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

May 21, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 -- Mattie died 193 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2009, right before we headed to the Mattie March. The March was the first Walk our Team Mattie community planned for us to show unity and support. It was an amazing event and I am so glad Mattie got the chance to feel this kind of spirit.

Quote of the day: Everything you can imagine is real. ~ Pablo Picasso

Today I took my parents to the Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens in Washington, DC. To me, visiting Hillwood is a must see when coming to DC. Especially if you are intrigued by seeing "living art." Meaning art in a more natural surrounding rather than stuck behind a cabinet in a museum!

In 1955, Marjorie Merriweather Post purchased Hillwood and literally transformed the estate which was originally built in the 1920s into a 25 acre masterpiece which included a mansion that was filled with bold 18th century French decorating styles from Louis XVI and breathtaking gardens. Marjorie was an only child and her father was CW Post, the founder of the Post Cereal empire. At age 27, after Marjorie lost both of her parents, she literally inherited a $20 million cereal company. Marjorie was considered one of the wealthiest women in the United States at one time, had was married four different times. After her fourth divorce she moved into Hillwood. Her second husband was EF Hutton, and together they transformed the Post Cereal Company into General Foods. In fact, we were told that Marjorie was deeply in love with EF Hutton, and that he was the second love of her life, after her father. Apparently EF Hutton was unfaithful to her, she couldn't tolerate that in a marriage, and divorced him.

Walking through Hillwood gives you an appreciation for the kind of woman Marjorie must have been and based on where her servant quarters and kitchen were located, it was physically clear that she cared for and treated her staff with respect and kindness. That is part of the legacy she left behind. She was known to be a shrewd business woman, who could entertain Washington's elite, and yet was a genuine and caring person. I think that is somewhat evident in the fact that she designed her home for future generations to see, appreciate, and to give us a glimpse into the life and times of prosperity which no longer exist within our Country.

I have to say that by today's standards we would enter the Hillwood mansion and feel that the d├ęcor is garish and overdone. After all, the Louis XVI style is not something we see much of anymore. Yet there are things within her home that are exquisite from her extensive Faberge egg collection, to her amazing collection of fine china. Patterns and colors which could take your breath away. Marjorie's third husband was the US Ambassador to the Soviet Union, and as such she lived there for almost two years. During that time she collected a vast array of silver pieces, religious icons, and other works of art. Every corner of her house showcases part of her collections. I must admit however, that I was intrigued with Marjorie's shoes. I LOVE shoes!!! With a woman of Marjorie's means, one would expect an amazing shoe collection. But notice here that ALL her shoes were the same. They are only different colors! This was by design, because she believed a shoe had to be comfortable first! Once she found a comfortable shoe, she commission the shoe company to provide her the shoe in a rainbow of colors.

Marjorie bequeathed Hillwood to the Smithsonian Museum. The Smithsonian claimed the property for only a short period of time and then gave it back to the Family trust and foundation. Hillwood is off the beaten track and also it is small and can't be open to massive amounts of public traffic daily. Therefore this wasn't an ideal Smithsonian property. However, before the Smithsonian gave the property back, they did claim many of the wonderful jewelry pieces that belonged to Marjorie and these pieces are on display in one of the museums associated with the Smithsonian. Nonetheless, these emerald and ruby pieces are housed at Hillwood and they were quite extraordinary!

I did not care for Marjorie's wallpaper tastes at all and frankly though I LOVE the color pink, I hated the pink tones she used throughout her home. Marjorie had a servant who weekly retrieved dresses out of her home's storage space. Therefore her closet only contained the items she would be wearing within that week's time. Clothes were constantly revolving in and out of her closet.

I think the mansion is certainly worth seeing and exploring, but so are the gardens. The gardens are so peaceful and inviting. Here is one rose garden in particular, but there are other roses throughout the property. In fact, Marjorie called her outdoor gardens, "garden rooms." She literally expected each garden to reflect an historical style that was combined with current horticultural designs. She wanted the garden rooms to have a distinct character and yet fit into the estate as a whole.

Flower beds were blooming everywhere. The grounds crew tries to maintain the property the way that Marjorie had it so that we can get a feeling for how grand the property was as well as have greater insight into the woman behind the property.

Marjorie also incorporated a Japanese Garden into her grounds. The sound of running water can be heard from right outside the house. It is an immediate escape to tranquility. If you can't tell, I much prefer her gardens to her actual house, yet after visiting this property, I have to say that Marjorie gets her guests to reflect upon their own legacy. How do we want to be remembered? I am sure the answer is different for each of us, yet Marjorie is remembered for her kindness, generosity, compassion to help people who needed support (in fact after she died, her accountant found out that she had been supporting 50 different friends financially for years, and she never said a word), and of course for giving us the beauty of Hillwood.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am another Holton 6th grade student who went to the walk and I went to Hillwood as well. I also read your blog every morning when I get up.