Matthew Alexander Livingston Procter

Was born on Tuesday, 8th June 2010, at 8:31pm and weighing approximately 2700g.

Matthew passed away in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver on October 26th at 1:42AM.

Matthew was born at 30 weeks, 5 days gestation, and was diagnosed with a condition known as “Hydrops Fetalis”, which means he has an excess of fluid in his skin, caused by his lymph system not forming correctly in the womb.  Because of these conditions, Matthew was hospitalized from birth.

This is my tribute to my son

Poems read at Matthew’s Celebration of Life

The Day God Took You Home

(Author unknown)

 

In tears we saw you sinking,

And watched you pass away.

Our hearts were almost broken,

We wanted you to stay.

But when we saw you sleeping,

So peaceful, free from pain,

How could we wish you back with us,

To suffer that again.

It broke our hearts to lose you,

But you did not go alone,

For part of us went with you,

The day God took you home.

 

A Child Loaned

(Edward A Guest)

 

I’ll lend you for a little time a child of mine’, he said,

‘For you to love the while he lives, and mourn for when he’s dead.

He may be six or seven years, or even two or three,

But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?

He’ll bring his charm to gladden you, and, should his stay be brief,

You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.

 

I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,

But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.

I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true

And from the throng that crowd life’s lanes I have selected you.

Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labour’s vain,

Nor hate me when I come to call and take him back again?’

 

I fancied that I heard them say, ‘Dear Lord, thy will be done,

For all the joys thy child shall bring the risk of grief we’ll run.

We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may

And for the happiness we’ve known for ever grateful stay.

But, should the angels call for him much sooner than we’d planned

We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.

 

 

This is the poem that was being read as the balloons were released

Thinking of You

(Author unknown)

We thought of you with love today,

But that was nothing new.

We thought about you yesterday,

And the days before that too.

We think of you in silence,

We often speak your name.

All we have are memories,

And your picture in a frame.

Your memory is our keepsake,

With which we will never part.

God has you in His keeping,

We have you in our hearts.

A million times we’ve wanted you,

A million times we’ve cried.

If love could only have saved you,

You never would have died.

It broke our hearts to lose you,

But you did not go alone.

For a part of us went with you…

The day God called you home

Dedication to Matthew

This is the text of the prayer flag that was flown for Matthew at Mount Everest Base Camp in early November.  When I have pictures, they will be put up here.

Matthew,

You are our Special Little Boy

Thank you for coming into out lives

And filling us with so much joy.

Memories of your bright eyes and little smile

Light up Our World.

Thank you for precious moments when you held our hands

And twitched your little toes,

And raised your eyebrows when you were excited.

Your strength and love against All Odds

Will forvever be an inspiration.

May you always be happy and strong

You will always be in our hearts

All our love forever,

Mummy & Daddy

Thank You

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your kind comments, thoughts and emails that you have been expressing to Jen and myself during this time.  For those that have donated some money towards Matthew’s memorial tile, we especially thank you, and want to let you know that so far the total raised is over $1000, which will go towards the purchase of much needed equipment and supplies for the NICU at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Jen and I are now back home, trying our best to return back to our old lives, but obviously, this is a very difficult thing for us to do.  I have returned to work, for now, part time, but soon full-time, and Jen goes back to work this coming Friday and Saturday in Vancouver, but this is going to be extremely tough on her, as I won’t be there with her.

I will continue to add some more pictures, videos and some blog entries in the next few weeks.  I hope to have some pictures of the prayer flag flying at Everest Base Camp soon – we look forward to seeing those pictures.

Matthew

I never got to hold you

until you were 64 days old

I never got to hug you

I never had a chance to

teach you to read or ride a bike

And I never sat you on my lap

Or showed you your first train set

I never fed you, or got to

give you a bath

 

But I did get to look after you

To care for you

To change your nappy

To read stories to you at bedtime

To watch you sleep and wake up

To spend time getting to know you

To play you music

And to see how happy

your mobile made you

as it span and played music

These make up for all the things

we never did

 

The times we had together

were so special and precious

I was there when things were bad

to comfort you

I was there when things were good

to see you happy

I may never have heard you cry

But you spoke to me all the same

The way you smiled when you saw me

Showing me all the love you could

Warmed my heart and I’d forget

where we were for an instant

 

You may never have left the hospital

Never met the cats

Or played in the garden

and swam with me in the pool

We may never have gone camping

Or visited the places I said we’d go

 

You may only have been 140 days old

when you left us,

but it was your lifetime

And You will always be with me

for my lifetime

and I will always cherish

the time we spent together

Wherever I go and whatever I do

 

Matthew, you Are my son,

and I Am your Dad

I miss you, I love you

Memorial Fund

A big thank you to everyone who came to the Celebration of Life service and the Memorial service for Matthew over the last week.  I will post some of the pictures and poems that we used.

As promised, here are the details of Matthew’s memorial fund for those who would like to make a small donation.  Any monies will be used to purchase a Memorial Tile for Matthew in the NICU, and these funds will be directed specifically to the NICU.

For more information about this program, see here: https://www.bcwomensfoundation.org/babytiles_nicubabytilewall.php

Please make cheques payable to BC Women’s Hospital Foundation, specifying that it’s for the NICU Tile Program for Matthew Procter.  You can also donate online, please make sure you enter that information into the “Comments Box”.

Address:

BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre Foundation

Room D310 – 4500 Oak Street

Vancouver, BC

V6H 3N1

Canada

Memorial Celebration

A short memorial service for staff and families who knew Matthew and us will be held at BC Children’s Hospital in the chapel, on Monday 8th November at 5pm.  This will coincide with what would have been Matthew’s fifth month anniversary of his birth.

Celebration of Life

Matthew’s Celebration of Life service will be held at 10am at Springfield Funeral Home, on Thursday November 4th.

Some of you have expressed that you would like to make a donation in Matthew’s honour, and I will very shortly post details of how we have decided to do this.