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

June 5, 2021

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2008. I remember this moment in time like it were yesterday. We met friends in Bethesda, MD. The town had a hands on art fair, with all sorts of activities for kids. As you can see, Mattie got a red balloon and got to meet a man dressed up as a cowboy and walking on poles. Every weekend, we tried to do something fun or educational with Mattie, which explains why right after Mattie died weekends were impossible for us. We were truly lost, directionless, and we did not know what to do with our  Saturdays and Sundays. 




Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 33,354,473
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 597,326

I was traveling for three days with 8 women. Yesterday we got back from Martha's Vineyard, and we were glad to return back to the main land. Mainly because it was cold, rainy, and damp. But it is also challenging living with many people over the course of a week. After a while, people feel like they need their space. Yet today, we were all text messaging as a group. We were joking with each other, as we were saying.... what time are we meeting this morning, what are we doing, and when is Quinn Patrick (a hotel staff member) picking us up in the hotel golf cart? We had enough and yet we miss the notion of being away! A natural feeling that anyone can relate to, when being away from home. 

This is our last day in Boston, and we spent it with family. Peter's brother invited us to his house and we got to have lunch with all three of his children and catch up! I also got to meet Luna, their dog! A six month old golden doodle. Luna has a ton of puppy energy and Sunny played for a bit, but then gave up. Especially since it is hot out! Honestly this weather is frenetic! Earlier in the week it was in the low 50s, and today it was 90 degrees! 

Tomorrow we head back to Washington, DC! It will be another full day in the car, and when we get there, we have a ton of chores to do, as we close on the new house this Wednesday. 

 

June 4, 2021

Friday, June 4, 2021

Friday, June 4, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2008. Peter took Mattie to a baseball game at the old Nat's stadium. I am not sure how it went, but I do know that Mattie was more like me. He showed little interest in sports. What we both loved however, was people watching at games. 



Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 33,217,582
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 593,276


Last night the Harbor View Hotel shuttled us to down town Edgar Town, to have dinner at the Atlantic Restaurant. We took a photo of the driver, Quinn. Quinn is 21 years old, and it is his first summer working at the hotel. Quinn was the person who unloaded our car and helped us get all our luggage into the room the day we checked in. Literally we saw him everyday, and he always greeted us with a smile. I don't think I have ever been to a hotel that when you leave for the day, and then return, you are greeted! Not only greeted but Quinn couldn't do enough to help us. 

Dinner at the Atlantic Restaurant was fantastic. I had Dorado (a Mediterranean white fish) that was memorable, and despite the fact that it was cold and damp outside, we had a wonderful view and I sat right under an outdoor heater. 

This morning, my friend Ann gave us these matching t-shirts to take photos! What you can't tell is that it was freezing and damp. We were all wearing jackets, and took them off for the photos.

pictured left to right:
me, Ann, Tanja, Helen, and Annie
Ann had us jumping too!
Right outside one of the shops in town, were these glorious hydrangeas. 
In Edgar Town, there is a church called St. Andrew's. Within the church there is a children's corner. What fascinated me was it was made from needlepoint. I naturally gravitated to the butterflies. 
In the afternoon, we visited South Beach. South Beach is known for its intense waves. Our visit did not disappoint. Clearly no one was hanging about the beach, as it was not a great weather day. But I can only imagine what these beaches are like on beautiful weather days.  
We had a 6:15pm reservation on the ferry out of Oak Bluffs. Given the cold weather, we packed up the car and went on stand by on the ferry. We got lucky and were able to board the boat at 3:45pm. Which was good, because I did not get back to Boston until 7pm. 

I took this photo aboard the "Martha's Vineyard" ferry. 
Aboard the boat, I could see the East Chop Lighthouse. 
Only me and Tanja stayed outside on the ferry. As you can see, basically no one was outside. In addition, look at the intense fog!!!
It was like floating in a cloud today, because the fog was intense. The trip from Martha's Vineyard to Woods Hole on Cape Cod is about 45 minutes. Thankfully it was a very smooth ride today. 
See what I am talking about regarding the fog!

This evening, while checking my email, I received a message from the general manager at Harbor View Hotel. He wanted me to know that he saw my email footer and looked up the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation. He would like to offer us an auction item of a hotel stay combined with other local vendors. I think this was a truly very thoughtful and generous offer. I have stayed at many hotels, but I would say that Harbor View, stands out amongst the rest. Mainly because the staff is very customer service oriented and truly goes out of their way to make your stay comfortable and memorable. It is hard to say good-bye to these lovely people and the rhyme of the island. 

