Don’t really have a clever title.

Posted: August 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

For those reading not in the know, I was raised in the Mormon church.  The way that the churches are set up are in groups called wards.  These are just basically the parish you go to, but they were at different times during Sunday, so you could use the same building.  I went to Cerritos 3rd Ward, because of zones or some such thing, even though I lived in Lakewood.  Other than being an odd kid to begin with, the rest of the congregation of Cerritos 3rd Ward had this kind of strange aversion and disdain for people who didn’t live in Cerritos.  Cerritos is an odd city to begin with.  All the houses had to be earth tone, no straight sidewalks, no parking on the street (even in front of your house) after 2 am.  I always felt somewhat removed from the other kids in my ward around my age range and they had no problem making sure I knew it.  The only other kid I really bonded with was Matt Jones.  Matt Jones kind of looked a bit like Froggy from Our Gang (and could do his voice perfectly) and had a wicked sense of humor.  We got along instantly.  He also lived in Lakewood and that’s what made us band a bit together at first.  I was somewhat weirder than he was and I think it might have worried him at times because I just wasn’t weird, but LOUD, and it drew a lot of attention, but he was still my friend.  I’d stay the night at his house at times and we’d actually talk about your typical geek stuff and comics and terrorize his mom and dad.  And we’d forget that we didn’t live in Cerritos.  As we got older, Matt decided he didn’t like being scrawny and small and he started bulking up.  He got pretty big.  So did I, but not that way (OH HO FAT).  He also started acting out more and more.  He was very intelligent and I think it bugged him to be in the church at times, even though he loved his parents and didn’t want to hurt them.   He’d come over and hang out every once in awhile and cause havoc, but was still just a good friend to know.  After high school, we kind of went our own ways and I didn’t hear much from him for a very long time.  My dad told me that he had showed up at church once later and he had joined the Marines and it seemed to suit him.  Odd that we both entered the military after high school, or maybe not so odd.  I tried finding him on Facebook and Myspace, but no luck.  I’ve seen other old church people pop up, but not Matt.  I was hoping maybe to see how he was doing or even meet up someday and reminisce about driving his babysitter crazy (I really think she wanted to kill us once) and him showing me my first porno mag (sorry, Mom) that he found on the street of all places.  Parents are always worried about their kids learning about sex from the streets, now it makes sense.  I never did find him.  I’d think about how he was doing once in awhile and hoped he was well.   I for some reason always pictured him in a heavy metal band.

My mom emailed me this recently.

Hi Allen,

I found Gerri Jones on Facebook and requested her to be my friend.
I got this message from her about Matthew.
I am shocked and feel really bad for her.

Subject: Hi Diane
Leaving for my Dad’s & Julie’s right now, but just want you to that we are having services at our Leona Valley ward bldg..(we leave in Palmdale/Lancaster Stake in the Antelope Valley)…..the services are for my Matthew. He took his life on 7/14. His heart was broken and confused. Can’t go into detail now but I know he’s in a good place and out of pain, etc.
My mom said she knew he had been in and out of institutions for awhile, too.  I found a picture of the Jones Family on FB, also.  Matt’s the one leaning down with his niece on his lap.
Needless to say, I was a shocked and very upset when I found out.  I wondered what his life has been like and what drove him to this.  I wonder if we’d have kept in touch if things would be different and I also wonder how different we really were.  I’m not saying that I’d EVER. EVER. commit suicide.  I just would’ve liked to understand.  I still do.  These kind of things happen and it always brings to mind (for me, at least) how valuable people are and how they’ve affected our lives.  Matt made me feel like someone understood.  Not only that, but he made me feel like he wanted me around.  There were times where I felt like no one else really did.  I’m sorry that I didn’t keep in touch and I’m sorry I wasn’t there for him.  I really don’t know what else I want to say.
  1. Genna says:

    Sorry I’m just reading this now and sorry to hear it. 😦 I had a similar circumstance with a girl I used to go to gymnastics with. We were on the same team, and before she quit I remember she had begun to get into drugs. We lost touch and I always wondered what happened to her. Now and then I would hear that she was in rehab, but then years went by of hearing nothing. I would think of her now and then, but never had a good feeling about it. I always worried about what might have happened to her. Once I got on facebook and couldn’t find her, I did some research online and found out that she had died. ODed I think. I remember feeling so shocked, but more just shocked because I felt like I had known something terrible had happened to her and google just confirmed it.

    Ugh, it’s so horrible when someone takes their own life. It’s something that is just impossible for me to understand; how someone could do that to themselves and loved ones. The only thing that’s helped me understand it is to acknowledge that the person was sick. That depression or whatever is a sickness that took their life in the way that any other disease kills a person.

    Sorry to hear about your friend, even if it’s a few months late.


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