Signs of Matthew

by Donna Kirk on April 7, 2013

A few weeks ago, I spoke to the graduating class of Social Service Workers at Sheridan College (Davis Campus). I congratulated the students for their choice of profession. Without advocates like them, Matthew’s life, and the lives of countless others with a developmental disability, would never have been as rich or as full. In my experience, the social service worker is the epitome of dedication and love.

During his forty years, Matthew came under the care of countless such people who went above and beyond their daily obligation to love him, protect him and, most important, set the bar high for him.

After Matthew’s death, our family wanted to do something special for the front line caregivers. The Reese Matthew Kirk Above and Beyond Award is an annual award presented to one staff member of Brampton Caledon Community Living who has been chosen by her/his peers. The recipient must fulfill the requirement that they have given extraordinary care to the people they support. Two people have received Matthew’s award; one in 2011, and one in 2012.

The Reese Matthew Kirk Above and Beyond Award is in part a cash award plus an opportunity to take a course or attend a seminar related to the Social Service Work profession.

After I spoke to the students at Sheridan College, I was reminded, as I am each day, how much I miss my son. On the drive home, A Bridge Over Troubled Water came on the classical station I listen to. I played this song over and over to Matthew during the first year of his life. I had not heard it since.

For my birthday in March, my husband Ed gave me a dozen roses. Four red, four white and four yellow – Matthew’s favourite colour. Within days the red and white ones drooped and wilted. Three of the four yellow roses lived until last week.  Now, nearly a month later, I have one yellow rose still in the vase.

Joseph, Matthew’s brother, has been looking for the car of his dreams for over a year. He wanted a vintage-type sports car. The vehicle had to meet certain requirements, colour not being one of them.  A few weeks ago, he picked up his dream car.  It is bright yellow….

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherry Isaac April 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Donna, I am not surprised.


Donna Kirk April 11, 2013 at 7:43 am

I believe in mysterious messages now, more and more…


jennifer mook-sang April 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm

gorgeous donna.


Donna Kirk April 11, 2013 at 7:43 am

THanks for your comment, Jennifer.


Crystal April 16, 2013 at 7:39 pm

This is a great story. I am a believer in messages and reminders. They are all around us. By the way…I think Reese’s favorite colour is yellow 😉


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