Mattie Miracle 8th Annual Walk & Family Festival was an $88,000 Success!!!

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: www.mattiemiracle.com 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 5, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tonight's picture was taken in September of 2007. We took Mattie to an exhibit at the Swedish Embassy that weekend, which had just relocated to a beautiful new building right on the Potomac River. The Embassy featured this HUGE chair outside facing the River. I lifted Mattie on top of the chair and took a photo of him! Both Mattie and I were intrigued by big chairs and whenever we saw one, we always had a photo with it. The Embassy still exists in this location, but the chair no longer does. When I pass this building on occasion, I do think about this particular moment in time and our day exploring the inside and outside of the building. 


Quote of the day: To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~ John Burroughs


As Burroughs quote so aptly states, there is something quite wonderful about the simple life. I am not sure I would have understood that or even appreciated his sentiments at all if childhood cancer hadn't taken over my life. But what he is saying has real meaning to me and it is in times where I can escape to fresh air, water, and be a part of nature that I feel more at peace. I only spent 14 months trapped in a hospital and living through the hell of Osteosarcoma with Mattie, but somehow that was enough of an experience to permanently alter my mental framework. It has influenced how I see, experience, and understand everything and everyone. I no longer take for granted the simple freedoms of my own space and privacy, because I know there are hundreds of families each day living in hospitals without it!

Yesterday we announced on Facebook our Amazon Smiles Campaign. It is our hope that our supporters who are Amazon users, will consider making purchases through the Amazon Smiles program. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. This will not cost you anything, you will just need to enter Amazon through this link:
https://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-1238358

We spent the July 4th inside working. Which is never a wonderful way to spend a holiday. This made both of us tired, edgy, and stressed out. This made for less than a pleasant day. So today we regrouped and got outside.

There are several places I love to walk. One of them is Huntley Meadows. Huntley Meadows has everything from beautiful trees, pathways, to an incredible boardwalk over a wetland.









The boardwalk to me was alive with greenery today! In addition to all the color, the sounds were incredible! I attached some links below so you have a feeling for exactly what we were hearing!










There were cattails every were today! I took photos of cattails because for Peter and I, they are symbolic of a very funny story! Right after college I moved to Boston to attend graduate school. Peter was also living in Boston as well. For one of my biology assignments, I had to take an undergraduate class to a swamp. Peter came with me. One of the things I took home from the swamp were a few cattails. BIG MISTAKE! Cattails are beautiful, but I did not realize that after a few weeks, their tops eventually explode and when they do, the pollen from the cattail head goes everywhere! Picture cotton balls everywhere! That is almost what it looked like, but much harder to clean up! I will never forget that incident, nor would I ever again pick a cattail! I learned my lesson! So now when we see cattails, we just LAUGH!


A photo over the marsh!
















We saw several mud turtles today! While I was fascinated with this turtle, Peter was glued to a school of fish which were literally being chased by something called a Snakehead fish. I had no idea what he was talking about. He kept telling me he saw a snakehead, and I thought he saw a snake! Since I despise snakes, I stayed VERY clear of him. He then explained that he was referring to a predatory fish! So I looked up what he was talking about and sure enough as of 2004, Huntley Meadows has been dealing with Snakehead fish! I included a link if any of you are interested in learning about this problem!

http://www.friendsofhuntleymeadows.org/Resource%20Management/snakehead/snakeheadfinal.htm


Now this fellow caught Peter's attention right away! Peter called me over and frankly I just stared at it for a while not realizing what I was looking at. I hadn't seen a tadpole in a LONG time. But given the NUMBER OF FROGS we were hearing, it makes perfect sense that we had the good fortune to see this sighting of a tadpole in his life cycle process of turning into a frog. You may recall that I mentioned above the incredible SOUND I heard today at Huntley Meadows! Well the frogs were as loud as an orchestra! I looked up frog sounds, and this is what we were hearing..... the Green Frog! If interested, click on the link:
http://www.naturenorth.com/spring/sound/Green_Frog.mp3


Another wonderful sound all over the Meadow is that of the Red Winged Blackbird! It is very distinctive and at times sounds like that of a creaking door! I included a link below of the sounds of the Red Wing!
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-winged_Blackbird/sounds


Huntley Meadows attracts serious photographers. I do not think I have ever been there when I haven't seen people there with their tripods and cameras. They capture birds, the water, you name it! Today was NO different. There was a father and son duo trying to snap photos of an elusive butterfly. While they were focused on the butterfly, we snapped the dragonfly! I did not want to get into their creative way! However, this butterfly was indeed beautiful, it caught my attention, and in my opinion, it paused by me to say hello! But then again, I always read into ALL butterflies and to me they flutter by as a sign from Mattie!

