Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2005 at the US Arboretum. I can't think about this time of year without reflecting on Mattie's birthday and of course how wonderfully timed this occasion was with the flowering of the national azaleas!
Quote of the day: One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today. ~ Dale Carnegie
I spent the entire day cleaning out a walk-in closet in Mattie's bedroom. This closet has been absolutely abused over the years, especially when Mattie was sick. Back then, I would literally just throw things in that closet just to avoid seeing it. By the time I finished in there, I had bags and bags of papers to throw out, bags of unused toys, activity books, and other items to donate to the hospital, and of course things for Goodwill. Several of the piles I had to work through were Mattie's things, in particular, some of Mattie's more recent clothes. It is hard for me to give away his clothes, and I still have a ton of them. But as I began combing through his clothes I realized I just had to bag them and tried not to get overwhelmed by the notion of what I was actually doing. In the midst of these piles, I separated out Mattie's reindeer sweater and superman pajamas. Both of which are meaningful to me, and I put them away in his drawers (which are still filled to capacity with his clothes, as if he were still living in the room). In fact, everything is where Mattie left it in the room, because in many ways, to me this is still his room. Giving away Mattie's clothes seems like such a permanent act or a final act in acknowledging that he isn't coming back, despite our greatest hope. Our home is being transformed right before my eyes from one that clearly had child things all around it (signifying a child's presence) to one that is devoid of this presence. I realize this happens with ALL parents at some point in their lives, but the only difference here is my transformation was NOT by choice.
Yesterday, I was throwing out garbage and saw a Sports Illustrated magazine of Peter's in the trash. I am not at all interested in sports and never in my life even paged through the magazine. However, yesterday's issue caught my attention because it featured an article about the Titanic. I am fascinated by the history of the Titanic, and so I sat down to read the article. The article focused on the lives of two tennis players, Behr and Williams who not only were famous players but were survivors on the Titanic. I was intrigued by the differences in our culture back in 1912 compared to now. Back then, people were expected to have a stiff upper lip and not discuss the tragedy or the emotions one felt by surviving this trauma. The article caught my imagination, and helped me understand how different the media and the public would have reacted to a sinking of an ocean liner today, versus back then. I included the story below in case some of my readers are just as fascinated by ships and the Titanic...................
Unsinkable ... A century ago, more than 1500 people died in the most famous shipwreck in history. Two of the world's best tennis players, Richard Williams and Karl Behr, survived the disaster - in very different ways (by Jon Wertheim; Sports Illustrated, April 2, 2012)