Quote of the day: "We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results." ~ Herman Melville
This morning, Mattie woke up before I left for my meeting. For Mattie this was SUPER early considering he went to bed after midnight. Needless to say, Mattie scared me again with two toy roaches this morning. The places were different from yesterday morning. One was in my bath towel and the other was in my purse. I did not appreciate this trick today either. I am not sure how I made it through two days of meetings. But I am happy to report that I survived, I never tuned out, and instead found it stimulating. This evening the board had a lovely dinner in Alexandria, Va. The board gave me a gift after the dinner was over, they made a generous contribution to Mattie's fund. I was very touched by this gesture, and I learned that several board members read Mattie's blog regularly. That was a high honor. I did tell the board about Mattie's situation and not having Mattie around to protect him from my reaction, I landed crying. This crying continued all the way through my drive home. I pulled it together before I walked in the door and saw Mattie. One thing I did learn though, is even though I was working with a board of mental health counselors, even trained professionals have a hard time knowing what to say when hearing about Mattie's situation. After all what is there to say? Maybe saying nothing, but listening is the best thing to do in all reality! Because really there is nothing you can say to take this pain away and a trite response with the magnitude of Mattie's situation is just so inadequate. Needless to say, I was proud of myself for holding it together, and just when I think I can't rise to the occasion, somehow I find resources I never knew I had. Mattie's illness is becoming a great life teacher.
Mattie had another busy day with Peter. Mattie went to one of his favorite places, no it wasn't the lego store, but Home Depot. They like to browse, and came home with a new bird feeder, since our previous one broke. They had a busy day building with legos, and then Mattie's grandparents from Boston arrived. Mattie was showered with a lot of wonderful gifts. His two favorites were an adorable bunny hat and the other was a box filled with vintage train accessories. Mattie couldn't wait to show me all of his gifts when I walked in the door.
Mattie also had a visit from JJ (our resident Jack Russell Terrier) tonight. Do you love JJ's new jacket?!
We want to thank the Bartlett family for a wonderful and generous dinner. Mattie loved the mac and cheese! Thank you for the support.
I end tonight's blog with a message I received from my friend Charlie. Charlie wrote, "Friday's blog seems to be about connections and maintaining the contact even when apart. Keeping one's obligations even when doing so is not easy or convenient, means a lot. I know that both the people you met with and all of your support system knew how difficult it was for you to tear yourself away from Mattie on Friday. I wonder if Mattie's little gifts to you on Friday morning were supposed to ensure that you thought about him even though you were not going to spend the day with him? It sounds as if he was successful, if that was what he intended. I hope your meeting was productive and that the visit from Peter's parents goes well. I continue to be amazed at Mattie's creativity and sense of humor through all of this and I am sure that several years down the road you will be reminding Mattie of some of the practical jokes that he came up with during this treatment process."