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

July 30, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in September of 2008. Mattie was in his second month of chemotherapy, prior to any of his surgeries. As you can see our home was beginning to be transformed into a hospital.... with all sorts of equipment. We had to get up to speed about giving Mattie IV fluids and medications and worse the daunting task of cleaning and flushing out his broviac. A catheter that directly attached to a central vein of the heart. In the beginning of Mattie's treatment, that catheter scared me to no end, given its location and the importance of keeping it clean. However, I am sharing this photo because it illustrates how loving Patches, our calico, was throughout all of this. At first Patches remained at home, but as Mattie's treatment got more intense we had no other choice but to board her with our vet for over a year. Patches had kidney issues and needed consistent care. We felt that our vet would be the most safest place to put her, so we did not have to worry about her or her health while we were solely focused on Mattie. 

Quote of the day: Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~  Dale Carnegie

I think if someone asked me what the key to surviving loss and trauma were, my initial and most accurate response would be staying busy and having diversions. Now I am not implying that in between these diversions, one avoids focusing on thoughts and feelings. Absolutely not! One can try to avoid the reality, but eventually it will resurface. 

On weekends, which can be the hardest times in the week for us, we tend to try to stay busy doing things. Today's task was cleaning out our front hallway closet and our catch all closets in the kitchen. Two tasks I wasn't looking forward to doing. What you need to understand is that Mattie's things are pervasive in our home, even in the closets. So though I am an organized person, aspects of my closets can look as confused and chaotic as my head. 

Our front hallway closets had stacks and stacks of cookbooks. Now you could ask yourself how could purging cookbooks bring about sadness? I don't know but it did! For two reasons. The first is I found several children's cookbooks in my stacks. This one in particular was given to Mattie by one of my students, who was Mattie's babysitter. You can see that Emily wrote a message to Mattie in the book saying, "Hope we can do some cooking together! Happy 4th birthday." Unfortunately Mattie never used this cookbook. 

But the second reason this was so hard was because I looked at all my cookbooks, which I no longer use, and reflected on how I am NOT motivated anymore to experiment with new recipes. I neither have the desire or the energy. With the loss of Mattie, also came the loss of many aspects of myself. Tomorrow I am donating the majority of my cookbooks. 

After tackling the front hallway closet, we then moved into the kitchen. In my large kitchen closet, I store bags. All sorts of bags.... gift bags, recyclable bags, and even paper shopping bags. If you could see how many bags I pulled out of this closet, you would think I had a bag problem or obsession!

I significantly purged my bag supply today and totally reorganized the closet. Yet check out one of the bags I found! It says, "I love you Mattie, Love Kazu." This bag was given to Mattie during Halloween of 2008, by his close friend from elementary school. Needless to say, this bag went right back into the closet. I loved that bag then, and now 9 years later still love its meaning and sentiments. In fact, I snapped this photo and shared it with Kazu's parents, my friends Junko and Tad. I wanted them to know how much I have and continue to appreciate their support. 

What I have deduced about the loss of a child, is that even something mundane as cleaning out a closet, it never simple!  Mattie maybe gone, but physical aspects remain ever present in our home, which is also another reason I don't like cleaning out closets. I will never forget my first massive clean out of Mattie's things, which I did FIVE years after he died. YES FIVE YEARS! Prior to that point, I truly couldn't manage this horrific task. Yet regardless of how much I have cleaned out and donated, Mattie's things are always with us. The point to this is, I just never know when I will come across these items. Such as the cookbook and the orange bag. You can't prepare yourself for the unexpected or the feelings these items can evoke. 

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

The orange bag and cookbook are priceless gifts. Mattie should have lived to cook out of the book and used the bag until it wore out. Life's unfairness intervened and tasks such a cleaning a closet become major jobs for grieving parents. Sometimes, I wish I could make your blog go viral. I know anyone can read it. Probably many do. I have to wonder if as many of the correct people are reading it and understanding that loosing one's child changes forever the lives of the parents. Not just a little but completely and forever! I hope many people absorb your words into their hearts and guide their own lives & interactions from the wise, truthful things, you share.