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: 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

August 19, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tonight's picture was taken in March of 2008. I recently found all of these photos from our trip to Los Angeles. Which is why I am posting them this week. In a way, they are like new photos to me which I haven't seen for years. However, despite not seeing them in a long time, the content is very familiar to me. That March I took Mattie to Los Angeles so I could attend a conference in Hawaii. While I went to Hawaii, Mattie stayed with my parents for a few days. When I returned from the conference, we did things together around LA. This photo was taken at the Arboretum. A place Mattie always liked visiting. The Arboretum has amazing plants and what intrigued Mattie was the freely roaming peacocks on the grounds.

Quote of the day: Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. ~ Martin Luther

Check out who was sitting in my parent's backyard today. This lizard sighting would have brought great joy to Mattie.

Today we went to the LA County Museum of Art to see two exhibits. One was called Del Toro: At Home with Monsters and the other was an interactive rain exhibit.
I have to admit that I usually find something worthwhile or positive about every museum experience I have, but with that said, Del Toro's exhibit did not speak to me in any way. Quite the contrary it provided a very visceral distain and disgust for what I was seeing. Furthermore what upset me about this was the incredible drawing of people to this exhibit. In just a few short months after opening, 25,000 visitors have seen this exhibit so far. Del Toro has a real following. I am not so taken aback by his love for horror. But it is his love and fascination with death, torture, and inflicting this horror on children that disturbs me greatly. I would also say that he believe that through the macabre, witchcraft, and horror one can find one's self. Totally not speaking my language, and yet it was a psychological study to try to get in Del Toro's head as well as in the heads of those around me. I must admit it wasn't a place I wish to dwell for a long period of time.  
Guillermo del Toro (b. 1964) is one of the most inventive filmmakers of his generation. Beginning with Cronos (1993) and continuing through The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Hellboy (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Pacific Rim (2013), and Crimson Peak (2015), among many other film, television, and book projects, del Toro has reinvented the genres of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Working with a team of craftsmen, artists, and actors—and referencing a wide range of cinematic, pop-culture, and art-historical sources—del Toro recreates the lucid dreams he experienced as a child in Guadalajara, Mexico. He now works internationally, with a cherished home base he calls “Bleak House” in the suburbs of Los Angeles.
Taking inspiration from del Toro’s extraordinary imagination, the exhibition reveals his creative process through his collection of paintings, drawings, maquettes, artifacts, and concept film art. Rather than a traditional chronology or filmography, the exhibition is organized thematically, beginning with visions of death and the afterlife; continuing through explorations of magic, occultism, horror, and monsters; and concluding with representations of innocence and redemption.

An example of what was on display. A page from a notebook. Keep in mind that MANY of the objects on display came from Del Toro's home.

The show is divided into eight themes or motifs: Childhood and Innocence; Victoriana; Rain Room; Magic, Alchemy and the Occult; Movies, Comics, Pop Culture; Frankenstein and Horror; Freaks and Monsters; and Death and the Afterlife. References to his films tend to be scattered throughout various sections of the exhibition.

Del Toro at his "Bleak House." Again, this is the name of his house.

In the "Childhood and Innocence" room, it was noted that many of Del Toro's films center on children as protagonists, witnesses or victims. They are not insulated from fear, harm or even death. "In fairy tales, ogres and wolves ate children, and I think that it goes to the roots of storytelling, to have children as vulnerable," del Toro explained in the press notes.
The exhibit was filled with video clips and life like monster models.
Can you see the disturbed faces in this art? What frightening me is those around me found it beautiful.
Del Toro believes that "Humans are frequently false" and trapped by "a series of fantasies that we accept socially that are absolutely terrifying" based on geography, gender and race. "These are accepted fictions that separate us from each other." Monsters are "the patron saints of otherness."
 No comment is needed here.
 Del Toro's drawings
 Clearly this fellow had a bad day

 Monsters on magazines
His fascinating with Frankenstein.
What do you say about this?
Do you see the eye in the palm of his hand?

TWO minute video of del Toro's house.................Del Toro's Bleak House is a place where every day can be a dark and stormy night, even in sunny, drought-stricken Southern California. Del Toro drew on his experiences as a special effects designer to create a rain room. The room features a rear-projected lightning effects and a false window spattered with silicone raindrops while a thunder soundtrack plays:

Random International’s Rain Room (2012) is an immersive environment of perpetually falling water that pauses wherever a human body is detected. The installation offers visitors an opportunity to experience what is seemingly impossible: the ability to control rain. 

Rain Room presents a respite from everyday life and an opportunity for sensory reflection within a responsive relationship.
Founded in 2005, Random International is a collaborative studio for experimental practice. They use science and technology to create experiences that aim to question and challenge the human experience within a machine-led world, engaging viewers through explorations of behavior and natural phenomena. In the decade following the studio's inception, the focus of Random International’s artistic practice has continuously evolved and today encompasses sculpture, performance, and installation on an architectural scale.

A gallery visit is approximately 10–15 minutes. During the allotted time, 18 to 22 people may enter the gallery while five to seven people may proceed into the rain at once.
A shadow of my mom and I as we walked through the rain.

Rain Room uses approximately 528 gallons of water within a self-contained system. The same 528 gallons will be recycled and used throughout the entire run of the exhibition. The average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day.
My mom and I walking into the room. The beauty of this is while you walk slowly, the sensors in the ceiling perceive you and shut off the water as you are stepping. So if you move correctly, you NEVER get wet! I assure you I did not get wet as I had my camera out taking photos.
Video experience of the Rain Room
Chris Burden's Metropolis II is an intense kinetic sculpture, modeled after a fast paced, frenetic modern city. Steel beams form an eclectic grid interwoven with an elaborate system of 18 roadways, including one six lane freeway, and HO scale train tracks. Miniature cars speed through the city at 240 scale miles per hour; every hour, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 cars circulate through the dense network of buildings. According to Burden, "The noise, the continuous flow of the trains, and the speeding toy cars produce in the viewer the stress of living in a dynamic, active and bustling 21st century city."
The huge scale of Metropolis II

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

Wow Vicki - your post filled me with many emotions that I am not sure at what point to start.
The exhibit - I don't think, I would have made it through this exhibit except very quickly. I do not understand the fascination of others on all the things, you described or photographed. I am sure, he has a huge following because I believe there are those people who think none of this can really ever happen, Then there are people who truly can watch a person or persons being hurt by others. Clearly, children are off limits and where I draw a line. I would have been as disturbed as you were. We are in the minority, I fear.
Your descriptions and photos though in every museum, you visit, really are impressive to the reader. Once again, I feel like I am on a journey.
How prophetic your quote and beautiful picture of you and Mattie are. The beautiful picture from April, 2008 gives no warning of the complete upheaval your life would experience, three months later. Mattie looks so happy and so well in the picture.
Thank you again for sharing your newly found pictures!