July 4, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Tonight's picture was taken on July 4 of 2006. We were invited to spend the holiday with Zachary and his family on their boat. Zachary and Mattie were best friends in preschool and were inseparable. We watched the fireworks over the Potomac River that year and it was an unforgettable experience for all of us that year.  


Star Spangled Banner (1814) By Francis Scott Key

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 


===================================

We have all read, heard, and sung the Star Spangled Banner. But how much do we all know about this famous poem and the actual music tied to these famous lyrics!? I can honestly say I knew NOTHING about the actual MUSIC! I learned something from the article below. 


Francis Scott Key and the War of 1812

Georgetown lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key—second cousin three times removed and namesake of 20th century author F. Scott Fitzgerald—wrote the words to our nation’s favorite song to feign knowledge of the lyrics. He was on board a British ship during their attack on Fort McHenry outside of Baltimore during the War of 1812. Americans had only enjoyed their independence for a little over 30 years when they found themselves at war, once again, with Britain. The primary cause was British interference with American shipping on the Atlantic Ocean. For the first couple years of the war, things did not go well for the Americans. In fact, Key was onboard the British ship to negotiate the release of some civilians seized shortly after the British captured and then burned the White House and much of the nation’s capital at Washington, D.C.

Key's diplomatic mission was successful; the British agreed to release the prisoners. But as the British were now preparing to attack Fort McHenry, they refused to permit any of the Americans to go ashore until after the battle. As British ships opened fire on the American fort guarding Baltimore Harbor at dawn on September 13, Key watched from the deck of the HMS Minden. He anxiously tried to gauge the damage done to the American fort as British ships launched shell after shell. As the sun began to set, he could still see the American flag flying over the fort, and as twilight turned to dark of night, he was able to catch periodic glimpses of the American flag illuminated by exploding rockets. Just before dawn, though, the British suspended their bombardment, leaving Key unable to see if the flag still stood. At "dawn's early light," however, he was able to see the flag still flying that he had seen “at the twilight's last gleaming."

The British also saw the flag and realized that their attack had failed. As they withdrew down the Potomac, Key began to write a poem about all that he had seen. After he was put ashore, he completed the four-verse piece while the citizens of Baltimore celebrated the successful defense of their city.

"The Star-Spangled Banner” as a Patriotic Song

The song's lyrical history is national anthem appropriate—a dramatic moment captured by an inspired witness. The melody, however, has very different origins. It's not exactly clear who set Key's words to music. Some say it was Key; others say it was his brother-in-law, Joseph Nicholson. Either way, someone attached the poet's words to what must have seemed like a suitable tune—a popular, high brow sounding ode dedicated "To Anacreon in Heaven," aka "The Anacreontic Song." The title sounds inspiring, but it’s deceptive; Anacreon was an ancient Greek writer famous for his poetry celebrating wine, women, and song—something of a sixth-century B.C. sex, drugs, and rock and roll guy. And the song dedicated to him was written by a member of London's Anacreontic Society, a men's club that shared its namesake's party-hearty values.

So in essence, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is a patriotic poem attached to an English drinking song. And this explains a lot. For starters, the song is a whole lot easier to sing after a few Anacreontic belts. Moreover, the familiarity of the tune helped Key's song spread rapidly among the tavern crowd. But the song's shaky melodic background may also explain why no one initially proposed making "The Star-Spangled Banner" America's national anthem. "Hail Columbia," composed for George Washington's inauguration in 1789, continued to be played at ceremonial events. (Today, it's still used as the entrance march for the Vice President of the United States.) In fact, throughout the 19th century, "The Star-Spangled Banner" was just one of several patriotic songs sung on public holidays.

