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 24, 2019

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tuesday, December 24, 2019 -- Mattie died 534 weeks ago today. 

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2007. Mattie was five and half years old and pictured with his Christmas sweater and his faithful train. This photo was on the cover of our 2007 Christmas card. 





Quote of the day: At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.Robin Lee Graham

This was the sight I saw right outside our window this morning! This was a AIDA ship, based out of Germany. We could hear their morning announcements delivered in English, German, and French. 



We arrived in Antigua this morning and the steel drum band was playing Christmas music. Literally passengers from the AIDA ship were dancing and taking all sorts of photos with the band. It was adorable.  
The front of the AIDA ship. 
My mom and I in front of our ship. 




















We visited Dow's Hill Interpretation Center. The Center was originally an 18th-century residence for the General Officer Commanding of the British Navy. The cultural center retains its sense of history and utilized the original stonework during its restoration. The star attraction is a state-of-the-art multimedia exhibition that moves through a timeline of the island and introduces prominent figures from both the past and present that have influenced Antigua's development. I snapped this photo as the presentation was transpiring. Basically you sit on swivel seats, so you can view the presentation in 360 degrees. 

Right outside the Center was this incredible view of Antigua. Around 60% of Antigua's economy is from tourism and every spring is Antigua's Sailing Week. It is the longest running sailing regatta in the Caribbean and is still one of the best loved races worldwide.

We visited Block House, the remains of a former armory and arsenal.  The views from there are extraordinary and you can see both the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean. The pinkish roofs  dotting the cliffs in this photo belong to Eric Clapton. He has his home here as well as established a recovery center for alcohol and drug abuse. 



On Blockhouse, this armory building has stood for centuries and has survived many hurricanes.

Our third stop was to Shirley Heights Lookout. Here is the perfect place to take photos. The body of water with all the sailboats is Nelson's Dockyard National Park and the English Harbor. Shirley Heights was the lookout once used as a signal station to warn those in the dockyard of approaching ships. In fact, the island at one time had 40 lookout stations, which were used by the British to signal any threats to the island. Flags would be raised at these lookout points, and within minutes this important message could be transported around the entire island. 

On a clear day, you can see all the way to Montserrat from Shirley Heights Lookout. Can you see it? 




Our last stop on our tour was to Nelson's Dockyard. The beautiful harbor area with the sailboats pictured above. Nelson's Dockyard is the only Georgian naval dock in the world and a unique Antiguan landmark. Although this is the Caribbean's premier example of a British naval yard, it was actually constructed by Antiguans. Nestled in the cone of a dormant volcano, the dockyard has been well protected for over 500 years from the hurricanes that frequent the area. Built in 1725, the dockyard served as the base for the English naval squadron patrolling the West Indies.

Today I learned about the term conscription. Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names.

Basically the story told to us today was that MEN in England were treated to alcohol, they got drunk, and then basically captured and put on ships bound for Antigua. Once they got to Antigua these men were conscripted to work from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year. They worked at Nelson's Dockyard processing sugarcane from the Island. They guarded the sugarcane and made sure it was traded to countries approved by the British. A non-approved Country at the time was America by the way. Note that NO WOMEN, I mean NONE, were allowed at Nelson's Dockyard. Women were considered disease bearing, corrupt, and a major distraction. The funny part about all of this is a woman now owns and oversees Nelson's Dockyard.

Nelson's Dockyard treated all of us to a rum punch. I took about three sips and realized that was all I could take! It was super strong! Our tour guide (Nordia) and bus driver (Charles) were a great duo. They presented us with facts about the island, some traditions, and a lot of humor. They heavily promoted their rum and they joked that when we all got back on the bus after consuming a rum punch we would be singing! 

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