Matthew DeRemer was a 31-year-old, honorably discharged Marine, who lived in Seminole, Florida. According to his father, he had a positive outlook on life and "always looked forward." According to his mother, he would sometimes text them both just to say good morning. He was an all-around good guy.
Like so many of us, DeRemer went out on December 31 to celebrate New Year's Eve. But, tragically, Matthew never made it back home. While returning from the night, he was involved in a fatal accident on his motorcycle.
Before his life was so tragically cut short, DeRemer was an active member of his community. He had moved to Florida just a few years prior to attend school for surgical technology. And, after graduating, he worked for six months as a surgical technician at the West Bay Surgical Center in Largo, and had recently been hired at the Belleair Surgery Center in Clearwater.
The accident was caused by 59-year-old Seminole resident, Steven Clarke, who was under the influence of alcohol. Clarke failed to yield after making a right turn, and hit DeRemer in oncoming traffic. Clarke was arrested, but has since been released on bail. Still, he faces charges of manslaughter.
What makes this story even more gut-wrenching is the final Facebook post DeRemer left behind. Just hours before he was killed, he posted these inspirational words:
When you read through DeRemer's Facebook page, you'll notice posts like these were commonplace. DeRemer constantly shared uplifting words to his friends and family. But the timing of these words is what makes them so heartbreaking, and also inspiring. It just goes to show the type of spirit DeRemer truly carried.
Word has since gotten out, and DeRemer's last post is now going viral. And, in its own way, this gives comfort to DeRemer's friends and family.
When interviewed by ABC news, Matthew's mother, Julie DeRemer, explained she had no ill feelings toward Mr. Clarke. "You've got to live every day to the fullest, just as his post said," she told the reporter.
DeRemer's last message has been liked over 70,000 times, and continues to be shared by the media.