Goodbye, Mattie Stepanek.
Mattie is a 14-year-old boy who struggled with a rare form of muscular dystrophy. You can read more about him through the link above. He passed away yesterday, June 22nd. Mattie was a very special kid. I first saw him in Oprah and immediately grew to admire this little boy. He wrote poetry. He’s a genius of a poet. His poems are composed of the simplest words, yet when put together they create a connection with whoever reads it. His poetry has a way of tugging your heart and bringing tears to your eyes. You should hear him read his poetry out loud. It gives a totally different spin to his poems. Maybe because I can’t fathom how such a young and innocent child could write about life’s celebrations and even death — but that is why Mattie is special. He possessed a maturity some of us don’t even have. I bought his book once, but never got around to reading it. I was just happy I had part of Mattie’s poetry with me.
Here’s one of his beautiful poems from the book “Journey Through Heartsongs.” It reminds us to be grateful for all the miracles that come our way, may they be big or small. Celebrate these miracles.
Prayer for a Journey
Thank You, God,
Not just for life,
But for our journey through life.
Life is a miracle,
And a journey through life
Is so full of so many more miracles
If we travel with our Heartsongs.
Thank You, God,
For blessing me with the
Gift of Heartsongs,
So that I can enjoy my miracles.
© Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek
Be safe, Mattie. As you go on another journey, your poetry remains with us and will live on in our hearts. I promise to listen to my Heartsongs more closely. This is what I have learned from you, and I thank you, thank you, for this legacy.