Archive for December 22nd, 2010

Short Life, Big Love

December 22, 2010

I have always been impressed and humbled by stories of courage in the face of devastating illnesses or accidents, particularly when those stories involve young people who have barely begun to live. Even when fear threatens to overwhelm them, so many of those stricken respond with transcendent courage and faith that those left behind are forever changed by the depth and intensity of the love that was shared before the final flicker of life was extinguished.

The wedding of cancer-ridden Katie Kirkpatrick is one such story. The bond between sixteen-year-olds Sabrina Parker and Matt Scozzari is another. Here is their story, written by Allen G. Breed of The Associated Press.


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — As she walked through the door, Sabrina Parker’s big hazel eyes flared with surprise and she raised a hand to her mouth to stifle a gasp. She was a huge fan of the “Twilight” book and movie series, and her friends and family had transformed this greasy garage into a Sweet 16’s dream.

Homemade strobe lights illuminated walls decorated like the night sky and plastered with cast posters. All around were balloons in red, white and black. An enormous cake, iced to look like the chess board on one of the book jackets, held 16 blazing candles.

The crowd began chanting for Sabrina to blow them out. She bent in close and blew, but the flames barely flickered. She straightened up and shook her head. Realizing her distress, Matt Scozzari stepped closer and told her they would do it together. On the count of three, they leaned in and snuffed them out together.

In the three months since he’d first asked her out, Matt had noticed small changes in his girlfriend: The shortness of breath, the slurring in her speech, the weight loss. When he’d ask what was going on, Sabrina would just shrug it off as nothing serious.

But Sabrina knew her (more…)