In Memory of Matthew Jason Parham

3/07/2005 - 1/04/2022

Matthew Jason Parham was born on March 7, 2005. Matthew (also known as Matt, Matty, and Bubba), came into this world like most babies, with strong lungs, tiny fingers and toes, and nothing but wonder and curiosity for the world around him. He was immediately loved and adored.

Matthew began to walk at around a year old. He had the biggest blue eyes and looked just like his dad. He loved laughing and playing, giving hugs and cuddling, and early on became obsessed with animated movies like Cars, Ice Age, and especially, Toy Story. Even though his life began like other children, his childhood would look anything but typical.

Matthew had his first seizure at age 2. By the age of 3, he was diagnosed with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome.

Not long after his diagnosis, Matthews dad, Derek, found himself to be a single parent and full-time caregiver to Matthew. Derek thrived in fulfilling Matt’s every need. This child was his everything and everything was exactly what he gave. Derek has a strength like no other. His patience, love, and devotion to his only son were awe-inspiring to say the least. Every minute of every day revolved around Matt. While most children get elementary school, video games, bike riding, and t ball, Matt’s childhood consisted of doctor visits, special diets, tests, hospital stays, and special equipment to assist with everyday living.

Matthew was considered special needs but to his family he was simply SPECIAL. Special in the way he could tell you he loved you without using words. Special in the way he would cuddle into you and make you feel important. Special in his vibrant and mischievous personality that was shown through his eyes and hand gestures.

And most of all, special in his thousand watt smile and laughter that made you laugh in return. Matthew was pure innocence, pure joy and pure love. Matt was non verbal but his love flowed abundantly and spoke volumes.

As Matt got older his illness progressed but so did the mark he was making on this world. When Matthew was about 10 years old, Angela, Alyssa and Izzy came into their lives. Despite Dereks charm, good looks, kindness and wicked sense of humor, Matty was the stud that got the ladies. The five of them quickly became a family and Matthew was constantly loved and cared for.

I do not understand why some people live a life of a hundred years, why some never get a first breath upon birth, or why our sweet Matty only got 16 years and 10 months.

Matthew passed away on January 4th. His beloved grandma Donna was at the gates waiting for him with her arms opened wide. I can only imagine Matty running to her with his perfect body, smiling, laughing, embracing… “There you are grandma!! I have missed you!!” In the blink of an eye, and in Gods timing, we will all join them.

Matthew is survived by his dad, his hero, his person… Derek. As well as his step-mom Angela, sisters Izzy and Alyssa, grandparents Don and Pam, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins.