Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2007. Mattie was invited to a friend's superhero birthday party, and Mattie decided to attend dressing the part. The irony was two months prior to this party one of Mattie's friends gave him this superman outfit for his birthday! Good timing, because at age 5, Mattie related to the whole concept of a superhero! It was on that day that the phrase SUPER MATTIE was coined. In 2007, the notion of childhood cancer was no where on our radar scope, but in July of 2008 (when Mattie was diagnosed), we learned that this was not only a cute title, but a very worthy one!
Quote of the day: The only real happiness comes from giving. ~ Author Unknown
I had another busy day today which began with my monthly professional licensure board meeting. However as the day progressed I began reflecting on the blog, and thought to myself what was I going to write about tonight? I feel like I am in an emotional funk, therefore, I am very aware of the fact that being in this state it is harder to write each night. So when in this mood, it is easy for me to say to myself that I have had enough and the writing must stop. I also have to imagine it is hard for an outsider to read my words, and understand and ACCEPT that our healing won't happen in a day, month, or year. It will occur over a lifetime, if ever.
Before I sat down at the computer this evening, I happened to be in Mattie's room putting some things away. While there, something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. It appeared to be some sort of flashing outside Mattie's window. So I was intrigued, stopped what I was doing, and went over to the window. To my amazement, I saw a light show only nature could create. What was causing the flashing? Well I would say it was least 50 or more lightning bugs. These bugs were in our commons area, but not just any or ALL parts of the area. The bugs were ONLY flying around the area where Mattie always set up his Christmas light display with Peter. It was an absolutely remarkable sight that caused me to paused. I watched the event for 10 minutes and while watching, a lightning bug actually flew to Mattie's window and sat on his screen for quite some time.
Somehow seeing this display reminded me of Mattie. Almost as if he was sending me a sign. A sign I couldn't possibly miss. I know if Mattie were alive, he would have been right next to me in fascination over this light show. So whether this was a sign or not, it most definitely was an inspiration. An inspiration which got me writing tonight and got me to reflect on how those of us who are grieving turn to aspects in nature to help us reconnect with our loved ones. We seek out these special signs, because it is within these signs that we find hope. Hope at this stage looks very different than while Mattie was battling cancer. Hope for me may mean that I can recall a Mattie memory vividly, remember Mattie's voice, his antics and character, and what Mattie looked like. As time marches on, memories do become faded, and I think the scariest part for a parent who lost a child is to forget. To forget every aspect of your child and to forget what that role felt and looked like. Tonight's lightning bugs seemed to rejuvenate that feeling for me.