By the end of the century, though, the US military had all but adopted the song as its anthem. In 1889, the Secretary of the Navy ordered the "The Star-Spangled Banner" played when the flag was raised for ceremonial events. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson accompanied his proclamation that June 14 be set aside as "Flag Day"—a day on which Americans rededicate themselves to "the mission of liberty and justice to which we have devoted ourselves as a people"—with an order that "The Star-Spangled Banner" be performed at public events. And in 1931, Congress turned Wilson's executive order into law, making "The Star-Spangled Banner" the United States' national anthem.

=====================================


Tonight, right outside of our complex we saw the wonderful Washington, DC Capitol Fourth! I will never forget the first year we moved to DC, we were absolutely stunned to learn that we could see the fireworks without having to walk down to the Mall! Mattie loved seeing the fireworks and thought he lived in a special place! With access to the Capitol fireworks in his backyard!

Fireworks that look like flowers!












Incredible smiles!





















Even jellyfish!


































Fireworks over the State Department!



































A rainbow of colors!






July 3, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2004. I remember when I was Mattie's age, I loved playing with the toy, Mr. Potato Head. Somehow I felt compelled to extend the family tradition, so I bought Mattie his own Potato Head. However, Mattie did not enjoy playing with this toy at ALL! In fact the only part of this toy Mattie got a kick out of was the actual glasses of which he would walk around our home wearing...... as you can see in this photo! I think it is hysterical that Mattie did not even wear the glasses correctly! He was a free and funny spirit!



Quote of the day: No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he had only had good intentions.Margaret Thatcher


It is an odd feeling when I come across moms and little boys who are Mattie's age. Of course if Mattie were alive now, he would be 12 years old. But in my mind, Mattie will always be six or seven. Perhaps younger! Yesterday, I was walking in Washington, DC, and observed a mom walking with her young son. At first glance, my internal dialogue was.... that was once me. Then of course, that internal dialogue was followed by...... except my child died from cancer. The majority of children (thankfully!) I see out and about are not going to get diagnosed with cancer and then die. Somehow that image of the mom with this little boy on the street stayed with me all day. I am not sure why but it did. As the day wore on, and moved into today, a part of me wondered what our lives would look like today if Mattie were still in it? 

This is a question I ask myself often. Mainly because I suspect all aspects of our lives would be different from how, where, and what we would be doing with our lives if Mattie were alive. Recently I had lunch with a friend who reminded me that once Mattie died, I could have easily done nothing, or I could just do an item drive once a year for the hospital. Any of those things would have been fine and more than acceptable. Yet that is not what I chose to do. Instead, I have taken action to help people directly in the community and also to try to change policies on a national level. I appreciated her saying this because what this also indicated to me is that she KNOWS what Mattie Miracle is about, she is paying attention, and if this matters to me, it matters to her. A great gift of friendship.   

July 2, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2005. This was one of our first kiddie pools on our deck. Mattie got this pool from Peter's parents. It even had a name...."Billy Beluga the Whale" and I remember it as if it were yesterday. This pool was actually up in Boston, but Mattie loved it so much while visiting there, that we packed it up and relocated it down to Washington, DC. Mattie spent most of the summer in this pool and I am not sure what he loved more getting wet or soaking his cars, trucks, and toys in the water. Mattie always had a plan and the plan was always active!

Quote of the day: Loss is like a closed road that forces us to turn around and find another way to our destination. Who knows what we will discover and see along the way. ~ Gerald Sittser


Peter landed safely this evening from Ohio. Though he tells me his flight was harrowing! His approach to DC was a roller coaster ride and the flight attendant apparently went flying two feet in the air. I am thankful I was not on that flight. Even Peter was scared because he wasn't sure what was going to come next!

Tonight's quote, says it all! Sometimes loss does indeed feel like a CLOSED road. A road that goes nowhere in a way, but instead has constant loops. Just when you think you found the way out, you unfortunately land up right back down a familiar pathway. However, just like a familiar road, going down it doesn't seem quite as daunting or as novel each time you land up right back at square one. You get to know every aspect of that same road. Its nuances, twists, and turns. Yet it gets tiring to feel like you can't break free from the same cycle! HOW DO YOU GET OFF of this closed circuit? With a road, you can turn to a map or perhaps Google, with grief it isn't that simple. 

