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: www.mattiemiracle.com 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 11, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 -- Mattie died 408 weeks ago today. 

Tonight's picture was taken in May of 2007. Mattie was five years old and LOVED collecting tent moth caterpillars in the spring. In fact when he first brought a caterpillar home I was in shock! But instead of dispensing with it, I went with it and decided to jar it and figure out what to feed it, until it produced a cocoon and finally a moth! Mattie was in LOVE with the idea. We have no caterpillars near us in DC, which was why Mattie always imported them from Alexandria, where his schools were located. Mattie and I enjoyed watching the metamorphosis process together and we learned several things from this experience but the top two were that these caterpillars prefer oak leaves and second, they are messy creatures and their jar had to be cleaned out every other day! Of course once they became moths, we always had a moth releasing ceremony on our deck. So when ever I see moths now on our deck, I remember those many ceremonies we had! 



Quote of the day: To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own. ~ Abraham Lincoln


Those who know me well, know that I live my life following the philosophy... ONE DAY AT A TIME. I wish I could claim this philosophy as my own, but unfortunately the credit goes to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). I remember as a graduate student in Counseling being required to go to an AA meeting. The purpose of the assignment was to learn about the 12 step philosophy, hear the voices of those impacted by alcohol, and report back on our thoughts and feelings about the experience. What I can say is that AA group was an experience I can recall vividly even today, it made that much of an impact on me. Mainly because the people in the meeting were ALL working professionals, they had careers, they were dressed in suits, and were earning a good income. That was their exterior life. Of course if you cracked the shell and delved into their daily lives and routines, you saw a very fragile picture. I have to admit back then when I heard people saying, "one day at a time," I thought it was a catchy phrase but its significance and meaning did not really hit me until Mattie died. 

I don't want you to think I am equating addiction to grief. These are two separate issues, with different origins and different needs for support. But with that said, they have several things in common.... 1) the issues are not short term, rather they last a life time, 2) set backs can be triggered by stressors, holidays, or milestones, and 3) connecting and relating to others is challenging at best making it difficult to lead a 'normal' life. In fact, because both issues are pervasive and forever present in one's life as well as impact one's ability to have a future, it is easy to become disillusioned and worry that you will be unable to sustain and manage with these feelings for another day. Which is why living in the moment, and appreciating that you were able to cope in any given second enables you to eventually survive from second to second, minute to minute, hour to hour, to eventually day to day.     

Why am I bringing this up tonight? Well it is because of an interaction I had today with a friend. This friend is very close to her son, and he just got into college. He is the first generation to go to college, so this is a huge achievement for this fellow and family. However, saying good-bye to her son is difficult for her, and yet she knows he has to do this so that he can have a chance at a solid future. In any case, the last time I saw her, she was in tears. She wasn't sure how she was going to cope with his leaving. Naturally I listened and then shared with her the ONE DAY AT A TIME philosophy. When I saw her today, she thanked me out of the blue. She said she is managing because she takes it one day at a time. That made me smile because it isn't just words I spout out, but instead a way of life. One in which I share with anyone who is dealing with a loss, a loss of any kind. Seeing the full picture of the loss truly serves NO PURPOSE. It is overwhelming and your life can feel like it is caving in on itself. Instead, taking the loss and what feelings and thoughts it brings each day makes it more bearable. 

All I know is when Mattie died, I went from future focused to present focused. I do not like thinking about the future, and typically will avoid this conversation at all costs. Of course there are days I do revert back to being future oriented and it isn't pretty. Mainly because it feels like I am having an existential crisis. Wondering what my life will look like in the future without having a child, someone who can be there for me when and if I get sick, someone to pass down traditions and family heirlooms to and the LIST GOES ON. 

2 comments:

Margy Jost said...

Vicki,

I love the smile on Mattie's face, holding the jar with the soon to be moth inside. I am glad, you have this memory

Living in the present can be a challenge. So is offering a parent, a way to deal with normal separation because after all despite how hard it is, it is natural. You are a good friend because what isn't natural is to loose your child to death & miss out on all the natural things in life.
Living in the moment is positive for all of us. You helped this friend by the things, you said! I am glad to learn, she said thanks for teaching her the live in the moment philosophy! You are a great friend to many!!!

Margy Jost said...

I absolutely love the quote and the total truth it represents!