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

March 26, 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken on April 4, 2002, the day Mattie was born. This photo was taken right besides me in the operating room, on a warming table. 

Mattie arrived at 12:53am to be specific, and was the picture of health. Peter accompanied Mattie to the nursery where he got cleaned up, weighed and so forth. While Peter was with Mattie, I was still in surgery getting a grapefruit sized tumor removed from my bladder. No one knew I had this lipoma until my c-section. 

Quote of the day: The starting point of all achievement is desire. ~ Napoleon Hill

Three years ago, we started a major overhaul of our home. Why? Well Mattie had been gone from our lives for about five years at that point, and I was truly upset with the chaos all around me. We accumulated many things while Mattie was battling cancer and our home literally looked like an organized episode from the TV show, Hoarders. Piles of toys, gifts, Mattie clothes, and LOTS of hospital supplies and equipment were everywhere. Digging out from that required a great deal of stamina, strength and courage. It took me five years to reach that point of needing to do something and frankly the only reason I chose to do something was because I was upset that Mattie's room did not reflect his life appropriately. It looked more like a warehouse than a place where Mattie used to live and create. So that was my tipping point and motivator. So I started in Mattie's room. After that large clean out, and I mean large, in which I donated close to 60 large garbage bags of items to Goodwill, we painted Mattie's room a sunny orange color. Naturally when you fix one area of your home, you see the problems with all the others. So we painted downstairs and the hallways together and in December of 2013, Peter painted our bedroom. 

For many years our bedroom walls have been empty. I actually loved the NO clutter looks for a while, especially while trying to figure out what to put on that big wall. Peter and I have been wanting to feature some of our photos, but when I tell you this project was two years in the making I am not kidding. First I had to comb through hundreds of our photos, find the frames and layout we wanted to use and so forth. Needless to say as tonight's quote pointed out.... I had the desire. I am so glad that the desire turned into a reality today!!!

Peter is the artistic photographer between us. I love capturing photos but mine do not look like Peter's! I am quite sure that our travels and adventures together have brought out his inner photographer!

You had to be in the room today as we were putting up these photos to truly get how funny it was. As Peter was fixing these frames to the wall, I started humming a theme song that went with every photo. For example, the photo of Mt. Vesuvius, located in Naples... I hummed "when the moon hits your eyes." Why because the lyrics go....
When you walk in a dream but you know you're not dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli

That's amore

This is my bureau and for the longest time, I had my moon painting just leaning on the bureau. Today Peter hung his sunset and my moon together. We both did these painting at Paint Nite!

I included the 16 photos that went on our wall today so you could see them better. What I noticed however is that most of these photos were taken after Mattie died. At first I felt bad about this but then I realized (as I reflect on this often!) that since Mattie died Peter and I both turn to nature. It provides us peace and tranquility. However, I also know that Mattie loved nature and he is the one that in a way forced me to get outside and experience trees, plants, and the simpler things around me. So whether Mattie was with us literally when these photos were taken is not important. What is important is when we are surrounded by nature we feel closer to Mattie.

Peter took this photo of Mattie Moon over Tampa, FL in 2014. We were at a conference, hosting our second Mattie Miracle think tank (it was thanks to our think tanks that the psychosocial standards got published). I literally was recovering from the flu, but I wouldn't let that stop me from hosting a think tank. I recall having an incredible room with a balcony, in which I could see this sight from my bed. 

These wonderful Black Eyed Susans are right in front of our building where we live. Peter snapped this in spring of 2016.
This is Monet's Garden in Giverny, France. Peter took this photo in 2012, when we went on a European cruise with my parents. Monet is my favorite artist, and I am so glad that Peter captured the beauty of Monet's garden. A garden Monet designed himself and which inspired so many paintings.
This photo was taken in Scotland, during our European Cruise of 2012. I am very partial to thistles. My friend Margaret, who died of ALS, used to serve me tea and treats on English china. The china pattern had thistles on it. In fact, Margaret knew how special I thought our times were together, that she bought me my own thistle patterned tea pot. So when I see thistles, I think of my "dear" friend (as she used to call me). 
This photo was taken on a Caribbean cruise in 2015, near Mexico. It is a stunning sunset, and of course as Mattie loved the sun, we thought of him. Mattie used to paint almost every scene he created with a sun in it, which is why the sun is the symbol of Mattie Miracle. 