As I chat with my friend in grief who is years behind me in the grief curve, I now see grief through her eyes. She too lost an only child, and like me she is traveling on the closed road. When I was on my initial journey in year one and two, I only had Peter and I as a benchmark. Now I also have the lens of my friend! I see grief through her eyes and it gives me a whole new perspective. A perspective which allows me to understand that we are not alone in our CLOSED circuit journey. It is fascinating to see her reaction to grief, but in so many ways, it reminds me of my own. It is hard to describe, and yet as she describes her pain in year two, I get every aspect she is talking about. I would like to say I forgot about that pain, that it has been absorbed or stored some where in the recesses of my brain. But unfortunately year two remains permanently etched in my head. Because it was from year two, that a whole cascade of other negativity unfolded for me which I am still working through. 

July 1, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 -- Mattie died 251 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2006. To me this photo is a riot. We were walking on one of the nature trails with Mattie and we came across a tree that had fallen down. I suggested that Mattie sit on top of it while I take a picture! Mattie complied but this was what I referred to as a "Mattie false smile." He put up with my request, but he wasn't happy about it at all. 


Quote of the day: Our ignorance can be divided into problems and mysteries. When we face a problem, we may not know its solution, but we have insight, increasing knowledge, and an inkling of what we are looking for. When we face a mystery, however, we can only stare in wonder and bewilderment, not knowing what an explanation would even look like. ~ Noam Chomsky


It seems like Peter just got back from one business trip, now he went on to another one. Today he is back in Columbus, Ohio! Our joke is.... we went from never visiting Columbus, to now visiting it three times in ONE YEAR! While he is working, I am trying to develop my own mindset for working at home and a plan for completing the tasks that I need to accomplish this summer. However, in the midst of this I do try to schedule meetings with friends during the week for lunch to force me out of our home. It helps to break up the day. 

Today I met with my friend Catherine. Mattie and Catherine's daughter went to preschool together. Catherine, like me is an only child, and I can count on maybe one hand the number of only children friends I have had in my life! I feel we are a unique breed and we have our own way of emoting and understanding each other. Catherine and I always got along when Mattie was in preschool and during the summers when preschool would take a break, and the summers seemed super long, we would meet up and get our children together, and we would socialize. We reflected on these moments today. Not that I forgot those days, because I didn't, but when Catherine mentioned them to me, I remembered that feeling of gratitude. I was grateful because I lived in the District of Columbia and we did not have kids Mattie's age around us to play with, nor did we have access to a pool at the time. Catherine solved both problems for me. She brought us to her pool almost daily and the kids had a great time. 

In some ways it is hard for me to socialize with people I knew when Mattie was alive. Mostly because the commonalities are no longer there. But some relationships have transcended time. Why is that? Well it differs per relationship, but the cornerstone of many of these relationships is the ability to discuss feelings, to emote, and being open to discussing issues. Real life conversations interest me greatly and the second thing is time. Friendships require an investment of time and attention, which is difficult in our complex world. It is also painful when we have expectations and needs from those in our life and these needs aren't met. We then question the state of our friendships, our connections to others, and from that this may make us pause before entering into any other close friendship. I realize not everyone I meet will have survived childhood cancer, but I do try to take the experiences I have lived through, gain insights from them, and use them in my daily life to give me insights into every interaction.  

June 30, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2007. It is ironic, Peter and I just passed this rock yesterday when we walked on Roosevelt Island. As we passed it, we both reflected on how much Mattie loved to climb up on it! At the time this rock seemed so big to me, now when I see it, it just doesn't have the same grandeur.


Quote of the day: Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun. ~ Miguel Angel Ruiz


This morning I received an unexpected text message from my friend Alison. Alison moved to Utah last year and as my faithful readers know, she was one of the crucial coordinators of Team Mattie when Mattie was battling cancer. Alison helped us in so many different ways and she really did not have to, we did not know each other very well. Alison's son and Mattie were in the same kindergarten class together and they were friends with each other, but that was the extent of our connection. However, through Mattie's battle, our connection greatly evolved. 

