Memorial for Peter Matthew "Matt" Mullin

Take a few minutes to read this memorial and you may end up with a renewed perception of how precious life is and how it should be cherished.

Did you ever notice that a lot of people tend to take things for granted - homes, cars, running water, electricity, even our family and friends. But when any one of these things is taken away from us without our consent, we truly notice its absence. So it is with Matt Mullin, a cherished friend of mine and many others (including many Downtown Detroit skaters). Matt was killed on June 22, 1997 at the young age of 28 in a motorcycle accident, leaving many of us who knew him with an emptiness that can never be filled.

Many of you are probably asking, "Who was Matt Mullin?" To say that Matt was a skater would be to miss the point of his time here with us - Matt was a skater, to be sure (ask anyone who tried to keep up with him on hills - he was strong far beyond what you would expect from an almost 200# skater), but he was so much more to many of us who were fortunate enough to experience him.

As far as Matt's friends were concerned, Matt was a sharing, caring person - someone who always had time for them. How many of us can truly say that about ourselves - that we always have time for others? Isn't time one of the things in life that has the most value? If we are willing to share it with others, aren't we sharing our most precious gift? Since we all have a limited amount of time here on earth, perhaps we should try to make the most of the time we have - by sharing it with those who are important to us.

You could describe Matt as a kind person; but to define him as a kind person would be to understate his demeanor - Matt gave unselfishly of himself; he was always willing to lend a hand. If your skates needed repair - new frames, boots molded, wheels rotated, new fastening system attached, or any other obscure technical gyration - he would offer to do it for you before you could even finished the sentence, "I'm not sure I know how to..." Matt's technical expertise and knowledge of skates came in handy in other areas besides "fixing stuff." He was one of my most prolific and ardent "in-line skate product testers." If you have read any of the product reviews in Fitness and Speed Skating Times Magazine, chances are good that part of the input into those articles was based on Matt's exhaustive testing.

In terms of personal philosophy, it appeared that Matt's view of life was that it was for living and enjoying - every day - not just when things "were going well;" but also when "problems" needed to be addressed. When those problems (also known as challenges to those who embrace life's changes) were being solved, Matt appeared to appreciate the fact that his energy was being channeled in a constructive direction. Wouldn't we all do well to learn this lesson and apply it today?

Even if you were never fortunate enough to meet Matt Mullin, if you take a few moments to examine your life, you can receive a precious gift from him - the gift of a more fulfilled life. Take a moment to consider those around you - how special they are to you; and how they, too can unsuspectingly be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. Contemplate ways to show them how much you appreciate them - how much you relish the fact that they make your life more well-rounded and complete. If we all learned to appreciate what we have, instead of focusing on what we desire, we might just enjoy life a little bit more.

Thanks for all of the time, caring, and the lessons you provided for us, Matt. We will miss you.

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