Tonight's picture was taken in January of 2009. Mattie had a clinic visit at the hospital and while there Jenny and Jessie (his art therapists) saved him a box. Mattie LOVED constructing all sorts of objects from boxes. You would be amazed the boxes that the hospital staff saved for Mattie, and then even more amazed by how he transformed them! As you can see Mattie took an ordinary box and made his version of a bicycle helmet out of it! He was wearing it at home and I snapped a picture of him. But if you knew Mattie, then you can tell from his facial expression that he wasn't really happy or feeling well. He was looking at me with a very glassy smile, and yet despite how he was feeling on even the worst days, he always tried to connect with me in some way.
Quote of the day: There is something in humility that strangely exalts the heart. ~ St. Augustine
This morning I attended a local gymnastics meet. Ann's youngest daughter, Abigail, was competing and Ann invited me to go with her. Typically Abigail's meets are out of town and therefore I can't attend them. In fact the last one I remember going to with Abigail was in January of 2010. A lot has changed in two years both developmentally for Abbie and emotionally for me.
I never studied gymnastics nor do I watch it on TV. So I do not understand how the sport is scored and judged, but that is okay. Actually it may be even better that I don't have this knowledge, because I was able to sit back today and watch things for there sheer grace and beauty. What I found intriguing was that my eye focused upon those gymnasts who presented themselves more like a dancer. Some looked like dancers and moved with the same grace and beauty. Clearly there are two very different philosophies to gymnastics, you either train and reward skill and power, or you really train the kids on the grace and poise of the sport. It would be lovely to see these things go together and I imagine they do as the children mature. Nonetheless, grace and style capture my mind and heart. It is a treat to watch a child defy gravity with beauty and to see her facial expression to match.
It was evident to me that the girls performing really had humility and for the most part supported their team mates, which was lovely to see. It is through this humility that I think the hearts of those in the audience are captured. Nonetheless, I would have to say that the children managed the stress of the day better than most of the adults in the room. The level of tension and anxiety in the room were high and I came home and I asked Peter, what on earth is all of this for? This is when my cancer world collides with the real world, and things or priorities do not make sense.
I spent the rest of the day at home in bed. I haven't been feeling well all week, and the pain has culminated this weekend. So I just have to rest. I truly believe all my physical ailments are very tied to grief and stress and most likely a direct result of the 14 months of intense stress fighting Mattie's cancer. This is a stress that lies dormant within my body and seems to pop up at interesting times. Any case, I am signing off for tonight in hopes that tomorrow is a better day.