Alison suggested we meet for coffee and given my feelings for her and the respect for what she did for me and my family, I rearranged my schedule today. Alison was always my team coordinator who I could talk about my feelings with, and regardless of the circumstances she always asked how I was doing. Today was no different, and as always, I had no problem telling her. Of course, I am not sure how my diatribe was received. Hearing my raw emotions at times can be hard to take. For the most part I keep them to myself, because the majority of the world doesn't want to hear it, can't hear, and also thinks something is wrong to have such grief emotions almost five years into Mattie's death. 

Of course those of us in the grief community know, there is NOTHING odd about this at ALL! In fact, the more reading I do, especially for those who lost children, this grief can be quite raw for ten years or more. Something to look forward to! But the grief of losing a child lasts a lifetime and the simple fact is others in "Disneyland" (which is the terminology Peter gives to parents who have not lost a child to cancer) just can't handle our reality. They want to "fix" us, make us "better," change our reality, come up with a solution, see us happy, and the list goes on. Of course we wish all of these things for ourselves too. But it isn't so simple. It isn't like you can get a job, volunteer, move locations, or fill in the blank and you feel better! 

This afternoon, I had lunch with my friend in cancer. She is into her second year of dealing with the loss of her son. As I say all the time, the second year in a way has its own challenges. Certainly the first year is horrific, because you feel like you are walking around without skin. That is the depths of how raw grief feels. But year two has a different level of pain. The pain is more internal, and frankly with internal pain, in a way it is more subtle. People do not necessarily offer as much support with this kind of pain. Typically help is offered the first year when you are figuratively bleeding all over the place and people are wondering are you going to survive and make it to year two? Yet as one's support network declines in year two, that is a loss of grand proportion. It may not seem like it to others, but to parents who lost an only child, losing a support community is enormous. We already lost our identity, and now losing friends and our network, well that can send us into a second crisis! 

Though I never knew my friend in cancer prior to last June of 2013, we understand aspects about each other that others who have known us for much longer can't wrap their hands and hearts around. This of course is hard and frustrating for me to accept. I always get disillusioned when I can't convey my feelings to those I know, or worse when I feel that I am neither entitled to them or allowed to express them. It is ironic that last year, one of Mattie's doctors contacted me because she said that this particular family wanted to reach out to us for support, but in the process what I have learned is that the support has gone both ways!

June 29, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014
Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2007. There was a lot going on in this photo in many ways. As you can see Mattie's kiddie pool was taking up a good portion of our deck space. There were bathing suits hanging up behind us drying in the air, we were outside on the deck having lunch, and despite the heat of the summer, everyone knew that we had to appreciate as much outdoor time as possible. After all we were cooped up most of the winter. But notice who else was outside with us? Patches! Patches was never far behind. Always in the mix, and usually perched on the sandbox! How do I know this photo was taken in July? I know because of the glasses on the table! These two goblets only came out around the time of our anniversary. These glasses belonged to my paternal grandmother, who shared the same wedding date as myself. So when Mattie was alive, every July 15, these glasses would come out as a family tradition to acknowledge our anniversary and that of my grandparents! 

Quote of the day: 
"There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome."
"And your defect is a propensity to hate everybody."
"And yours," he replied with a smile, "is willfully to misunderstand them.”
Jane AustenPride and Prejudice


I have a few things to say about last night's blog posting regarding Eleanor Roosevelt's quote, yet before I venture down that road, I wanted to say something about this quote from Jane Austen's book, Pride and Prejudice. Something about this quote just resonated with me as it relates to grief. Especially with regard to "willfully misunderstanding others." I am not sure I would go as far as to say willfully, but I would certainly say that after a traumatic loss the world is SO different from how it was once experienced that it seems like everyone around me no longer makes sense. Therefore I am constantly misunderstanding them! I am misunderstanding their intentions at times and at the same time I know others are totally not getting my behavior and thinking. In either case my feelings get hurt and once that happens it is like a self fulfilling prophesy of more misunderstandings leading to more hurt feelings and so forth. This is not a "natural defect," as Austen calls it, that I had prior to Mattie's cancer battle, but it is definitely one that I struggle with now after Mattie's death.  


