Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2007 at DutchWonderland in Lancaster, PA. Though the picture is blurry, you can get a sense for the fun and adventure Mattie liked to have. The irony about this picture is Mattie HATED slides, all kinds, when he was a toddler and into his preschool years. Over time he got used to the motion and movement, and as you can see, he not only liked slides, he grew to love them. Slides are just one of many examples in which Mattie took things at his own pace, and when he was ready to try and do something, then there was no stopping him. But the inspiration and desire had to come from HIM, not us! That was a hard thing to learn as a parent, because it wasn't easy to see your child as "different," as not being like the other children. However, over time I realized the beauty of Mattie and appreciated him for his amazing talents, skills, and insights.
Quote of the day: An important way to cope with grief is having an outlet, be it interpersonal, be it artistic, that will allow you to not have to contain your grief, but will give you an opportunity to express it, to externalize it to some degree. ~ R. Benyamin Cirlin
I like tonight's quote very much because I do agree that an outlet is very important to help one cope with grief. My outlet today was baking a chocolate cake from scratch. The finished product is in this picture. Tomorrow night, Peter and I are having a friend over for dinner. Since Mattie died, I have had my parents here and my lifetime friend Karen, but other than them, no other visitors to entertain. So in a way, having dinner with a friend in our home is a novel yet special concept for us.
Saturday is July 23, which marks the third anniversary of Mattie's diagnosis with Osteosarcoma. It is a day we will never forget. It is a day that I can still physically feel! It seems ironic that I would make a chocolate cake to commemorate the day, a flavor that Mattie absolutely HATED. I view this cake as an outlet and just like Mattie, this cake has many surprises inside..... like chocolate chips and other chocolaty things that make it live up to its name, "decadent fudge cake."
This evening I went to our complex's laundry room. I was the only person in the room. When I went back to the room to transfer my laundry from the washers to the dryers, I noticed sitting on one of my machines a lone penny. There was NO one else in the room doing laundry and I did not leave this penny on the machine. Therefore when I entered the room and saw the penny, I stopped in my tracks. As many of my readers know, pennies were special to Mattie. My parents introduced Mattie to the "penny fairy." This fairy would leave pennies in various locations for Mattie to find, and he simply loved the thrill of finding one of those copper colored coins! So tonight I couldn't help but think that Mattie was sending me a message, as we approach his third anniversary. The penny was tails up, which Mattie and I both associated with "bad luck." Who would have thought that I would be receiving messages from beyond this world through our US currency, but to me this penny tails up was Mattie's way of telling me he knows tomorrow is a hard day, he knows we miss him, but not to forget that he is ever present.