Dear editor,

What does it mean to be a grandfather? A grandfather does not mean to be blood related. They help you if you need it, they teach you to drive, they teach you to ride a bike and something all the things your father would teach you if you don't have one. They will always love you unconditionally even though they are not in your family. They are the most special ones in the family that hold everything together. They are there for you when you are sick, and all the times you need them for support.

Today, I'm remembering a very special man in my life. Keith Matzen, although he is not my family member, he was like a grandfather to me. He was kind to everyone he met and he was special to everyone, even me and my family. My mom and I were really sad about his death. To his family and mine, he was like a rock of salvation and held all of us together. We all miss him so much.

It may not look like it, but he was very strong. Four weeks ago, he fell and broke his hip, he want to the hospital, we cannot go and see him because of COVID-19 lockdown. We called every day to check on his health. We were very sad to find out that he had other serious health issues. On Wednesday, April 15, 2020, he came home to his family and loved ones to be with them in his final days. He passed away on Friday, April 17, 2020.

It felt like a part of my heart was ripped out when I heard he was gone. I will always remember my grandfather Keith Matzen. Everything he has done for me and my family and those who loved and cared about him as much as I do. He will be forever remembered, and always hold a psecial place in my heart.

Dyllan Schulze

Arlington

Editor's note: Dyllan Schulze is a senior at Arlington High School. He is 17 and autistic. He wrote this for a speech class. Prior to Keith Matzen's death, he struggled to pick a topic to write about, according to his mother, Amy.

“He chose to write about the death in the family as a way to commemorate someone very special to him, as a COVID-19 prevents us from partaking in many things, so he chose to honor our family member this way,” she said. “He has known this family for 16 years. Dyllan has never had grandparents other than Keith and Kathy Matzen.”

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