Time sure flies. It seems like yesterday when the other picture shown here of his first ever school day was taken. Here, our grandson Matthew is shown getting ready to board the bus for school on his first day of the 6th grade. After a summer of Jeeping with Dad, eating lots of Mom’s great food (he is a growing boy), playing with his siblings and visiting with Nana and Papa (Tammy and I) he is back to hitting the books… so to speak. His summer was fun and he took up a new instrument, the guitar, under the supervision of Kate Scally, his piano teacher.
Mathew continues to be an inspiration to the foundation named after him and his great grandfather Hal Rugg, the iconic pedal steel guitarist. Music continues to be his passion and he co-wrote another song with his Papa entitled “It’s OK to be Different” that we hope to capture in the studio on his next trip to Nashville.
You can tell from the picture his Dad took that he is a happy young fella and ready for the day! The bus driver looked delighted to have him as well based upon the smile on her face. We call this “Matthew Magic” – people simply love being around him.
It is impossible to see the world through his world view because we all have the benefit of sight, yet being around him doesn’t evoke pity but inspiration because of his love for life and music. His great grandfather would be so proud of his approach toward life and love of it. I’m reminded of scripture based upon Christ’s response to the disciples when they asked what a blind person’s parents had done wrong that he should be afflicted.
“Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
Whether you are a believer or not, the point is that we can learn from others who have disabilities to overcome, especially if they have a powerfully good attitude toward life as a weapon and ongoing attitude. Here at the foundation Tammy and I have been so touched and inspired, but I must admit that I maybe have learned more from him than her. My wife and co-founder has always been a phenomenally generous person and I have mostly been your “typical task oriented guy.” He has made me a better person by inspiring me to think about and work to raise money to assist other students without sight so that they can have all the musical advantages he has by growing up in a rich musical environment. Music is such a powerful advantage for them to have access to developmentally, emotionally and spiritually.