In honor of Independence Day, I share with you a link to the song, Proud to be American! Enjoy and hope you all had a happy and safe July Fourth.
Left: Mattie and Jackson discussing how to put the Lego set together.
Left: Jackson, Abigail, and Mattie
Mattie decided to join Ann and Liz's family at dinner tonight. We went out and Mattie was engaged with Jackson (Liz's son) and Abigail. Jackson even gave Mattie a sticker tonight which says, "Mattie King for Two days." They colored together, ate, and played with Legos. So overall, Mattie had a great day. In fact a night and day difference from Friday. Here is the problem with this though, certainly I am thrilled he had a great day, but I feel like I am riding an emotional rollercoaster. I never know which emotion I am going to get on any given day. This level of uncertainty and volatility is complex and wearing. Mattie may have moved on from Friday, but I am still stuck there. It is much harder to recover from set backs now because we are tired. As we head into Sunday, we will be packing up and heading home. Two days goes by so quickly, especially when the first day is so challenging.
The second e-mail if from a friend and fellow SSSAS mom. Tamra wrote, "Well, dear friends, fireworks are literally and figuratively indescribable, mysterious, frightening, beautiful, humbling...all at the same time. I loved the preview photos of what will come on this evening of the celebration of our nation's independence...But your own personal fireworks yesterday... Vicki, you described as hell..is the frightening part of personal fireworks...they can be so explosive -- they can linger or be a burst...my heart breaks for the hot and awful and explosiveness of what you go through. You know, all of us wish we could wash away the bad stuff but we can't.. we can just hold you closer in our hearts and minds and prayers that there is a little sweetness and beauty and progress in each day for the 3 of you. Marriage brings with it a ton of ups and downs in everyday life..compound that with the fragility of your sweet Mattie's battle it adds so much more work to the moving forward part of the growth of a family. Easy for me to say as an outsider looking in, but I am humbled by the raw emotions that you bear..and share with all of us. For our little team Bentsen, it reminds us to be grateful and loving and joyful and celebratory with our lives as individuals, as parents, as children, as friends. And, we hope that in your darkest most frustrating times that you remember that we love you 24/7. Here's to you, dear friends."
The third message is from our friend and former neighbor, Goli. Goli wrote, "My dear Vicki, I don't contact you enough, but I am always at ahhhhh on how you and Peter do it. As we have discussed before, my faith in any supreme being has never been very strong, but last year was even worse. Mattie's illness, and in general all the injustice, has shaken my already shaky belief in any supreme being to the core. But, as an individual, every one wants to believe that there is something, something that brings about this unbelievable order. Everyone needs to sometime just cling on something, something much bigger than what we can imagine. I have been thinking about why this had to happen to your family for many months, and have not been able to find any reason. In addition, from my roof garden I watch people on the street. One particular one has touched me a lot. There is a 95 year old, frail, lonely, lady who wears the same thin winter coat in all seasons. Rain or shine, every day, she walks from her apartment which is about 3 blocks to the grocery store. It takes her about 3 hours to do this. And each time seeing her makes me again think of God's reasoning and choices. During my trip to Iran, I discussed your situation with groups of people who believe in the supreme being. Some who are more conservative than others. I asked what is the reason this had to happen? Why is this the wish of Allah? And what good comes out of this? Wow, how cruel of a wish this has been for all three of you. Today's blog, was almost like lightening. Today, you said "perhaps I am destined not to be happy," and it simply dawned on me. There is no reason for you, Peter, and Mattie to go through this, no reason at all, unless you are destined to go through this nightmarish first hand experience so the three of you can impact and change lives of millions of people. Today I thought maybe be there is a God, and maybe there is a reason. Mattie is very correct calling the other kids "kids." As it is said in Farsi, Mattie has gone on a hundred year trip in one year. The rehabilitation will be long, hard, and will have its toll on all of you. But I am sure you will see him again change to the Mattie we knew, just much more experienced."