Tonight's picture was taken in November of 2003. Mattie was riding on a scooter throughout the first floor of our home. Something he enjoyed doing! In fact Mattie learned to use wheels to propel himself before he learned to walk. When Mattie was a toddler, he would zoom around our first floor, turning tight corners to easily follow me around. We still have scratches on the floor and our furniture from the tracks left behind from his walker and his scooters! Mattie was turned off to crawling and learning to walk, but was very much in love with flying around the house on wheels.
Quote of the day: Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. ~ Arthur Golden
Tonight's quote is quite simple and yet very profound. I think adversity tears away and removes most aspects of an individual (other than what is at the core), but it also tears apart everything one comes to understand as real, fair, and just. Mattie's death has caused me to re-evaluate everything from myself, relationships, and the nature of what I do each day. As I told my friend Junko this week, Mattie's death has forced me to reinvent myself. Many full time moms do this later on in their lives when they become empty nesters, but in my case I have experienced this over a decade earlier than most, and I can assure you this in not where I saw or planned my life going. I do not understand why some people experience certain adversities, but I can certainly see how such adversities can send someone for a tail spin, spiraling down hill, and unable to continue living. Finding a way through adversity requires at times inhuman strengths and it has been a painful education about myself and those around me which I never could have learned in school, through a book, or a movie. My lessons are raw, vivid, and real and continue to shape who I am.
Peter was very focused today on Foundation items and we spent most of the day addressing one issue after the other. I must admit this was not how I planned on spending our day, so at first, I was less than pleased with being home and working. However, we were able to accomplish a great deal and in the end I feel good about what we did. We are working on two items in particular that I hope to be able to share in more detail with you shortly.
It was a beautiful weather day so later in the day we went for a walk on Roosevelt Island. Ironically while there we ran into one of Mattie's medical residents. We recognized each other immediately. Part of me wonders if she thinks of Mattie while walking the Island?! I certainly do as I know Peter does, since he walks the Island each weekend morning. The Island was visited by many ducks today, and I naturally couldn't help but remember all the bread and crackers I would bring on our weekend adventures there. Mattie loved feeding the ducks, and the funny part was Mattie would feed the ducks and also help himself to some of the bread at the same time! He was a real character.