This photo was taken during a cruise of Alaska in 2011. As the ship was going through Tracy's Fjord, Peter went on deck and captured the reflections of the clouds and the fjord which are really remarkable!
When Peter graduated from business school in 1998, we went on our first European cruise with my parents. As the ship was passing Mt. Vesuvius (a volcano) in Italy he captured this moment. 

As I child I visited Italy many times, and I will never forget going with my parents and maternal grandmother to Naples and visiting Vesuvius. We literally walked the rim of the volcano. Something I will never forget and afterward, my grandmother and I bought jewelry made out of Vesuvius lava stone. 
In 2010, my parents took Peter and I to the Grand Canyon. We literally lost Mattie in September of 2009, so leaving home and going away was a feat. It was hard to do, but we did it. I had never been to the Grand Canyon before, and I know this would have been a place Mattie would have loved to explore. 

I love how Peter captured the Canyon through a tree!
In the Fall (2016), we took Sunny on our first long walk at Great Falls, VA. Sunny loved it. He was prancing up hills and over rocks with grace and ease. At the top of our climb, Peter snapped this photo. Great Falls was another Mattie favorite!
This photo was taken in 2014, when Peter and I went to vacation in Kitty Hawk, NC. We used to take Mattie to the Outer Banks in the summer. This was where he first got exposed to an ocean and a beach. Both of which he did not like at first, but as he grew older, he absolutely loved the sand and building castles. 

After Mattie died, we did not return to the Outer Banks for many years. So 2014, was our first trip back. 
In 2010, on the same trip we went to the Grand Canyon, we then went to Sedona, Arizona with my parents. These red rocks are unforgettable! Unrelated to Arizona, this sight reminds me of the movie, Cars. The scenery in the movie featured these red rocks, and being that it was Mattie's favorite movie, this photo seemed appropriate for our room!

Peter captured this photo in 2013 at the DC Aquatic Gardens. These are water lilies. I can't tell you how many times we took Mattie to the DC Aquatic Gardens! He loved it as much as we did! It is a little piece of heaven in the middle of a city.
In July, the DC Aquatic Gardens is a must see. Peter snapped this photo of the lotuses in 2014. The lotuses are only in bloom in July, around July 4th! They are an incredible and unusual sight, that we took Mattie to every July. 
This photo is of bougainvillea taken outside the entrance to Butterfly World in Florida.  Peter snapped this photo in 2016, but literally every time we went to Butterfly World with Mattie, we would take a family photo in front of this incredible flowering plant. 
This is the only photo on our bedroom wall that was taken when Mattie was alive. We took Mattie to Flamingo Gardens in Florida with my parents in 2006. I remember Mattie used to love to mimic the one legged stance of the flamingos. I am not sure who was more intriguing to watch.... Mattie or the flamingos. 

This last photo was taken in Huntley Meadows, VA. Ironically it wasn't taken in Butterfly World. I can't tell you how many times we walked Huntley Meadows' boardwalk and nature trails with Mattie. It seems very symbolic that we saw a butterfly at this park, a place we ventured so often with Mattie. 

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

Vicki, I can't even think where to begin commenting as this entire blog was beautiful. The best though was the picture, you shared of Mattie, the day, he was born. He was so beautiful. I am positive both your hearts were swelling with an unexpressable Joy. Although, I am sorry, you had the worry of the mass to accompany the pure joy that was Mattie.

I appreciate the explanation of where & when each picture was taken. Each picture is beautiful and the story important. I did have to favorites based more on the story than the picture as all the pictures were quite lovely. The Mattie Moon picture and the Flamingo were my favorite. I never see a full moon now without thinking of Mattie. I love the image of Mattie standing Flamingo like so could not pass up this story as a favorite.

I truly love both your pictures from paint night. Mattie lives in your house always, no matter any changes, you make. He is cherished.
Thank younforvsharing your blog with me!❤️💐