- Death & Loss of Life
As the Sun Sets, Still We Hold On: The Incredible Love of Sabrina Parker and Matt Scozarri
Although I normally write stories on recent events, this is one I wanted to share with everyone today. I believe the message from this is so powerful and important that it deserves a great deal of reflection from us all.
Love is a powerful thing that brings a man and a woman together. It can bring us wonderful times and moments of joy in our lives. Ironically, it can also put us in situations where difficult decisions have to be made. No matter how old or young we are when we experience love, we’re never prepared for what’s to come until it happens. This was the case of a young teenage girl who found the man of her dreams…and dreaded what would become of them once he knew what was happening to her.
On December 18, 2010, AOL News had reported the story of a young girl named Sabrina Parker who had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
By June 2009 when she was about 15 years old, Sabrina had started to complain about earaches. She had also had trouble speaking clearly. By December 2009, her weight was down to 105 pounds, which was small for her frame. To combat the problem, Sabrina had to have a feeding tube inserted in her throat.
Certainly Sabrina was frightened over what the disease was doing to her body, but not just because she feared of whether she would be able to live through the ordeal. She was more afraid of how it would affect her love life with Matt Scozzari.
Matt had started dating Sabrina around November 2009. At first, the relationship between the two was normal as they would take frequent trips to watch movies and go to the mall. However, he began feeling concerned about her as he noticed she was getting sick very frequently.
On February 6, 2010, Sabrina’s family and her closest friends celebrated her 16th birthday. It was a special celebration for her. A post by her on Facebook talked about her being excited to wear a satin green dress she picked out for the occasion. She was escorted by Matt to the party into her parents’ garage...and was stunned at the decor waiting for her.
"Twilight" was Sabrina’s favorite book series and the garage was designed to fit the theme of the series. The garage was lit by strobe lights to give it a night sky feel. Balloons of red, black, and white filled the place. The cake was designed as a chess board to look like one of the book jackets from the series. For this young girl, it was a real sweet 16th birthday.
At the party, a couple of friends pulled Matt aside and gave him the news of Sabrina’s condition. He immediately rushed over to a pond on the property and began to weep, not knowing what to think. Sabrina found him there and asked him if he was going to leave her...and he vowed that he never would.
According to the article, Sabrina and her family went on a trip to an amusement park in April 2010. She wasn’t able to go on most of the rides and he refused to do any rides without her.
She was also not able to attend her homecoming that fall, so Matt and her cousins had worked with her uncle to convert his garage into a “Haunted Homecoming” theme, filled with cobwebs and skeletons. Sabrina wore a black dress and was escorted by Matt in a Ford Mustang. They were crowed Homecoming Queen and King...and shared a dance together.
His love for Sabrina was so strong that he organized a “Friendship Ceremony” on November 20, 2010. She wore a dress that was partially covered with an ivory sheath. Her uncle’s garage was once again decorated, but this time with Christmas lights. The concrete floor was littered with rose pedals. A minister performed the ceremony and the two exchanged rings.
According to the article, Matt had posted on his Facebook profile a comment about the ceremony two hours later:
Tonight you made me feel like the luckiest man alive!!
Sabrina passed away few weeks after the ceremony.
Throughout the article, Sabrina mentioned that she wanted to experience so much from life. She had talked about having a family and going to medical school.
Sabrina’s hardship makes us often reflect where we are in our lives, doesn’t it? There are people like you and me, going through life full of “what-ifs” and wondering how much time we have left to live our dreams. Well, we can wonder and wonder all we like, but what are we doing to live the dream of life? And the major difference between Sabrina and us is that she didn’t have that luxury of time. However, the more we think about the “what-ifs” and the “should I have done this” types of thinking, than the more time itself will slip away from us and we will miss the chance to live those dreams.
I believe that is why Matt chose to stay by her side. He knew his feelings for her were too deep to ignore and he did not want to let her go. He watched Sabrina day in and day out slipping away from him, but as long as she had breath in her, he would stay by her side. Whatever moment he had with her, he made the best of it, and she was always grateful. She never held back her praise, never told him she was not up for it, and never stopped loving him. They had an incredible bond that stood up against tremendous trials and odds. That bond didn’t save her life, but it helped her live a happy life that she shared with someone special.
They were young kids. Some may look at this and think that maybe it was just puppy love sprung out of circumstantial situations. However, if you’re like me, you can see there was something far deeper than that. These were people who truly cared for each other and were not afraid to show it.
Romantic love for a couple can be a terrifying ordeal for a lot of different reasons. Perhaps one reason for them is simply not knowing what’s going to happen or how long they have to be with each other. At some point in time, one or the other is going to have to leave their lover behind. Perhaps two lovers will have the chance to leave the world together at the same time, but how often does that happen? So if we are faced with saying goodbye, how do we handle it?
We handle it one day at a time. We keep staying by one another’s side through the best and the worst of times. We keep loving each other as if nothing has changed. It’s a terrifying thought of having to say goodbye when all you want to do is hold on, but you do it because you know deep down if the situation was reversed your lover would do the same for you. Most important of all, you remain by the side of who you love because they have brought out the best in you and they deserve nothing less than the best from you.
And when they are gone...what do you with your life? In this story about it Sabrina, it mentioned that Matt had taken some time to study the disease, hoping to find a cure. It also mentions that he hopes to establish a fund to honor her memory.
Like taking one day at a time to enjoy the moments of your love, you do the same after it is over. Again, isn't that what your special love would want? You don't have to forget them, but you don't want to put your own life on hold either. You keep their memory close to your heart...and live your life as happy one in order to honor that love.
The love Matt and Sabrina shared made them love life so much more. So when you find that special love, what you will do with your time to enjoy it?