Title: Just Like My Dad
The FAX of Life,
For the Week of August 13, 2007
Matty Lovo is only nine years old, but the story of his level-headed
daring deserves to be told. In the telling of his story, there is a line from the
hero himself that should make all of us who are parents and grandparents
Matty's father drives one of those huge big-rig trucks that is part of
American commerce. Last week his semi was pulling two trailers loaded with
lumber through St. Helens , Oregon . Matty was riding in the cab with him. He
was enjoying the high-sitting ride and view. He liked the powerful sounds of
the motor. He took pride in being with his dad. Then the unexpected
Matthew Lovo Sr. had a seizure of some sort. Doctors are still trying to
figure it out. He lost consciousness at the wheel of his truck, and it veered
into oncoming traffic and struck a utility pole. Matthew Lovo Jr. didn't panic.
When he saw his father had collapsed, Matty called his name. When
there was no answer, he smacked him to try to wake him up. Then he did
what he had to do. He climbed across his dad and into the driver’s seat. He
steered the big truck back into its lanes and had the presence of mind to get
on the truck's C.B. radio to ask what he should do. Somebody heard his plea
for help and told him to turn off the ignition key. He did that. The rig began to
At just that moment, the semi passed Christopher Howard. Driving the
opposite direction on the highway, he saw that a child was at the wheel of the
slow-moving vehicle. He stopped his car, jumped out, and chased down the
truck on foot. He jumped aboard, climbed into the cab with Matty, and applied
the brakes that a nine-year-old boy's legs could not reach while steering.
The St. Helens Police Department didn't ticket Matty. To the contrary,
it made a public statement of support for his "cool demeanor" in an incident
that could have ended tragically.
"I just did the stuff," said a humble Matty. "I thought, I should just do
what my Dad does." He did. And he is a young hero for it.
Some of us Dads and Moms should think about this father-son story
very deeply. Our children watch. They absorb. They take their cues about
how to react to crises and joys, family and friends, God and man. You've
heard all your life about how more lessons are caught than taught, haven't
you? It is true!
"I should just do what my Dad does," thought Matty. And it served him
well on that day to remember and imitate his father's habits in driving a truck.
May it serve him well in a thousand other settings as well.
If it won't do to have your children do what you're doing today, maybe
it isn't too late. It's worth the effort for both of you. Get some help to change!
Just Like My Dad