Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2005. Mattie was three years old and we took him to the butterfly house at Brookside Gardens in Maryland. It was a beautiful enclosed garden with butterflies flying all around. The majority of us at the exhibit were fascinated by the butterflies however, none of these creatures decided to land on us! Mattie however was the chosen one. As you can see this monarch butterfly matched Mattie's orange shirt. Mattie understood the gentle nature of butterflies and he knew he couldn't touch it. However, the sheer joy on Mattie's face let us know he was happy to be selected as a landing spot. My friend, Tanja, has commented on this picture the last time I posted it. The comment resonated with me, because she said butterflies only land on special people. I would like to believe this butterfly sensed Mattie's uniqueness and gentleness of spirit, and therefore graced him with its presence.
Quote of the day: Even his griefs are a joy long after to one that remembers all that he wrought and endured. ~ Homer
As promised, the question of the day is....................................................
Have you voted for Tricia (Mattie's nurse) today?
(Remember you can vote ONCE every 24 hours!!!)
For more information about the Johnson and Johnson Amazing Nurse Contest, please read my September 28, 2011 blog posting. Your daily vote is important and will bring Tricia closer to becoming a finalist.
Click on this link to vote for Patricia Grusholt: http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/157336/voteable_entries
I want to thank SO many of you who are emailing to let me know you are voting for Tricia. Keep up the good work! For those of you who have posted this information to your facebook and twitter accounts, I can't thank you enough!
I went to visit Celina today. As some of you may know from the Foundation Walk, Celina is the professional who cuts my hair and owns a salon in Washington, DC. Celina and her family volunteered at the Walk this year and painted and decorated participants' nails. This was a popular activity at the walk for girls of all ages! Any case, I have known Celina for over a decade and I know she deeply feels for me over my loss of Mattie. Today, not only getting a haircut, her staff gave me a head and neck massage. I did not ask for this, but when the salon isn't busy, Celina instructs her staff to do this. As soon as they felt my neck and upper back, they all cringed. Not surprising since this is where I carry my stress, along with my head! In any case, why am I telling you this? I guess the reason is this experience today confirmed for me the importance of two things, touch and being treated with kindness. In our harried lives, where we are glued to technology, we forget about the importance of human connections. Holding hands, hugging, and simply touching a person's hand or arm for example. I have found in crisis moments and moments of intense stress, nothing helps to illustrate the bond between people like touch. All I know is this simple act of kindness today made me feel a whole lot better.
Later in the afternoon, I went to visit Mary (Ann's mom). Mary is used to seeing me on a regular basis, and being away for over two weeks, I am sure was confusing to her. She was very happy to see me and she loved the fall flowers I brought to decorate her room. While chatting with her, I was arranging flowers, and Mary was shocked to see me take two bunches of flowers and transform them into an arrangement. It is nice to have a fan! Any case, I also concluded tonight that even though Mary and I clearly are a generation or so apart, we think in a similar fashion. I attribute this to the fact that we both lost a son to cancer. Cancer has changed our perspective on life, on how we view problems in life, and on how we feel about people. However, we are careful in sharing these inner thoughts with others, because sometimes our pronouncements may seem insensitive or heartless. We are certainly neither, but maybe losing something most precious to us, helps put things into context and gives us a clarity of view like we never had before.
I would like to end tonight's posting with a picture and then a message from my friend and colleague, Nancy.
Peter and I want to thank Bill (in yellow) and his wife, Katita (in gray) for raising $1,275 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Mattie’s Memory. Peter and Bill were Arthur Andersen colleagues, and though Enron destroyed that company, the spirit and the connections of those who worked there remain.
My friend and colleague Nancy wrote, "After reading the last few entries of the blog, I am left with a warm glow and peacefulness. I think you have created another profession for yourself should you ever want one: writing travel brochures. Your descriptions of events and surroundings allows the reader to experience your observations vicariously and vividly. I think that is what I take away from most blog entries, the energy, love, and commitment that Peter and you made to your charming and gifted little boy. Mattie was very smart when he picked his parents. He knew that they would take care of him in all kinds of situations and conditions. I am consistently reminded of the creativity displayed by you especially on those difficult days of intense treatment. As this is the season of reflection for the Jewish people, the blog has been a source of focus. We generally wish someone we care about L'Shanah Tovah. This means that we hope for a sweet, healthy, and happy New Year to our friends and family. I always add a peaceful year! I think I understand how some of these wishes are difficult to accept when you have lost your precious Mattie and purpose as a Mom. Vicki, you were, are, and always will be Mattie's Mom. His presence surrounds Peter and you and you continue to protect and include him in each and every day. I am looking forward to being with both of you in a few weeks where I can give you a proper hug. With love today and every day."