Mattie Miracle 9th Annual Walk & Family Festival -- Raised over $97,000

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.

As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

Random Shots of Mattie, Family and Friends

July 1, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2006. Mattie was four years old and had a great time at the "Day out with Thomas" event. Mattie saw and experienced all sorts of trains that day. Peter snapped a picture of Mattie on a train track in which he had to use his arms to turn the train's wheel. This hand pumping provided him locomotion on the tracks. What I love about this picture was Mattie was all business, he was focused on getting around the track and experiencing the ride.

Quote of the day: The rays of happiness, like those of light, are colorless when unbroken. ~ Henry W. Longfellow

Longfellow's quote caught my attention today, because what he was trying to say is that only through adversity, can we know and feel what true happiness is. Without that perspective, happiness is taken for granted and to some extent we may not even know we are happy. Comparisons are imperative to living, they help guide our growth and development, but most importantly they help us appreciate the positive circumstances in our lives more. Could I have done without the adversity of Mattie being diagnosed with cancer and dying? Personally my answer is MOST DEFINITELY YES. In a way, Peter and I discussed this whole notion over lunch today. I asked him what would our lives be like today, if Mattie were sitting next to us at lunch, and we hadn't experienced cancer? Naturally it is a hard question to answer, but Peter's response was.... "we would still be living in Disneyworld!" Which is how Peter describes our lives prior to cancer. We did not know we were living in Disneyworld at the time, but having this great comparison, we now know how lucky we were to have the regular and mundane problems of raising a healthy child for six years. So I would agree some challenging times and adversity are needed to feel true happiness, but I now also see within my life that some adversities are down right impossible to recover from, and they do not necessarily add to a positive perspective or outlook. It is not only a question of recovering from Mattie's death for me, but there is a sense of guilt about continuing to live a life without his presence. Between Mattie's death and the guilt associated with his death, it sometimes stymies me from allowing myself to see any rays of happiness.

This afternoon, I went to visit Mary, Ann's mom. Mary's assisted living facility lost power yesterday, and like the other 1.3 million people in the Washington, DC area she was without air conditioning. However, for older adults, especially those in need of the support of medical devices, being without power is life threatening. Mary's facility regained power today, however, despite that, the heat in the facility was overwhelming. It was like walking into an oven. I was told it was much worse yesterday, if that is physically possible. Heat typically doesn't affect me, so if I am impacted, you have to know it is HOT. Mary was completely mute tonight, which makes our communications now very different from how they were in the past. Now it takes much more emotional strength and energy to visit Mary, because it is hard to see her this way, but second, I feel the need to engage her, which is challenging at best since our interactions are only one-way. I brought today's newspaper with me, so that I could read several articles to Mary, and try to orient her to the current happenings in our country and region.

As we were visiting with each other, a man dressed in priest's attire walked in. He was checking his list and saw both Mary and her roommate are Catholic and he wanted to say a prayer with them and give them communion. But before he proceeded he wanted to know if another priest had stopped by prior to him. I told him I had been there for two and a half hours so far, and there was no other visitors. Which did not answer his question per se, and he was curious why I just did not ask Mary or her roommate his question. I then had to explain to him that Mary's roommate has Alzheimer's disease and Mary is basically mute.  Nonetheless, I said to him that he should continue with a prayer and communion, because even if they received it twice today, I had a feeling God would be okay with this considering how ill they are. He agreed, and we proceeded with prayers and communion. Since I was responding to his prayers, he caught on quick that I too must be Catholic. So he wanted to give me communion too. What I learned is this fellow is in seminary and has two more years of schooling before he is ordained a priest. He was a lovely young fellow and he asked me to pray for him, to give him strength to finish his studies.

I told this seminary student that his visit to the assisted living facility today is crucial, and that I hope he will continue to visit with Mary. I told him that the residents appreciate his visits and spiritural connectiveness, whether they can verbalize it or not. I believe residents like Mary need to feel loved and a part of something, and this student's visit achieves this! He felt very empowered by my response, in our 90 degree room! He then wanted to know exactly who I was. He asked if I were Mary's daughter, and I said "NO!" I explained that Mary's daughter is my friend, and he then proceeded to let me know that God appreciates me and the kindness I show Mary won't go unnoticed. It was a very lovely statement and I appreciated his caring response. Yet I visit Mary not for accolades and to be told that God will look upon me kindly. I visit Mary because she is my friend and I am guided by my internal feelings and principles.

I would like to end tonight's posting with a picture I took of Patches (our calico cat) today. She was resting comfortably on our couch, with Peter (her buddy) beside her. What a twosome!

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