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

January 5, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 -- Mattie died 329 weeks ago today. 

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2003. Mattie and Peter LOVE flashlights. Do not ask me what that is all about other than, we have A LOT of them! When Mattie came into our lives, he too gravitated to flashlights. He loved playing with them, opening them up and exploring their insides! To this day we still have flashlights everywhere. Even in our car!

Quote of the day: Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed. ~ Cavett Robert 

Today we visited St. Kitts. I have to admit after visiting several Caribbean islands back to back, it can get confusing to remember what sites and experiences you had on each island. There are great similarities among the islands..... such as the level of poverty, sanitation issues, animals that look under nourished and are roaming the streets, and the importance of the "rum shop." Every tour guide made particular mention to partying, drinking, and how certain herbs or plants native to the island can enhance your love life. Maybe hearing this once or twice maybe funny, but then you have to stop and think about this for a while. Though I have toured the Caribbean before and have heard about the importance of rum, on this cruise we have noticed that tasting rum for free is provided on almost every tour. Again, I am trying to avoid social commentary, but being a mental health provider by nature, I can't help but have feelings about doling out alcohol so liberally on tours. 

St. Kitts and her sister island, Nevis, are the smallest in the Western hemisphere in both area and population. Yet, people have lived here for more than 5,000 years. St. Kitts was the first island in the entire Caribbean to be settled. The French, English, and Spanish wrestled over the island. 

We toured the island using open aired buses today. This was what one of the streets looked like in St. Kitts. St. Kitts reminded us of Antigua and St. Lucia in terms of its development, and the island that most infrastructure and resources seemed to be Barbados. 

St. Kitts originally was a tobacco island, but because of competition from the Virginia colony, quickly turned to sugar cane. Slaves by the thousands were imported from Africa. Romney Manor, owned by an ancestor of Thomas Jefferson, flourished until the 1920s. Today, it’s home of both the famous Caribelle Batik fabric crafts factory and an ancient saman tree that takes up an entire half acre. 

A close up of Romney Manor. We had a four hour tour today, and we spent all of our time around Romney Manor. Which included learning about Batik, the Manor, and then a walk through a rain forest.

This bell tower is on the grounds of the manor. It seems innocuous until one understands that this bell was used like a time clock for slaves on the property. When the bell rang it indicated when they had to rise in the morning, when they had to work, and when they had to sleep.

On the manor, we came across this St. Kitts Cat!

At the Batik store we learned the process of making Batik. Batik is an artist style that is created on all sorts of fabrics. It involves hand sketching designs on material, using wax, color dyes, and then boiling the wax off the fabric. Other than St. Kitts, you can find Batik on St. Lucia and in Indonesia. 

A photo of my mom and I with some of the Batik on display. 

The production of sugar was at one time what made St. Kitts a highly sought after island by the British. The sugar mill was used to separate the sugar from the cane juice. When you boil down sugar cane juice, molasses is formed. Molasses is an important ingredient to making rum. So in essence this sugar mill, which was on the property of Romney Manor, produced sugar and rum.

After we toured the manor and the Batik area, we then went for a two hour walk through the rainforest. A rainforest which was on the Romney Manor property. The cruise line prepared us for a walk in the rainforest, but they didn’t make it clear that it was going to be two hours long, through rough terrain and mud. Despite the walking conditions, it was a very memorable walk.  

We hiked up and down elevations, through the mud, over stones and rocks, and large tree roots. Along the way, our guide showed us various native plants that either were edible or had medicinal purposes. There was a type of almond tree along the way, and literally the tour guide picked up almond pods on the ground, cracked it open with a stone, and let us taste the nuts.

Peter captured my mom and I on camera!

For this aggressive two hour walk, they gave each of us walking sticks! We had a feeling that was indicative of what was to come! We went up slippery elevations and down. It was a royal experience in humidity and of course while walking, it would periodically rain. 

After the two hour hike, they gave us passion fruit juice, plantains, banana bread, and of course what seems to be the trend on every tour.... rum. However, this dark rum to me smells and tastes more like scotch NOT rum. 

Our guide says that the French originally brought black faced vervet monkeys over to the island as pets. But then the monkeys were let free and according to him there are more monkeys on the island than people. He says that the leader of each monkey pack is known to be aggressive and they can even throw things at farmers when determined to get access to crops.  In any case, monkeys in diapers were all over the place for people to hold them and take photos. I happen to love animals but I have a healthy respect for animals in the wild, and it would never interest me to pose for a photo with such a monkey. 

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