Mattie Miracle 2021 Walk was a $125,000 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

December 12, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2003. We took Mattie to Los Angeles that Christmas and my mom set up a tree just for Mattie. A tree that was his size. As you can see, Mattie had a great old time tearing through gift wrapping to get at his presents. I think as parents of a healthy child we took this simple act of opening up gifts for granted. Thinking we would have many more Christmases like this. Now looking back at this, I realize how special these moments were and I am glad I captured them somehow for years to come.


Quote of the day: What mattered was still there. That was what they all felt, and what surprised them all. What mattered couldn't be shaken. ~ Jodi Lynn Anderson


The lady on the right, sitting with the red pillow behind her is my friend Mary. I had the opportunity to see Mary and attend her 85th birthday luncheon today. Mary's birthday is significant to me because I met Mary five years ago on her birthday! It is ironic, Mary and I have only known each other for a short period of time and yet within these five years so many losses have occurred.


Mattie died on September 8th of 2009 and Mary's husband died about a month later, on October 5th of 2009. I will never forget this whole time period for many reasons. Caring for Mattie through his cancer battle was incredibly intense. We lived in the hospital for over a year and rarely slept. It is actually hard to imagine functioning without sleep, but  I am living proof that the body can get used to such abusive treatment long term. It has it consequences of course, but we managed to adjust in order to help Mattie. After Mattie died, Ann's dad (or Mary's husband) was taking a turn for the worse. Because Ann (who was our team Mattie coordinator when Mattie was battling cancer) was so instrumental in helping Peter and me, it was a natural fit to help Ann while her dad was dying. Allowing someone into your life to help deal with a family member's terminal illness takes courage and quite frankly it is a very intimate experience. Since I was unable to sleep and was used to working with medical issues by that point, helping Ann's dad die was a skill I had and could apply to help my friend.

I know when Peter and I present on palliative care panels, people are amazed to hear what we did as soon as Mattie died. Because what we did was we moved into Ann's house to help her balance her children and her dying father. This may sound like an unusual thing to do, and most likely Peter and I needed different things at that time. But what I needed right after Mattie died was to be needed and to care for someone. Losing Mattie was so traumatic and my body was so conditioned to being hyper alert in the hospital that I really couldn't function in our regular society. I needed another medical care setting to turn to and this is where Ann's father came in. I sometimes wonder what my life would have looked like without having moved into Ann's house two weeks after Mattie died, without having cared for Mary's husband in his nursing home, and then trying to help Mary after her husband died?

I do not have answers to any of these questions, but I tell you this story because I think it puts into context my deep connection with Mary. She isn't just my friend's mom. Mary and I went through many challenges together and back when she was verbal (something I miss now given her neurological disease), we also talked about what it was like for both of us to lose our sons to cancer. Post deaths, we spent a great deal of time together, and for me this wasn't just a task to pass the time. Spending time with my friend and her family was my way of trying to reinvest in the living world. With that being said, my decision to help did impact my grieving process then and now into the future.

Another highlight of the day was I learned how to make a scarf using yarn and a crochet needle. Ann's aunt, who is also my friend, is visiting from Massachusetts. She surprised me with a hand made gift and then showed me the technique she uses to make these beautiful scarves. The funny part about this is Helen wasn't sure anyone would like her scarves. But the scarves are delicate, feminine, and eye catching. This was my first time using a crochet needle and I found the whole project fun, but then again I like crafting things. Another lesson I learned about myself after Mattie died. When Mattie was alive, I probably did some creative things, but it wasn't until Mattie died that crafting took on a whole new level. I remember the first Christmas we spent without Mattie, I was designing candy cane trees for Ann. Needless to say she has many of my candy tree creations, but I needed an outlet. Which is why even today AC Moore maybe one of my favorite places to visit during difficult moments.
 

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