June 3, 2021

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2008. We took Mattie to Roosevelt Island that weekend and as you can see, Mattie did not come empty handed. He brought his remote controlled boat with him and he was eager to pilot it on the water. In fact, if you asked Mattie what he was saving his piggy bank money for, he'd tell you.... to buy a boat. Not a toy boat mind you, but a real useable boat! Mattie saw himself as a ship captain one day, and really there was no end to his possibilities. 




Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 33,217,582
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 593,276


Yesterday afternoon, I went on a harbor boat tour. We did not go very far, but it was an interesting way to see the island, which included Edgartown and Chappaquiddick. We learned that Martha's Vineyard has a population of 20,000 in off season and over 200,000 during the summer season. I can only imagine how this congestion spoils the island. We are here prior to peak season, and though the weather isn't the best, there are no crowds. 

The house next to the hotel has this cute chocolate brown dog. We call him Mr. Wrinkles, because he has an adorably wrinkly face. 

We are staying in Edgartown, but today we drove to Oak Bluffs. Which has a completely different vibe from Edgartown. It is fascinating that these towns are next to each other, and yet they are quite different. 
We visited something called the Martha's Vineyard Campground Association. In 1835, Jeremiah Pease, along with six men from the Edgartown Methodist Church, secured a half acre of land for the purpose of holding a religious camp meeting on Martha’s Vineyard, following the religious camp meeting movement of the 19th century. This site became known as Wesleyan Grove. A shed was constructed out of driftwood for the preachers, with a pulpit built onto the front. Past the area of worship, a semi-circle of society tents was formed for housing attendees.
 
The first meeting was considered a success, and they continued to be held annually. The early camp meetings were serious business and children were not in attendance. Prayer meetings and preaching took place morning, noon and night. Growth was rapid during those early years. Wesleyan Grove became one of the largest and best-known camp meeting sites in the country, growing from nine tents in 1835, to 200 in 1855.

Between 1855 and 1865 the character of the camp meetings and surrounding areas began to shift. More family tents appeared and attendees began to extend their time on the Island. When the 26 acres the Association had been renting was purchased in 1864, they developed a radial-concentric pattern which was little used in America in that time. The family tents were typically placed in circular patterns around the society tent of their home church, spiraling out from the main worship tent, and reinforced the growing sense of community. By 1868 there were 570 tents in all, some for “greater domesticity” so children could attend prayer and church meetings, some for provisional vendors, boarding tents, barbers, and others.
 
Between 1859 and 1864, the “Martha’s Vineyard” cottages appeared. Remarkable for their unique architectural form and is considered an invention of the local carpenters. Most of the cottages built were small and imitated the form of the tents they replaced. Wells were dug, transportation services expanded… the Campground was taking on the characteristics of an organized and well-run summer community. Capping out at 500 cottages in 1880, today there are only 318 remaining. 

All I can say is this is a cutest community! Filled with charming painted cottages. Each given a cute name. No cars or bikes are allowed on the streets. It is like a piece of preserved history. 
In the middle of the campground, or where the cottages are is the tabernacle. The open-air Tabernacle, made of cast iron, with seating for over 2,000, is the physical and spiritual center of the Campground. It was built in 1879 by John W. Hoyt of Springfield, Massachusetts. Church services are held weekly in the Tabernacle during the months of July and August, and a variety of cultural events are held there each summer. The first event of the season is the graduation ceremonies of the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School. Architecturally, the Tabernacle is a unique structure, with wrought iron arches and supports, two clerestories with dozens of colored glass windows, and an octagonal cupola.

It looks like a piece of Americana. 
We meandered through the streets. 
To me this had all wonderful Mattie Miracle colors.
The name of this house is Oz. If you look closely at the colorful border of the house, you will see Dorothy's red shoes and yellow brick road. 
You can see why these cottages are nicknamed the Gingerbread Houses. 

Another cutie!
Literally there are dolls made of metal on the balcony. 
The town has a museum, but unfortunately it was closed during COVID. It is too bad, because I would have liked to know more about this camping community. 
The heart house!
Colors of every variety!
We then drove to the town of Aquinnah. It is celebrated as a center of Wampanoag culture and a center of pride and tradition among members of the federally recognized Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head. They make up about one-third of the town's voters and are one of two federally recognized tribes of Wampanoag people in Massachusetts. This area is one of the earliest sites of whaling. 

At the foot of the cliffs is Moshup's Beach, named after a great Aquinnah Wampanoag sachem who is said to have been at least partially responsible for many of the features of the island's physical landscape. The ocean is a rare aqua color they say, with wave heights that are above average for the area. The water sometimes takes on a red, white or grayish tinge resulting from clay eroding from the cliffs above.

