Mattie Miracle 10th Anniversary Walk was an $119,000 success!

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.


As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter



The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: www.mattiemiracle.com and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

March 1, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tonight's picture was taken in March 2009, in the Georgetown Hospital childlife playroom. Mattie was trying out the new Wii Fit equipment that his preschool teacher, Lana, donated to the childlife playroom. Mattie was a natural at yoga! Surgeries and all! In fact, he did a better job than most of the other kids who attempted to do this, and these other children did not have limb salvaging surgeries like Mattie. Mattie was focused and determined, not unlike how he battled cancer.

Poem of the day: Six months by Charlie Brown

My heart is not broken
It is shattered
Into a million pieces
And more
Never to be whole again
Sometimes all I can see
Are your sparkling brown eyes
All I can hear
Is your laughter
Then I wake
To the silence of a house
Without its beloved boy
It's been six months
Or was it yesterday
That I last heard
Your little voice say
"I love you, Mom"
Does it get better?
They say it does--
But for me,
It is too soon to know
So I wait, dreading every morning
And especially every weekend
Without the comfort of your presence.
I miss you!

I spent a good portion of my day with Mary, Ann's mom. Mary is being discharged on Friday from the rehabilitation center she has been in for the last couple of weeks. However, the dilemma becomes which assisted living facility to move her into, the one she has been in prior to her rehab admit, or the option of a totally different facility. This is a very complicated decision and naturally any changes are daunting for an older adult. Mary needs a great deal of reassurance and support as she makes this transition. Mary asked me this afternoon to choose where she should live and though I have some perspective on all of this, I realize it is not appropriate for me to sway her decision. Instead, I tried to be objective about the two facilities she has to select from, and I tried to help her see the pros and cons of both. Mary will be visiting the new facility on Wednesday, and though taking Mary on this little visit is a MAJOR feat for Ann, I think ultimately this will make Mary feel empowered about her choice in where she lives. We all feel the need to have some control over our lives, some independence. Though Mary physically has very little independence, including Mary in the decision making process seems like a very wise and psychologically healthy thing to do.

I had the opportunity to meet my friend Christine (Campbell's mom) for lunch today. As some of you may recall, Campbell and Mattie were very close kindergarten buddies. As Mattie and Campbell became friends on the playground, so did Christine and I. In fact, SSSAS's (Mattie's school) playground has special meaning to me. Because on this playground I met a good friend, and I had the wonderful opportunity to watch Mattie and Campbell's friendship grow. It grew naturally without intervention, without our direction and guidance. It wasn't structured like so many activites are now a days for our children. Their meeting times were simple and yet at the same time so beautiful. Beautiful because they used their creativity to design elaborate play schemes and they could do this for hours! You would be amazed with what they could do with found objects on the grounds of the campus, for example, bottle caps became gold. Deep down, Christine and I share this common value... we believe children need unstructured time, the time to freely express themselves. We both long for a simpler life, and somehow watching Mattie and Campbell play outside on the playground (and you should note they were usually alone by this point, because most of the other children had been picked up by their families and were headed to the next activity of the day) helped solidify this value.

Christine and I had a fun time chatting about a whole bunch of different things. However, one thing is very clear, Mattie's memory is alive and well in Christine's household. Campbell reflects on the loss of Mattie, and he hasn't forgotten his friend or the special connection they had. Actually listening to how Mattie's death has affected his close friends gives me pause. It gives me pause because we adults greatly undervalue the depths of emotions young children are capable of having. If I had any doubts about this, I would say Mattie's friends have enlightened me. As Christine said today, "Mattie has become part of my conscious thought process in daily life." That line stuck with me, and as I told her I am honored deeply.

I would like to end tonight's posting with two messages. The first message is from my friend, Charlie. Charlie wrote, "I was glad to hear that the vision for the foundation continues to move forward. I think what you are doing is very important. As I take calls at Haven, I hear how fragile the net of support is for both parents and young siblings of children who have died from cancer. If you can find a way to strengthen even one link in that net, you will be doing a great service. It sounds like you and Amany had a good visit but as you said, you have to re-engage in small doses otherwise it is all overwhelming. Be patient, take things at your own pace. I know it is hard to do; I was given a specific posture to practice daily and told I would see results in a year ("a year!!!" is what I thought) and then I realized the year would pass whether or not I did it, so I could do it and be closer to my goal, or not and be no further than now, or perhaps in a worse place. So from someone who sees an elusive goal, to you who also cannot see your goal, let us both work each day as we can and let others support us as they are able. I hold you gently in my thoughts."
 
The second message is from my friend and colleague, Nancy. Nancy wrote, "I don't know what happened this morning, but, I just finished reading yesterday's blog. I know that you said this poem was sent by your Mom and it made me think of my parents and I cried. I hope that it is ok to tell you just how much this poem touched me. It brought me right back to the day my father died and the 10 days of being with my Mom while she was dying. Vicki, I don't think I have ever felt closer to you, in your grief, than today. On a more positive note, I was glad to read of your day with Peter. I think having something so special and important to concentrate on is a supreme way to honor Mattie and your cause. The Foundation will have a purpose unlike others that I know of as it will support the whole family during their fight with this overwhelming disease. I know that the cruise was difficult watching families interact and be together while all of you were focused on Mattie not being with you, in person. I find it interesting and special that you decided to write the blog until the anniversary of Mattie's death. In Judaism, we say the mourner's prayer for our parents for 11 months. For others in our immediate family, we have to say it for just 30 days. This never made sense to me as how does one assign such a short period of time to a missed loved one. The way I deal with this is it is a mitzvah to say the Kaddish every day if one chooses. I guess I see the blog as your daily prayer to Mattie. It is a beautiful thought. As always, I hold you in my thoughts and heart. Please take good care of yourself and say hello to Peter for me. I hope that we will meet one of these days. With love and a hug."

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