Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009, at the Mattie March. Pictured with Mattie was Tricia, one of Mattie's favorite HEM/ONC nurses. Tricia is not only a competent and capable nurse, but what makes her an outstanding nurse is her ability to connect with her patients and families, and her advocacy for her patients with doctors and other hospital personnel. There are many memories we have with Tricia, some memories are filled with antics, such as her chasing a fly around Mattie's hospital room and then pretending to eat it, and of course more serious and life altering moments such as when she told me Mattie was dying. When I look at this picture, it takes me back to the time when we thought Mattie's chemo treatments were ending, and that soon we would be working on rehabilitation. It was only two months after this picture was taken that we learned Mattie's situation was terminal.
Quote of the day: Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. ~ Kahil Gibran
The beauty of Tricia is that her career as a nurse is not just a job, but it is a life calling. When Mattie died on September 8, 2009, Tricia's responsibility for caring for Mattie and us technically ended. Yet here we are two and a half years later, and she is still an instrumental part of our lives. Tricia walked with us through Mattie's cancer battle, through his death (she was one of the nurses who assisted us the morning of Mattie's death, for it was Tricia, Debbi, and Katie who helped wash Mattie's body, put him in a body bag, and take him to the Hospital morgue -- things a parent will never forget), and now through our grief.
My mood hadn't improved today, and fortunately Peter understands these moods, which helps. The one bright spot in our day was we received a package from Tricia. Unexpected surprises are always lovely. I actually am not sure what was more of a gift, her actual card and sentiments or the meaningful gifts she sent. Tricia collected gifts for us that reminded her of Mattie along her vacation travels, and shared them with us. Tricia knows my love of butterflies and how they remind me of Mattie. Just when I thought I have seen almost everything with a butterfly on it, she surprised me with this wonderful butterfly wind charm. The monarch butterfly is actually a hologram and the picture changes with the movement of the wind. The crystal hanging beneath it also captures the sun, and spreads rainbows around our whole deck.