The story of Matt and Avianna is one for the ages and to understand their love and connection you have to go back to their first meeting. Now, Matt was a fifteen year old freshman when he met the twelve year old Avianna or Avi as she preferred to be called. The high school buses going to Pinefield High School dropped some students off at the middle school so that they could walk home. One day, Avi was in her homeroom when Matt came back to visit his old social studies teacher, Mr. Colbath. The two briefly met because she had to walk home but he made her laugh by cracking a joke and laughing. She liked him instantly but would not see him again for another two years.
On her first day of high school, Avi had to ride a school bus for the first time she also had never woken up before 7 am before. She was so tired and sat in the second row of the school bus and who was sitting near her but the seventeen year old Matt. He had a grin on his face and they immediately remembered each other. These two had similar backgrounds, both came from the same small town, both were lonely and had few friends and both had a deep seeded need to be loved. Now the first day that she got off the bus was a nightmare for Avi, she climbed up the front stone steps of the high school and fell down badly bruising her legs. Matt had seen this from afar and was laughing to himself but did not see Avi. Now, that year Matt had gotten his license and his first car so he would now only rarely see Avi on the bus or in school because they had different class schedules. However, fate has a way of making people come together.
Three months later, a bad rain storm hit their small town so Matt decided not to drive, in a twist of fate, he as on Avi’s bus and the two were assigned to sit together because another bus had broken down and they needed to pick up the extra students. Matt liked being next to Avi but did not like that an additional student who was 6’3 was added to their row. In the end, sitting next to Avi in her rain soaked hair was a good start to his Friday morning even if it was cramped quarters. The next day, Matt gave Lee a note for Avi reading will you go to prom with me? Lee read it in front of everyone and said, well Avi are you going to date this guy because I had heard you had standards. Avi said, I do have standards; that is why I am not dating you Lee. Avi got off the bus without giving Matt an answer but Matt never backed down from a fight.
Matt decided to jump through Avi’s bedroom window at midnight. Now, Avi had three dogs and found Matt’s attempt amusing. She did not want her daddy to sick the dogs on him so she helped him get into her room through the basement door. Matt said he was going to start singing the ABC’s as loud as he could unless she agreed to go out with him. Avi thought about it for a while and then agreed. Avi and Matt liked simple dates, shopping, burger joints, walks on the beach, dancing, singing karaoke, and star gazing. Their favorite dates were just sitting in his room talking and laughing together, everyone could see their chemistry especially Matt’s mom who had always wanted a daughter.
Three years later, Matt decided that Avi was the one for him; he knew that the second he laid eyes on his Avi or Shorty as he called her. Matt was so worried about proposing that he did it one night by instant message after they had gone out together. She made him re-type it a few times because it was past 1 AM and she had been exhausted from her college homework. She agreed that she would marry him even though she had no ring and they would not tell their parents until they had picked one out. One night Avi was in Matt’s room and he was updating his new cell phone. He handed his old one to Avi and she could see that he had many numbers of females in the phone. It did not help that he was still visiting romance chat rooms even though they were together. This led to a late night fight online for the pair. A few days later, there was a terrible snow storm and Matt got stuck up north at a friend’s house. Avi tried relentlessly to contact him but he wanted nothing to do with her.
Four months later, she had instant messaged Matt when he had revealed that he was going to a wedding, she said cool, who is getting married your brother? No, he replied I am. He explained that he had been sleeping with a girl that he had met online. He did not love her but she was already two months pregnant. They were getting married tomorrow. She wished him the best and cried for three days straight.
Two years went by and Avi had not heard from Matt, one day she was reading her old hometown newspaper looking for an old friend’s birth announcement when she read one saying that Matt had a daughter. She could tell from the picture that this was the same Matt that she had grown up with and known for years. She no longer had Matt’s phone number because he had changed it but she sent him an instant message and email to congratulate him. A few months went by and Avi was writing a term paper and suddenly she had a message from Matt in her inbox. She messaged him back to say she was happy that he had his new bundle of joy. Matt had filled her in on the last two years, his wife had miscarried, she had cheated and they had gotten divorced. He now had a new girlfriend and baby girl. Avi had gone through a lot of life changes to, she had left Pinefield, moved to Manhattan and had a son named Dylan with her husband Nicholas. Nicholas was not the love of Avi’s life, she did love him but to her Matt’s decision to get married left her heart broken and alone and Nicholas was a good friend to her so when he proposed she said yes. Two months later she got pregnant and was happy. She had always wanted to call Matt but learning of his marriage that way and him not being in her day to day life any more made things tough for her.
