me but everyone he met. He was more than the baseball star that he dreamed of being since he was in elementary school. As kids Matt and I were obsessed with super heroes. You see him in the pictures going as a different one each Halloween and half of his wardrobe being different heroes logos. But Matt knew that sometimes being a brother is even better than being a super hero.
He was also my nerd friend who would play video games with me for hours. Even when I wasn’t playing he would find a way every level to get stuck until he got me to help him beat the game. He was my water buddy, always the first to go for the pool and the ocean, dragging me in to underwater ninja battles and learning how to body board together. He would never admit it but he was even my theater buddy. He would ask and be truly curious about my shows and the world of theater to the point where when I would drive him absolutely everywhere he would ask me to show him new musicals.
Over the past three years, each time I came home from college Matt was bigger. He was working out daily, getting taller by the day, and drinking protein shakes. There is no doubt in my mind that given a few more months Matt would have been able to kick my butt. But despite the fact the he grew into the man in what seemed like the span of two years, I will always remember him as the young gap tooth kid who wanted to be apart of everything. The one who would crash sleepovers and movie nights with friends just because he wanted to hang out his older brother and my friends. I never really noticed it at the time but he looked up to me and my siblings so much it would be almost impossible to do things without him. But Matt was so open minded and friendly with everyone he met, that in truth he was teaching us what it meant to be a good person and not the other way around.
There's no way to put into words how much he meant to us, and how unfair and devastating it is for him to be taken from us at just 16. Just looking around its obvious that through his brief but happy life he touched so many lives with his loving personality and motivation to be the best. I hope everyone can remember Matt for the beautiful soul that he was. I can only hope that we will see him again, but until then he will be with me always inspiring me to be even half of the healthy and successful man that he had already become. I'll miss you and love you forever baby brother.