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

April 6, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tonight's picture was taken in April 2007, during Mattie's fifth birthday party. This was a party NEVER to be forgotten. Why? Well we held Mattie's party at the National Zoo. However, the Zoo's policy is that parties go on whether it is raining or sunny! That day the rain was torrential. I thought Mattie's party was going to be a disaster. But what I learned is NO ONE visits the Zoo in the rain. We had the Zoo to ourselves and the kids loved the adventure with rain boots and umbrellas. We walked all over and ironically the animals also seemed to love being out in the rain. 

Quote of the day: What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. ~ Helen Keller

Today we visited the Flager Museum in Palm Beach. The museum was once the winter home to Mary Lily and Henry Flager. 

When "White Hall," the name of the house it was completed in 1902, the New York Herald proclaimed that Henry Flagler's Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach, was "more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world." Today, Whitehall is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as the Flagler Museum.

Henry Flager has an absolutely fascinating biography. If you want to read more about him, go to:
In a nut shell he came from modest beginnings but was a hard worker, bright, a sharp business man, and was credited by Rockerfeller as the "brains" behind their Standard Oil Company. Flager made his money in oil. However, at the age that most people retire, Flager developed a second career. Which was to build the Florida East Coast Railway, that basically allowed people to go from St. Augustine to Key West Florida. In addition to the railway, Flager developed over 14 hotels in Florida that tied into the railway system. Not just any hotels, but LUXURIOUS hotels. In essence Flager is credited for bringing the modernization and industry that Florida is known for today. 

Flager was married three times. His first wife basically had tuberculous and needed the warmer climates in the winter time. So he and his wife journeyed to Florida and it was then that Flager began to see the potential for development (for tourism and full time residents). After his first wife died, he then married her caregiver. However, that did not turn out well, since the second wife was mentally ill and was committed to a mental institution for the rest of her life. His third wife, Mary Lily was over 36 years his junior! Her desire was to have a BIG white house built for herself. Which was why White Hall was created as a wedding gift to Mary Lily.  

This is the Great Hall. It is the foyer that greets you as soon as you enter Whitehall. Whitehall is known to be a Gilded Age estate. The Gilded Age in United States history is the late 19th century, from the 1870s to about 1900. The term was coined by writer Mark Twain in The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873), which satirized an era of serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding.

This unique French clock sits in the Great Hall and it captures your attention immediately. It also has a charming chime that goes off on the 1/4 hour. 
This is a portrait of Mary Lily, Flager's third wife. Notice the strand of pearls around her neck. Back then the length of your pearls was a direct reflection on how much money you had. So clearly you can see Mary Lily was very wealthy. Not to mention that the necklace itself cost 1 million dollars to purchase. 
Though Mary Lily was in her thirties and Flager was 71 years old when they married, Mary Lily hosted many parties in their ballroom. 
This is the Dining Room. It is not the original table and chairs however. We were told that the original table sat over 22 people! All the ceilings in the rooms look like hand carved wood, but they were actually plaster. Painted to look like wood. 
The beautiful Drawing Room. This room had aluminum leafing all over it. At the time aluminum was more expensive than gold and silver. This room actually almost shimmers when you walk through it. 
This is Jean Matthews. She was Flager's grand daughter. Jean saved Whitehall. Whitehall went into disrepair and was going to be auctioned off. However, she purchased the house from the State in 1969 for $1.5 million. She then converted it to a museum. 
The house has 14 bedrooms.
This was the Master bedroom. It is very yellow but full of sunlight!
The house was ahead of its time. Each bedroom had its own closet and bathroom. The house also had electricity and a furnace for central heat.  This was the Master bath.

When Mary Lily died,  the home was devised to her niece Louise Clisby Wise Lewis, who sold the property to investors. They constructed a 300-room ten story addition to the west side of the building, obliterating Mr. Flagler's offices, the housekeeper's apartment, and altering the original kitchen and pantry area. Do NOTE that this 10 story hotel NO LONGER exists today and was demolished.

This was Flager's private railcar, called  Car 91. It was built in 1886. Flager frequently rode in this car on his Florida East Coast Railway (the ONLY railway that carried passengers throughout the length of Florida). 
Whitehall's beautiful outdoor courtyard.

THE FAMOUS BREAKERS HOTEL...................

In January of 1896, Henry Flagler opened his second hotel in Palm Beach, which he named the Palm Beach Inn. It was a simple and unpretentious hotel overlooking the ocean a quarter mile from Flagler's luxurious Hotel Royal Poinciana. During an expansion project in 1903, the Palm Beach Inn caught fire and was destroyed. By 1906 it was rebuilt and renamed The Breakers Hotel and opened to universal acclaim. Room rates started at four dollars a night (UNLIKE the $700 to $5,000 room rate today), and included three meals a day. The guest register read like a "Who's Who" of early twentieth century America - Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Astors, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan vacationed alongside United States presidents and European nobility.

On March 18, 1925, twelve years after Flagler's death, tragedy struck The Breakers once again when another fire destroyed the all-wood structure. Mrs. Flagler’s family, who had inherited the Flagler System, were determined to build the world's finest resort as a testament to Henry Flagler's vision. The new resort would be constructed where the old hotel once stood. The notable New York-based architectural firm of Schultze & Weaver were invited to design The Breakers resort we know today. The Villa Medici in Rome was the inspiration for the new hotel’s facade. The Breakers reopened for the 1926-27 Season, and featured more than 400 guest rooms that overlooked the ocean, sumptuous public spaces, and world-class amenities. Today, The Breakers remains an impressive masterpiece of Gilded Age luxury and one of the world’s great resorts.

 The gardens at the Breakers are breathtaking. Do you see this REAL life duck in the garden?
The colors are simply incredible. These are gardens you just need to stop and take in. 

 The gardens continue!

 Beautiful pinks

 Its continues!

 Green Parrots were spotted in the trees!

Geese on golf course at the Breakers.
A rainbow pathway of color to the front of the hotel!
The Breakers cat!

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