Dear Mr. and Mrs. Brown,
The carwash was a surreal experience. Someone could have tried to describe the event to me, but I really had to be there for myself to see the volume of people who came out to support Mattie. It was downright incredible. The parking lot and street were lined up with cars, and what impressed me was everyone was patient and in the mood to support a valuable cause. Besides the incredible volume, there was a captivating feeling in the air, a feeling that you can't really describe or quantify, but something that you can feel, which is so intoxicating that you want to try to bottle it up and savor it for all the hard days we have in store for us. The feelings in the air were of great admiration, love, and compassion. It was very clear to me today, that Mattie is very loved and very blessed to have all of you in his life. I am happy Peter and I could attend, because we came back empowered after talking to so many of you. Each of you shared how our situation has touched your life, and for several of you, you mentioned how this has changed your life for the better. I had the opportunity to talk with a dad today, who basically told me that my blogs have caused him to re-evaluate his priorities in life. I have had people tell me they are glued to the blog and religiously read it and thank me for sharing my feelings very openly. That by doing this and standing out on a limb, this has caused them to be open to being more vulnerable to letting others into their lives. At times today, I felt like I was attending a memorial service of my life. Now you may be asking what on earth is she talking about? Well as you are aware, during a memorial service, people get up and give tributes about you, and for most people they aren't lucky enough to be present (at least in the earthly way) for such tributes. But today, I heard feedback about myself and my family, that perhaps I wasn't prepared to hear, or at least not this early in my life. I left feeling very good about the life I have lived so far, and I will take these feeling and powerful words shared with me through this cancer journey.
Thank you Charlotte for coming by the hospital this afternoon. Thanks for the Scooby glow in the dark stickers and the educational learning game. We will get a lot of use out of that. The funny part about this visit was Mattie was chasing Charlotte down the hallway with his IV pole in tow, trying desperately to kiss her. It was thoroughly amusing to witness.
Kathryn Boyd Loftus (her son Matt, a senior, helped at the carwash and is having a mass at Holy Trinity in Mattie's honor), Dianne C., Wayne H., Jill C., and Beth and Charles for your e-mails. Beth, thank you for a wonderful dinner and for the spinny robots. Mattie loves them!
Left: Annie H. welcoming people to the carwash.
Left: Maddie G. hard at work on a tire!