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The weeks of planning, a couple thousand spent on a beautiful gown, and the experience we were about to have was one for the books. When we arrived at Niagara Falls, my daughter gave the hotel personnel 100 dollars in monopoly money she found on the ground to help pay for our room. (I paid with my debit card prior). The excitement that overtook her face was priceless. She felt so accomplished. They gave us our room keys, and we went to our hotel. It was late when we arrived so we all just went to sleep. After a full night’s rest, we woke up to get ready for the big day. I did my hair and make-up, did both of my daughter’s hair, and we put on our beautiful gowns. We made our way down the street where everyone who passed us honked at us. It was a little embarrassing because of the amount of attention we all were getting. My children stayed in the truck with my best friend to watch us walk up to the landing strip take pictures, and then board the helicopter. We took off. As soon as the helicopter took off, the vows started to take place via the headphones they gave us. The minister would read them, and we would repeat them. The view was exceptional. You could see both the Canadian side and the United States side. Because of COVID, a lot was shut down so it wasn’t as busy as it normally was according to the director of the chapel. After a 15-minute flight, we landed and we all made our way back to the Wedding Chapel. That is where some of the most amazing pictures were taken. We all left and explored Niagara Falls as much as we could. The next morning, we made our way home. I had purchased bottles of wine to hand out to our close family and friends with our names on them. No one knew we were getting married. I delivered them later this evening. I couldn’t sleep that night because of the excitement. It was so fulfilling. After laying in bed for a couple of hours, I was finally able to get to sleep. The following morning, I looked at my phone to read that “Matts’s dead”. My heart sunk. I was so confused because I literally saw him the night before when I went over to give them the wine. I thought it was a sick joke, and responded “ Ya right”. A few hours later, I learned of how the tragedy took place. The race car fell on him when a few of them were working on it. A few days later, his obituary was published.
Matthew D. Bilodeau BRANDON — Matthew Daniel Bilodeau, 38, passed Monday, April 5, 2021, at Rutland Regional Medical Center. Matt was born in Middlebury on March 26, 1983. He grew up on a dairy farm in Shoreham where he learned his work ethic and family values. Matt graduated from Middlebury Union High School Class of 2001. Family was Matt’s everything. He is survived by his beautiful wife, the one he cherished most, Tricia Bilodeau of Brandon; his son, Paxyn Matthew Bilodeau; and his girls, Kynzli Alee Bilodeau and Jadynn Elise Pope. He was the son of Daniel and Tina Bilodeau; the brother of Brandie Bilodeau; and uncle of Madison and Alexis Quenneville. Matt’s career began at The McKernon Group in Brandon. After 10 years with McKernon, he and his dear friend, Brian Thomas, established their own company, Black Diamond Builders. Matt thought the world of his guys and their families. Matt entered the racing world with sponsoring Vince Quenneville and racing quickly became a passion of his own. Matt drove the 32B dirt modified at Devil’s Bowl Speedway with the support of his entire crew and devoted crew chief, cousin and best friend, Andy Quenneville, always by his side. Matt’s easy-going nature and exceptional craftsmanship has touched so many and will always be remembered. Please join us in celebrating Matt on Friday, May 7, 2021, at 11 a.m., at Black Diamond, 1691 Grove St., Brandon, Vermont. Tricia and all of the family wish to express their sincere thanks to everyone for all of their love, support and expressions of sympathy, during this difficult and trying time. Arrangements are under the direction of the Miller & Ketcham Funeral Home in Brandon.
I lied and said I was busy. But not the same busy most people think. I was busy taking deeper breaths. Busy silencing irrational and impulsive thoughts. Busy trying not to focus on my racing heart. Busy trying to escape the world. I hiked this long and dreadful mountain today. The rocks were so wet I kept slipping and falling. The sun was hot and my backpack kept rubbing against my sunburn. The wind did not stop blowing at the top of the mountain my hair kept ending up in my mouth, covering my eyes, and refused to stay still. This was my attempt to escape, however, I am not escaping. I am only far away from where I want to be. Where I need to be. I thought going to the mountain that I used to hike with him, would help me rationalize his loss. Loss is painful. Today is the worst day of my life, and I do not know what day will ever be right to spread my grandfather’s ashes.
I lied and said I was busy. Busy relaxing in the warm sun while I lay on the grass. Busy listening to the breeze flow through the trees as they whisper with each blow. Busy enjoying my own company on this beautiful summer day. The rocks are layered in a beautiful watery gloss, giving them a little extra sparkle. Where everything is bright and right in my world. Most people think laying in the warm sun and doing nothing physically means I am not busy, but, this is how I am busy sometimes and I will not apologize for it. Today I feel accomplished for hiking Mount Mansfield, alone, with no one’s company but myself. I used to be afraid to spend time with my thoughts, but today I embrace them. I was informed earlier this morning that it is time. Time we set him free and accept his loss, as much as we can. We have all come a very long way considering we lost one of the most loving and caring members of our family. I know he passed a year ago, but we are as ready as we can be. Loss is painful, but it is an unfair part of life. And we will let his love be our guide through life. It is time we say, we will see you later Grandpa.
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