Love Is Forever
For most teenagers love means trips to the movies, stolen kisses behind the bleachers and the heartbreak of that first breakup.
For Sabrina Parker and Matt Scozzari it means a whole lot more.
The two began dating after Matt, in his own words, got up the nerve to ask her out. Over the next three months things seemed perfect to them, but Matt noticed that Sabrina seemed ill. She was tired easily, she sometimes had trouble speaking, she was losing weight.
When he asked if she was ok she told him it was fine, the doctor was treating her.
What she did not tell him was that only a month after they started dating she had been diagnosed with ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and the prognosis was not good.
Finally after her surprise sweet 16 party two of her friends, both in tears, broke the news to Matt.
He was obviously devastated but when Sabrina asked him if he was going to leave her because of the diagnosis he responded “I will never leave you, no matter what”.
For both of them facing trials in life was not new.
Sabrina’s grandmother and mother both died from ALS. Matt had been diagnosed with a mild learning disability, had endured teasing from schoolmates due to speech problems and had watched his grandmother die from cancer. But both overcame these problems.
As their romance progresses the terminal nature of ALS was always in the back of their minds. Over time Sabrina grew weaker but Matt was always there, acting as her supporter, her helper and when speech became difficult her interpeter.
When the Make A Wish foundation arranged a trip to Orlando for the family Matt joined them. When Sabrina was unable to ride an attraction Matt stayed by her side. Despite her illness they attended prom together and were elected king and queen.
The only real burden hanging over them was the fact that they would nto spend their lives together. Matt would always start talking about ‘when we get married’ until his mom explained why that would be impossible.
But she had an alternative, a friendship ceremony which would allow them to experience a wedding like event and it would allow Matt to tell Sabrina it was ok to let go. As his mom explained patients often fight until they feel like loved ones will allow them to let go.
On November 20th, 2010 they and their families shared a ceremony that was in every sense of the word a true wedding.
Nine days later Matt got the call that he should come to the hospital as quickly as possible.
He spent the night holding *his wife’s* hand until she died in her sleep the next morning.
If there is a better example of true love I have yet to see it.
And if there is a better example of two amazing teenagers…