Matt had found out through a friend that Nicholas had been cheating on Avi with a woman named Joan. Matt was conflicted because he did not live near Avi and had a girlfriend and baby and Avi seemed happy with her family life he did not want to hurt her. He did feel like lying to her was wrong but did not want to lose her friendship. One day, anonymously an email confirmation for a hotel had been sent to Avi. She was devastated to know that Nicholas had taken a hotel room in the middle of the day over two weeks ago. She confronted him and he admitted to cheating because he never felt like Avi had really loved him. He had known about how deeply Matt had hurt her but she still loved him after all of these years. Nicholas had the email confirmation sent to end his charade. The next day, he filed for divorce from Avi. Matt could no longer deny that he still wanted Avi back. He called her on the phone and admitted that no matter what had happened in his life that he had always loved her. Matt and Avi began a long distance relationship and eventually he moved to Manhattan with his daughter Joanna to live with her.
The day Matt proposed to Avi for a second time was very memorable. He bought her a one carat princess cut sterling setting ring that was inscribed with; you taught me what love is. He proposed to Avi at the beach which was her favorite place. He had a beautiful dinner sitting for her on a surfboard and had the ring placed in his jacket pocket. After a long walk on the beach, it began to get chilly, he took off his coat and put it on Avi. She refused the coat and wanted to get back in the water but it was already past 10 pm. Matt Said he was getting the car, Avi took the car keys out of the pocket and in the pocket Avi took out the box. Matt knew what Avi would do and had planned the proposal this way to shock her. When she opened the box, she said yes she would marry him and Matt said great because next weekend at the beach is our wedding me, you, the preacher, and the kids will be here for our wedding next weekend. Avi was overjoyed and Matt picked her up and carried her all the way up to the car.
On their wedding day, Avi wore a white bikini and a diamond necklace. Matt wore white pants and a shirt. Joanna wore a white dress and Dylan dressed the same way as Matt. At the wedding Matt and Avi walked down the aisle together after Joanna had put rose petals down for them to walk on. Matt and Avi recited their vows, exchanged rings, and kissed. They were now married. Matt surprised Avi with singing her favorite song,”These Are Days”. They kissed and then Matt carried Avi to the water and threw her in. He and Avi finally had some happiness and he was ecstatic.
Avi and Matt had tried for over a year to have a baby both naturally with fertility treatments. Avi was heartbroken even though she had a son and Matt had a daughter, she desperately wanted to have a large family and give Matt a son. A few days before Christmas, Matt was in a car accident, he was okay a few bumps on the head but his blood work that was revealed a few days later had showed that he had stage two lung cancer. Avi was devastated but was hopeful that he would survive even though all four people in her family who had cancer before had died within two years of being diagnosed. Avi was heartbroken but was going to do everything in her power to keep him and the children strong and healthy.
A few months into Matt’s cancer treatments, Avi began to feel queasy, light headed and kept fainting in their home. Matt thought to himself, is she sick or could she be pregnant? Avi dismissed the pregnancy theory because Matt was undergoing radiation treatments and conceiving during that time would have been quite difficult considering her prior fertility struggles. Matt asked Avi to take a trip with him to a pharmacy and they bought a double pack of pregnancy tests. Avi took them both and left them in the bathroom overnight. They went to sleep together and agreed that if she was pregnant then they would handle that together but for one night they just wanted to focus on each other.
The next morning, they looked at the pregnancy test sticks and both were positive. Matt jumped for joy and Avi cried. She had wanted to be pregnant for so long but now it was bittersweet, would Matt even be alive to see their child be born?
By her fourth month of pregnancy, Avi was quite ill. She would be up more than eighteen hours a night caring for her son, Joanna, and Matt. She would often miss meals but always would make sure to remember to take her daily prenatal vitamin. She was determined to have a healthy pregnancy but the stress was on her and her blood pressure was very high. Matt would cry at night and blame himself for what his pregnant wife was going through.
After the oncologist told Matt that his first round of treatments had not worked he secretly called the doctor and decided to forego his next round of radiation treatments to care for Avi. He did not care if he lived or died because he knew that Avi’s pregnancy hung in the balance and risking both of their lives was no longer an option for him. He told the doctor not to tell his wife what choice that he had made and to tell Avi that they were going to suspend his radiation treatments for about six to eight months.
When Avi was six months pregnant she began to develop pregnancy complications; the most serious being pre-eclampsia. Matt was distraught because the only real way to treat this condition is to deliver the baby and that could not happen yet. Matt blamed himself for the stress that was placed on his wife. One night, he whispered to her, I am sorry that I got lung cancer. I am sorry that I had to lie to you and that I did not tell you that I stopped my radiation treatments. Avi had heard every word that he said. She was barely awake and had her eyes closed. She began to screen and cry when she had heard that Matt had stopped his radiation treatments. She felt betrayed and that Matt had decided to end his life without even talking to her. Suspending treatment for six months seemed like a death sentenced to her. Matt pleaded and begged for her to understand, she refused to hear him and then suddenly her water broke and she began to have pain in her chest and abdomen.
Avi was rushed to the hospital at twenty eight weeks gestation. Her child’s life was hanging by a thread. Her own blood pressure had skyrocketed and she had begun to hemorrhage. Matt was holding her hand but the doctors needed to wheel her into surgery for an emergency c-section. The OB/GYN came out an hour later and told Matt that his wife had given birth to a two pound eight ounce baby girl. She was being taken to NICU for observation and was having some breathing issues. Avi on the other hand was not in good shape, she had lost a lot of blood and the internal bleeding was very bad. She had suffered a heart attack due to the strain and her survival rate was forty percent. Matt wanted to be with his wife but he could not because tests were being done on her. He went to see his little girl; his mother had come with his camera and video camera. His father was watching Avi’s son Dylan and his daughter Joanna. He said, she is so tiny but she is so beautiful just like her mom. Three hours later, Matt was allowed to visit Avi. She was hooked up to many machines and he cried when he saw her. She was unconscious but he still showed her pictures and video of their daughter. She is a fighter just like you, he said. Avi awakened and talked to Matt about what had happened and how her daughter was. She forgave Matt and they hugged. Matt then took her in a wheelchair to see their daughter in the NICU. They decide to name her Bella Hope. Both of them cried when they held her.
Six months went by, Matt had been diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer and Avi was two months pregnant with a baby. Matt had been told that there was nothing else to be done for him and that he had at most a year to live. During a bad ice storm on New Year’s Eve, Avi went into labor. They had no way to call for help since the cell tower had been knocked down in the storm. Avi was screaming in pain but Matt was calm and had a child birthing book in his study. He read it and decided to wing it because the baby’s head was crowning. Matt delivered a baby named Matthew Johnathan in their home at one AM on New Year’s Eve. Avi and Matt were so thrilled by what had happened. Matt held Avi and MJ for hours until the roads were cleared and he could get them to a hospital. Three months later, Matt died in his sleep after kissing his children good night and sleeping next to Avi.
Matt knew that his time was gone, he had prepared a letter for Avi that he had placed in his drawer beside their bed. Matt’s final letter to Avi said: Dear Shorty, after seeing our son be born, I knew it was okay for me to go now my love. You have given me two beautiful children and the best years of my life. I hurt you often but you never hurt me back, you were always a friend even when I pushed you away. I am dying but I will never leave you or my children. I will see you again and when we meet in Heaven we will go for a walk on the beach and stare at each other for all of eternity. Take care of yourself and the kids tell them I love them every day, all my love, Matt.
I wrote this story to tell you, Bella that true love is out there. Your daddy and I had that kind of love and that made you and your brother MJ. Every day that I look at you two, I see him. I miss him every day and I will cherish our love for the rest of my life. You will find your Matt where you least expect him our love story had many bumps along the way. Your true love does not need to be rich, handsome, tall, or short. He has to complete you and when you see him you will know instantly who he is. Let’s say our prayers and say good night to daddy in Heaven. Avi lit a candle by her bed and said good night Matt, I hope you are in my dreams yet again tonight and blew out the candle and put her head on the pillow.