Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2008. Each May, Mattie's lower school celebrates Grandparents day (in fact this past Friday, Mattie's classmates who are now in fourth grade celebrated this occasion). During this occasion each elementary school class performs a song for the hundreds of grandparents in attendance. As you can see in this picture, Mattie (front row right, red tie) was up on stage with several of his classmates singing. This was Mattie's first and last Grandparents day. On this occasion, my parents flew in from Los Angeles to celebrate the day with Mattie. They attended the school's grandparents breakfast, the concert, and then visited Mattie's classroom and saw some of the things he was working on. I know this first hand, since on that day I volunteered on campus, and as a volunteer, I had the opportunity to see how special the day was for grandparents and the children alike. I am so happy, looking back now, that I took the time to always volunteer and to be heavily involved in Mattie's development. In 2008, I was an educator, and the month of May was one of my busiest seasons, where I had SO much final grading to complete. Yet, despite that, Mattie came first always and fortunately he did, otherwise I would have missed out on the seven short years we had together.
Quote of the day: Character can not be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved. ~ Helen Keller
Today was a busy day for Peter and I. We completed all sort of chores and later in the day, we transported all the raffle baskets from our home to Carolyn's (our raffle chair). I am thrilled to have space back in our home so that I can continue working on walk plans. Carolyn's children loved the raffle baskets and were attracted to them, which in my book means I wrapped them successfully. Carolyn's daughter, Ellie (who attended preschool with Mattie), is one of our kid vendors at the Walk this year. Ellie is only 9 years old, yet I believe that Lauren Chelenza has inspired Ellie. As many of my readers know, Lauren is 14 years old and is the founder of Bows for Hope, a non-profit whose sole mission is to raise funds for Mattie Miracle by designing hand made duct tape hair bows. Lauren was one of our Faces of Hope speakers last year, and at our Walk, she sold MANY of her duct tape hair bows. Ellie was one of Lauren's good customers. This year, Ellie is working on creating her own designs on hairbands and will be selling them at this year's walk. Ellie is determined to raise money for Mattie Miracle, in her friend's honor. Ellie's table at the walk will be entitled, "Bands for Hope." Today, Ellie surprised me with my own hairband creation that she designed with Mattie Miracle themed colors and also dawned on it a beautiful orange butterfly. I am very touched by this gift, a gift that will remind me of Mattie each time I wear it. So for those of you attending the walk, be on the look out for me and my orange butterfly, and of course check out Ellie's Bands of Hope table!
Later this afternoon, we all sat outside, including Patches (our calico cat). We bought new chair cushions and pillows for our outdoor furniture, and Patches was enthralled with these comfy additions! Needless to say, we are all enjoying our deck and having outdoor time. Our deck table now resides where Speedy Red used to sit, but I purposely bought red pillows and things as reminders of the favorite color Mattie and I shared together!