Peter has been under the weather for a few days, and decided to work from home today. Which was a good plan, because it serves no purpose for him to get sick. He is an important part of our equation. Ann visited us today at 11am, and I convinced Peter to leave the house and walk with me and have lunch together. Ann was a sight for sore eyes, she is like our 911. Peter and I really needed to regroup today, and we can't do that at home. Funny how our home has become anything but relaxing for us. Illness has a way of changing things profoundly. The beauty of Ann, is she comes in with a smile and high energy. Just what Mattie needs. She brought all sorts of activities that instantly engaged Mattie. Mattie was thrilled to say good-bye to Peter and I, and I really think Mattie feels Ann is his friend, and she comes solely to see him. It is very cute. Ann came with snacks of all kinds for Mattie, and coffee for Peter.
Peter and I took a walk to Washington Harbor, and walked along the Potomac River. We then ate by the water. Today was frigid, but at least the sun was out. But frankly it did not matter. You accept freedom in whatever form it comes in. Peter and I had a chance to chat over lunch and I had a chance to hear about how work is going for Peter and to discuss Mattie's upcoming walk on May 9th. Thankfully we have a whole team of wonderful members of Team Mattie working diligently on walk preparations! Peter was reflecting on some things, and as he spoke, I landed up in tears. He captured the essence of what we are going through beautifully! Ann, gave us a special gift today of three hours to ourselves!
Left: You can see all the cars Mattie washed this afternoon! He was BUSY!
Thank you Ann for spending part of your day with us. It made a big difference. After Ann left, I decided to do more laundry in order to prepare for heading back to the hospital potentially on thursday.
This evening, Peter and Mattie were working very hard on their lego addition to Mattie's village. It is coming along nicely. It is a beautiful structure. I took some pictures of the work in progress. Mattie wanted everyone to share in his excitement.
JP, our neighbor and JJ's owner, came to visit us today, and brought Mattie his favorite pizza and pasta. Thanks JP for thinking of Mattie and us. While JP was visiting he commented to me about Mattie's Mr. Sun painting. JP is an International Art Dealer and he told me that Mattie's work reminded him of Julian Schnabel's works. Especially because of the vibrant colors and the way Mattie signed his name on the painting. So I googled Schnabel tonight and I concur with JP's assessment. I attached the link below, so you could see some of Schnabel's paintings. When Mattie signed his name to Mr. Sun, he integrated his signature into the painting, just like Schnabel integrates words into his paintings. Interesting!
We want to thank the Katcher family for a wonderful dinner tonight from California Pizza Kitchen. Your support is greatly appreciated! I end tonight with several e-mail messages I received today. The first is from my friend, Charlie. Charlie wrote, "I was fascinated by Mattie's play therapy session. I think it started out as an art project but it seems to have morphed into something else entirely. It is wonderful that Jessie and Jenny gave him space to explore his negative feelings and that you were able to come in and help him resolve what was going on in the session. Mattie knows that his behavior is not what would normally be acceptable but of course the situation is not normal. He is angry and resentful (who would not be?) at the people who are doing things that hurt him and yet he knows they are trying to help. He has all these conflicting feelings and no way to resolve them except through action. Your intervention was timely and perfect, helping Mattie to see that the negative behavior will hurt the doer as much as the people who are subject to it. While this may not change his behavior very much during treatments, it tells you that he will be willing to work on changing it once the treatments are completed. Hang in there, Mattie is telling you that the sun and positive feelings he painted still remain within him, even on the most cloudy of days."
Hope ~ Emily Dickinson
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
I've heard it in the chillest land,