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 1, 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2006 at Deerfield Beach. Exactly the same place we are staying are visiting now. We haven't been back to Deerfield Beach since Mattie died. This is a first for us. Mattie loved coming to this beach, and it was there that he and Peter built some of their best sand castle creations. So much so that other kids on the beach came over and wanted to participate! The funny part about sand castle building with Mattie was after the structure was built, he then walked the beach with me to find natural found objects (shells, seaweed, bottle caps, stones, etc) on the shore line. He then used these items to decorate his castles!

Quote of the day: Children see magic because they look for it. ~ Christopher Moore, Lamb

Peter and I went to tour an historic house in Deerfield Beach today called The Butler House. The Butlers married in 1906 in Texas and came to Deerfield Beach in 1910 on a visit and stayed to become two of Deerfield Beach’s most popular and public-spirited citizens. When Broward County was formed in 1915, Mr. Butler was a member of the first school board. For eight years he served on the Broward County Board of County Commissioners and for four years on the Deerfield Beach City Commission. Mrs. Butler helped found the Deerfield Beach Woman’s Club and they both assisted in the establishment of the First Baptist Church of Deerfield.

This is the House. Interestingly enough the plans for the house were obtained from a popular ladies magazine, the Ladies Home Journal of September 1923. It cost $10,000 to build and it is situated on almost four city lots. The house is built of hollow tile, the interior walls are plaster on lath and the roof is made from Spanish terracotta tiles.

The House contains most of the Butler's original pieces. For example in the living room, the wicker furniture was purchased in 1923 for $500. Which was a small fortune for furniture back then. 
This is not the original dining set. It was replaced after the first one was used to board up the west dining room window during the San Felipe Segundo hurricane in 1928.
A photo of James and Alice on their 50th Anniversary. Here is what got me, this couple had three children and each of them died before their first birthday. I tried to ask the docent more, but she neither wanted to talk about it nor did she know. As she kept saying to me.... this is a happy house. Really? This is a couple who wanted to have children but each one died, I am not sure how happy they actually were. Yet the Butler House was known to be open to local children, and after school they would visit and Alice treated them to cookies and other goodies. 
This was the kitchen, which I am sure back then was modern and high tech for its time. It was very green and the kitchen nook to eat in was lime green with stenciled red flowers on the walls. 

What Deerfield Beach looked like in 1953. The Butler House is now the headquarters for the Historical Society of Deerfield, so there were lots of photographs displaying what life used to be like here. 
This is an ironmatic, or mangle. What is it? It is how Alice ironed sheets, tablecloths and bigger pieces of linen.

Specifically a mangle is a mechanical laundry aid consisting of two rollers in a sturdy frame, connected by cogs and, in its home version, powered by a hand crank or electrically. While the appliance was originally used to wring water from wet laundry, more contemporary mangles are used to press or flatten sheets, tablecloths, kitchen towels, or clothing and other laundry.

Also displayed on the property is a Kester Cottage. It has nothing to do with the Butlers, but the historical society wanted to preserve this two bedroom cottage that captured how vacationers used to spend their time by the seashore. Now many of these cottages have been destroyed for hotels and condos. 

The Kester Cottages were mostly built along the beach road in the 1930’s by William L. Kester. Kester had originally come to Pompano in 1923 for fishing but stayed and invested greatly in the community. The wood-frame cottages, which Kester would later describe as “pepper crates,” provided employment for the local workers who built them, and a means to attract tourists to the area. The sturdy, economical “Kester Cottages” soon were being built throughout Pompano, to house local residents as well as winter visitors. The houses, as many as 150, were mostly 25-by-35-foot single story dwellings on the beachside, one, two and three bedroom models. They were all painted white and each featured shutters with cutouts from the four suits in a deck of playing cards. Houses cost $950 and were rented out for $29 a month. 

In the Butlers backyard is an enormous banyan tree. Can you see me standing underneath it?

One of the docents snapped a photo of Peter and me. 

After our tour of Butler House, we then walked around the Deerfield Arboretum. It is small but has some wonderful examples of palms and other trees from around the world. 

In front of the entrance to the Arboretum is a statue of a deer. These statues are all over Deerfield Beach, because at one time the area was populated with deer. Of course with development, there are no more deer. 
 On the pathway at the Arboretum. 
This lovely pond area is at the Arboretum. It was sunny and in the 80s today. A real improvement over yesterday's weather.... grey and windy. 

Poinciana Tree is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. Interestingly enough this tree is in the bean family and if you look closely you will see brown bean pods hanging from the tree. 
The arboretum was filled with lizards. Mattie would have gotten a major kick out of this.

Peter snapped this photo of Mattie and me with a palm frond in Deerfield Beach in 2006. It was after a storm, we decided to take a walk and Mattie found this frond. He wanted to take it back to the hotel with him. In lieu of that I convinced Mattie to take a photo with his finding. 
In honor of Mattie, when I saw this frond at the Arboretum today, I had Peter snap a photo. 

This is a drawbridge into Deerfield Beach. Mattie absolutely LOVED watching this bridge. In fact, we would walk with him from the hotel to this bridge just so he could  see it in action. As we were driving today, the bridge went up, so we took that as a Mattie sign. 

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