The blog is an outlet that I have turned to for almost six year now. I write each night and as such I try to freely express my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. For the most part I try to do this without hurting other people's feelings and lashing out at others. However, I can assure you over the course of Mattie's battle and throughout my grief journey there have been plenty of times where it would have been VERY easy for me to use this platform as a way of calling a spade a spade. But for the most part, I always try to present my thoughts and feelings in a very professional and dignified manner. Yet there have been times people have taken issue with what I have written and on occasion, I have received emails regarding what I have wrote. In several instances, I actually had to go back to the blog and CHANGE what I wrote or have had to retract my statements. It is in times like these when I can get frustrated and disillusioned because in a way this is censoring what I am trying to express and say. Nonetheless, whether the feedback I receive is positive or negative, I ALWAYS answer it and try to address it in some way.  

It is necessary for me to address last night's blog posting because the quote I posted was inaccurate. So I am correcting the inaccuracy that seems to be pervasive throughout the Internet (which is where I got the quote). In a way I feel much better knowing that Eleanor Roosevelt never potentially said such a quote to begin with!

Today I received an email asking me to reconsider the Eleanor Roosevelt quote I posted last night. Specifically that I took it out of context and that she never meant it to belittle the mental health profession. This was certainly my interpretation of the quote, so before I answered the email, I decided to investigate the quote further and this is what I found..................................

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Truth should matter. The quote existed before FDR ever became president and most people ever heard of Eleanor Roosevelt. I’m a contributor to the Yale Book of Quotations, the Oxford English Dictionary, the Historical Dictionary of American Slang, the Dictionary of American Regional English, and others. I make no money at all, but I offer my work for free. ~ Barry Popik (March 16, 2011)
 “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” is a popular saying, first cited in this form in 1931. The saying has been attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), but it’s uncertain if she ever said it. The saying has also been attributed to Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (1900-1986), but he admitted in a 1959 magazine article that the saying wasn't his.
The earliest version appears to be from Printers’ Ink of 1927:
He now reports that, “the best minds discuss ideas; the second ranking talks about things; while the third and lowest mentality — starved for ideas — gossips about people.”


As I noted in last night's blog, it would make perfect sense to me if the quote stated that small minds gossip, rather than small minds "discuss people!." I am happy to see that this was what the original quote actually looked like. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Peter and I went for a walk on Roosevelt Island today. The Island was incredibly green and beautiful!



















There were dogs and people all around us on the Island, and yet it was still peaceful! Ironically, across the harbor we could hear people watching the World Cup, with cheers, screams, hoots, and hollering.  









Birds were out and about, singing and flying overhead. Typically we can't get a parking spot at Roosevelt Island on the weekends, but we got lucky today! As it gets hotter, people tend to avoid the Island in the middle of the afternoon. 








Lilies were in bloom on the Island!















Later on today, we ventured to Home Depot. I had a plant to buy and Peter had to get something else. So we split up in the store. As I was in the garden section one of the employees came up to offer his assistance. He could see that I wasn't finding what I was looking for. Any case, we got to talking and I learned that he works an 80 hour week because he is lonely. He has no wife, girlfriend, or family. When Peter came over, all three of us continued the conversation. Needless to say, our chat led to a 10% discount. But that isn't the reason for telling the story. My reason for telling the story is two fold. One it speaks to the importance of connecting with people. I always find it fascinating to learn about someone else's life, their struggles and insights, and we also learned about some different plant varieties today. Second, it also speaks to how lonely people are in our very busy and high tech society. I do not know how people connect and develop a meaningful relationship in the era of on line dating and five second conversations. I came away from this interaction feeling very sorry for this fellow because I do not like to see anyone truly alone. I do not think humans are programmed to be alone, nor do they handle it well. We all need someone. Friends count of course, some sort of social outlet, of which he has none. My joke with him was that I was going to send my friends to Home Depot to visit him! He thought that was funny!