In honor of Matti's birthday, we traveled to Tacoma, Washington to watch Pacific Lutheran University beat cross town rivalvary, University of Puget Sound, 35 to 13. Rich Isett plays for PLU and he ended up at our establishment for almost a year, a couple years back, and became part of the family. When we lost Matti, Rich talked to his coach and the entire team of 102 guys wrote us heartfelt notes. We were so touched, we checked into using frequent flyer miles to get our family down there for a game. Below is the message, I read to the team.
Ronna's PLU Speech:
We are here because of Rich Isett and the 102 guys on his team who dared to say something rather than nothing at the loss of our son Matti. We were so touched by the heartfelt notes of encouragement that you sent us. Matt was 9 so I will read 9 of your comments that showed us your love and support.
1)I am extremely, extremely sorry to hear of your loss.
2)Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when it is a child.
3)Matti was obviously one special kid because he affected 102 guys lives tonight who live 1500 away.
4)I love my brother's family and if you are Rich's family, you are our family at PLU.
5)Even though it is so tough to see God's purpose in times like these, I hope you can feel God's presence with you.
6)My prayer is that you all grow closer to the Lord and that He would give you strength and peace unlike anything you have ever experienced.
7)God is with you even now in what must seem like the darkest hour.
8)You guys need each other; so use each other to get through this.
9)I hope all your favorite memories of Matti stay with you forever.
All 102 notes were amazing heartfelt blessings to us. These were just comments on a few notes.
If we have learned anything in the 2 months since Matti left his earthly home and entered into his heavenly, eternal home, it is that life here on earth is about relationships. How is your relationship with God? Your parents? Your family and friends? We encourage you to strengthen your relationships. Have you been on the fence in asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior - giving Him full reins of your life? We encourage you to take that leap of faith. A life in service to God has eternal value.
I know this will be hard for you to understand, but music doesn't move me like it does most. That is why it is so amazing that I tuned into the chorus of a song playing on our 3 hour drive to Anchorage to get on the plane to Seattle. It said "I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams and that faith gives you the courage to dare to do great things." That's our prayer for you, that God would fill your heart with dreams and that faith will give you the courage to dare to do great things.
We are here in honor of Matti and we want you to win this game tomorrow in honor of Matti. And if you don't win, I want you to know in your hearts that you gave everything you had. We are winners when we do our best, right down to the last yard line.
You blessed us and we pray our presence here will bless you! God Bless You All!
(Notice "Matti" Painted Under Eyes)
Rich Isett, Claire, and Martin Family
PLU FOOTBALL SPEECH
By Ronna Martin
The PLU Team did make us part of their family. They gave Blair a coach's shirt, the boys jersies from their champion year, and girls team shirts. They included us in their afterglow celebration which included all family and friends who came to the game and allowed us again to share.
We were blessed again and we think the team and family members were blessed, too.