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

July 2, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in November of 2003. Mattie was a year and a half old and doing an activity he loved, besides building! That would be puzzling! From a very early age, I could see Mattie understood the connection of things with regard to how objects fit in certain spaces. This shapes puzzle in the photo was one of Mattie's first puzzles. But puzzles were something we did with him even in the hospital battling cancer. Even though Mattie was six years old, he was working on 1,000 piece puzzles. So you get the picture..... Mattie was an advanced puzzler!

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

We went to the Peabody Essex Museum today and saw an incredible exhibit called, "Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style." Frankly whether you went on one of these ocean liners or not, is truly irrelevant! What I believe is that taking a ship voyage inspires all of us. No matter who we are. Because it symbolizes either an adventure, a vacation, a new life, or fighting for a better life. It is a huge metal of floating hope in a way. 

From the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century, ocean liners were floating showcases of technology, opulence and social sophistication. As icons of modernity and aspirational living, artists, engineers, architects and passengers all vied for influence and access in the creation and enjoyment of these man-made islands at sea. Ocean liners were intricately constructed pieces of culture — in the appearance of their design, the elegance of their engineering and the division of their social space — and each with its own distinct personality. Drawing from international institutions and private collections, the exhibition features nearly 200 works including paintings, sculpture, models, furniture, lighting, wall panels, textiles, fashion, photographs, posters and film. 

This is the first of nine rooms in this exhibit. It featured a wonderful model of the Queen Mary and quotes about ocean voyages. These ship models weren't just cute to look at, they were actually built as marketing to future passengers. As nothing entices someone more than seeing what they could potentially be voyaging on!
This is a close up of the Queen Mary model and what you see in the background are promotional photos of ocean liners. They were truly works of art and helped to create "brand identity."
Here is a close up poster of an Italian Ocean liner called the Rex, built in the 1930's. 
These Cunard letters were created by a designer and ironically they still identify the brand today! But imagine going into businesses and travel agencies, and seeing these wonderful depictions of ships. Wouldn't it entice you to want to go on such a journey?
My loyal blog followers know that I am enamored with the whole story of the Titanic. This was a Titanic promotional poster. It listed the crossing prices, which in today's market are laughable, as going to England from the US was about $36. 
But this photo got to me. To me this room looks like a chicken coop. But in actuality this is how many immigrants traveled across the ocean. Four people fit in this space! However the White Star Lines promoted this space as wonderful, with ventilation, and so forth. So you can only imagine what accommodations were like before these 'upgrades' for third class passengers.
After the 1920s, when the US tightened controls on immigration, liner companies shifted their marketing strategies away from immigration to emphasize tourist travel. 

This is a sample of a travel brochure. I snapped this photo because when I was a child I went on several transatlantic journeys with my parents and grandmother. One of which was on the Leonardo Da Vinci. 

The beauty of the travel posters! The posters were designed to change public perception of ships being an uncomfortable necessity (as they once were) to a glamorous leisure activity!
Ocean liners were potent symbols of nationalism that played important roles in the major conflicts of the day. States frequently subsidized the building of new liners, which they could then requisition in times of war. The vessels' speed and size made them valuable hospital ships and troop transports --and irresistible targets for enemy torpedoes. 
Believe it or not, this was a piece of wood modeling from the Titanic that washed ashore. Look at how exquisite and detailed it was. It was part of the recital lounge, and it was decorated with carved musical instruments. 
A wall that was in one of the hallways of the SS France.
The grandeur of the first class dining room aboard the Queen Mary. Again, I have been lucky enough to see this as the Queen Mary is now docked in Long Beach, CA. It serves as a hotel and museum, which I toured with my parents.  
Within the exhibit were wonderful books on ocean liners. I snapped a photo of the Michelangelo. This was another ocean liner I went on with my parents and grandmother. It seems like another lifetime ago!

The theater and deck on the Da Vinci, an Italian liner I had the good fortune to experience. Unfortunately I was a child, and my memory is quite spotty, but I certainly can recall aspects of these special journeys. 

These are lounge chairs from three different ocean liners. The chair all the way on the left was from the Titanic. However, when ocean liners were first created, outdoor decks were used by the ship and not necessarily for the passengers. In fact, passengers who wanted to sit outside, resorted to bringing furniture from the inside outside. Naturally with time, the exterior of ocean liners became a large part of the traveling experience for passengers and with that came specific furniture for that purpose. In the days of the Titanic, it mattered where your lounge chair was positioned. Those in the "know" got the premiere chairs that optimized sun and shade, and also got you positioned next to the "right" passengers. So where you sat was a status symbol if you will. 

Back in the day of ocean liners, these were typical bathing suits (made out of wool!). But swimming wasn't a leisure sport nor done outside on the deck of a ship. Instead, swimming was for medicinal/health purposes and done indoors. Unlike our modern cruise ships today! Yet despite the reasons for swimming, what you wore mattered!
The exhibit ended with a model of the Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. The largest cruise ship on the seas today. The exhibit did a FABULOUS job showing us how ships evoked in our lives. For at one time, traversing on the water was done to get to a destination. Now cruising is the destination. All the adventure for the most part takes place ON THE CRUISE SHIP! 

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...


I would love to take this tour, see up close the ships on which you traveled. I am fascinated by the Titantic too. However, my feelings about it are conflicted because I love cruising. While aware that all travel carries dangers for some reason the story of the Titantic created an uneasy feeling in me. However, it has never kept me from a Cruise.

I love the picture of Mattie concentrating intently on the puzzle. Mattie had the ability, even very young, to play quietly by himself and it seems stay with an activity. Doing a 1,000 piece puzzle at 6 years of age requires intense concentration. Very impressive!