Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2003, during Mattie's first birthday party! I think Mattie was born ON! In fact my joke was he had two speeds.... on and off and nothing in between. Mattie did not quite understand the whole notion of a birthday party, but we decorated everything with Mattie's favorite character.... ELMO and invited family over. I had games for all the kids and Mattie observed everything. However, I would say because of Mattie's sensory issues, the noise from the party was overwhelming for him. I remember he and I retreated upstairs several times away from everyone because Mattie was truly upset and crying. Of course by year two, Mattie fully understood the notion of a party and was excited to be a part of it.
Quote of the day: The day my son was born my life changed completely. ~ Treat Williams
This afternoon, Peter and I attended our God Daughter, Charlotte's first birthday party. I am sure it is very natural for most parents attending such an event to reflect on their child's first birthday! It is not unlike going to a wedding... you observe and celebrate the couple before you, but you also reflect upon your own marriage. So all I can say is this party brought up lots of thoughts, memories, and feelings tonight.
Peter and I spent a lot of time holding Charlotte at the party. I snapped this photo of Peter with her. Peter is very good at entertaining little ones. Much better than me. I prefer truly working with talking beings. But Charlotte is a cutie and so calm, patient, and good mannered.
Charlotte cooperated through LOTS of pictures. Practically everyone at the party had their photo taken with Charlotte, and she managed through each photo. I can assure you, this wouldn't have been Mattie's cup of tea.
Me with Charlotte.
During the party, I started talking to a woman whose husband is dying from cancer. She was getting ready to retire so they both could spend their future together, but of course she never planned for cancer severing that plan. I listened to her story and shared my thoughts, but never told her about Mattie. I find hearing about someone else's loss while experiencing your own.... NOT HELPFUL at all.
Nonetheless, how does it feel for me to lose my only child to cancer and then attend a one year old birthday party today? If I said it was easy, I would be lying. I try to be happy for the proud and happy parents, but of course a part of me says..... I was in their same shoes at one time and then my world came crashing down. I don't understand and most likely never will why some children are chosen to get cancer and die.