About Matthew R. Daniels II:
A life is like a deck of progressive flashcards. Within that deck, there are segments in which we come to know a person for a time. Some segments are long and some short, but trust me when I say that it is every parent’s hope that they don’t get the entire deck of their children’s lives. Such is not my case with Matthew. From the first card to a yet a new spiritual beginning, I have the whole deck of a wonderful man with whom I shared wonderful relationship, and had the extraordinary privilege to call my son.
To those who didn’t know Matthew, there are some things I want to share. Matthew had a strong and independent spirit that we loved and appreciated. From the time he could walk, Matthew would consistently separate himself from the “group”. So, when we went to an event or on vacation, he would want to do something independently, away from the safety net of the family. If we went to the beach, a music festival or a carnival, Matthew would walk ahead to explore. One of Matthew’s greatest loves was in disassembling and reassembling things. As a child, no matter where he went, he would seek out the vacuum. He did this so passionately that we began to worry about it a bit! But for Matthew, it was all about the exciting mystery as to how that noisy thing worked.
At around 5 years-old, Matthew had quietly and meticulously unscrewed the wing nuts of the table and chair of our 1950’s chrome and Formica kitchen sets in our Pocono home. This is something his father found out one day when he sat down for a break. The chair went splat with the table wobbling until it partially collapsed! Matthew had “the little devil” sense of humor, an endearing quality that made people smile. Matthews attraction for the mystery of the vacuum engine evolved through many phases into vehicles, the battery 4-wheeler, and later the quad ATV, motorcycles, tractors, golf carts, trucks and cars of all sorts. Matthew’s most cherished baby was his Audi S4. He loved that car! His affinity for mechanics is what eventually became his business. I will forever hold these fond memories close to my heart.
Mathew loved, LOVED his family and friends. He considered his closest friends an extension to his family, and they him. He was so very proud of all of us, especially his little brother Max, who he revered and protected with a vengeance. Matthew had a deep emotional connection to others. If you hurt, Matthew hurt. If you needed help, he would try to present a solution. If you fell, Matthew fell faster so he could catch you and hold you up. That was a great deal of what Matthew was all about. He wanted to be the guy who had all the answers and could help. He was always there with a hug, a smile, his time, money, or whatever was needed to make things better.
On August 8, 2016, we lost our beloved Matthew R. Daniels II to a Fentanyl overdose after relapsing while in the first two critical years of recovery. Matthew’s generous spirit and beautiful soul will forever serve as the inspiration for the work of Friends MATTer. Today, and for many years to come, we will honor Matthew by being strong, bold, facing down addiction, stigma, and strengthening the lines of communication and support for those seeking long-term recovery. We will keep Matthew in front of us, all along the way…carrying on how he would want us to be...inspired by his BIG hug and smile.
~Merrilee Scott, Founder, Friends MATTer