Tonight's picture was taken in January of 2009. Mattie was invited to a friend's birthday party. Though all the other children were dropped off at the party, Peter and I had to stay with Mattie because he couldn't walk or move around on his own. He dealt with that pretty well and wasn't embarrassed. By that point in his treatment, he really wanted us around because we served interference and made sure all his needs were met. He understood and appreciated that. Nonetheless, the other children at the party who did not know about Mattie and his battle, observed us and were visibly curious and some just scared of the way Mattie looked and moved around. The party was a dress up dance party and as you can see, Mattie picked out a vest and a hat to wear. Mattie was always a beautiful and engaging child, and though cancer tried very hard to extinguish these qualities, it wasn't successful. The force within Mattie just couldn't be suppressed.
Quote of the day: For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: It also depends on what sort of person you are. ~ C.S. Lewis
Yesterday I was in a bad mood, and unfortunately it carried over into today. Peter can attest to that as I began the day snapping at him. Naturally the anger and feelings I have are not meant to be directed at him, but over the course of the next couple of months I have taken on several big Foundation projects that make me feel like I am on overload. Overload now produces physical symptoms and a host of other reactions within me.
Today Peter and I had a meeting with the director of marketing at the Alexandria, VA Whole Foods store. This is the store hosting our 5% day on Wednesday. The store has had some changes in personnel and therefore the original person I was working with who accepted our application is no longer at the store. So in many ways, we are rebuilding our connections there. I will spare you some of the frustrations I have had with planning this event over the course of the last three weeks, but let me assure you that a great deal of thought and coordination has gone into this day. In fact more than one might anticipate! After meeting with Kristen today, she encouraged us to provide free giveaway items to the customers coming into the store (which can't be food, balloon, and flower related). Mind you in a given day the store has about 800 to 1000 customers. The ironic part is if we could afford to giveaway 1000s of items, then from my perspective we wouldn't need a 5% day. So later on this evening, I spent about two hours in Mattie's room combing through all our Foundation merchandise to pull from things we do not mind giving away. After all, we need to be some what conservative with our branded items because they cost us money to generate them. As of tonight, we are much better organized for Wednesday, but still have some last minute things to do!
However, when my friend Charlie sent me this quote today, my reaction to it was... BRILLIANT! It is brilliant because when I tell Mattie's story and battle to people, I can tell RIGHT away whether you are listening to me and whether you care about what I am saying. As my readers know I have shared this story with hundreds, NO maybe thousands of people, and it never ceases to amaze me that about 10% of the population has absolutely NO reaction to it. This is not because they are shocked and don't know what to say, it is because they are simply disinterested. Believe me I know and I am adept at feeling the difference. So C.S. Lewis' quote was profound because seeing and hearing something doesn't guarantee that the information will be absorbed and processed. So much depends on WHO you are, WHAT is important to you, and especially WHERE you are in your life and the kinds of experiences you have had.