Do you see Gay Head Light? It is a red brick lighthouse, and the first on Martha's Vineyard. It was literally pea soup outside and impossible to see it! 
We walked on Moshup's Beach to get a closer view of the red cliffs. What you can't see is it was raining, damp, and cold. 
The Gay Head Cliffs are a national landmark. The beautiful, colorful layers of clay make up the cliffs. It has been said that fossil bones of whales, camels and wild horses have been found in the cliff layers. This red stuff literally felt like clay. 


June 2, 2021

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2008. That weekend we took Mattie to the Cardboard Boat Regatta in Lake Accotink. I have never seen anything like this, but it was creative enough, that I knew it would be right up Mattie's alley! Mattie was intrigued by all the handmade cardboard boats, and I believe if he never got cancer, he and Peter would have signed up for this competition. 


Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 33,217,582
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 593,276

Last night the group wanted to go to Menemsha Beach to see the sunsetting into the water. Apparently Menemsha is known for its glorious unobstructed sunsets. On the beach is this incredibly long stone wall. When in Menemsha, one walks along this stone wall! So I did it! I walked along, which was actually quite easy given how flat the stones are. 
The bluffs on the island are filled with rose hips. It is a stunning site and equally fragrant. I do not think I have ever seen sand dunes like this, so full of vegetation. 
I think most people who know me well, would consider me a foodie. But I realize not everyone is like me, and therefore, when traveling with a group, you need to go with the flow. So we had appetizers along the beach last night for dinner. 
Some of us in the group and of course the food. 
The beauty of the sunset!
I have to admit that I am a challenged sleeper since Mattie died. I need just the right conditions to sleep. I was up until 3am last night and got up at 7. Many things explain my sleep issues, but one of which was the terrible lighting at the hotel. We were in a cottage that was surrounded by outdoor lights. Lights that are kept on all night for security. I totally appreciate it, but the room never got dark, and therefore, that was a trigger for me. 
When we checked into the hotel yesterday, the person at the front desk was pleasant enough but did not handle our concerns well. We rented a cottage, but when we got into it, the beds were not set up like advertised. Which is important when traveling with a bunch a women. When we reported the problem, the front desk staff person listened but did nothing about it. Despite me asking!

My traveling companions moved on regarding this issue, but I didn't. So this morning, I went back to the front desk. I worked with Carlos, the front desk supervisor. What a night and day difference. He told me that the person we dealt with yesterday was fired. Not just because of us, but for multiple issues. I can see why! 

Carlos upgraded our cottage to a three bedroom cottage, he has given us free drinks and appetizers for tonight, and has helped me make dinner reservations for tomorrow night. Oh and late check out on Friday. He is a truly professional and because he provided us outstanding service I called the Hotel's general manager to share my kudos this afternoon. 


We went for a walk along the beach this morning in front of the hotel. The sand is filled with all kinds of shells and even this hermit crab. Who we assisted back to the water. 


Around lunch time, we went to a restaurant called, Among the Flowers. You can see how charming the outdoor patio is and the food is excellent. I had a summer salad with grilled chicken, which was very fresh and well put together. 
Apparently today is the last sunny day. Tomorrow and Friday, we will be dealing with clouds and rain. Which is unfortunate, because I feel like I haven't really seen the island. It means I need to come back with Peter. 

Check out these beautiful peonies! The island is filled with trees, all kinds of flowers, red winged black birds, of course seagulls, and lots of lots of rabbits. 

June 1, 2021

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Tuesday, June 1, 2021 -- Mattie died 609 weeks ago today. 

Tonight's picture was taken in June of 2008. Mattie painted each flower pot and then we planted a Vinca inside. These colorful gems were end of the year teacher gifts. It is hard to believe that we experienced only one year of elementary school, and then that was it. Somehow I was under some delusion that we would have many more end of school years together. 


Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 33,217,582
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 593,276

This morning I got up at 6am, and Peter and I were on the road to meet friends in Quincy. From there, we were scheduled to catch a ferry to Martha's Vineyard at 11am. I am very used to traveling with Peter, so not having him along means a part of me is missing. That may sound crazy, but with Mattie's death, Peter and I rely on each other more than probably the average couple. 
Waiting for the Ferry! The boat's name is the Island Hope. Seems quite symbolic!
Of course being on any floating object reminds me of cruising with Peter and my parents. 
The ferry was not full of people! But I will tell you every car slot on the boat was taken. I honestly had no idea what to expect on the island. 
So we boarded the boat at Woods Hole and the first thing we saw on our way out was this charming lighthouse. Of which none of us knew its name. So naturally I have some research to do. 
This photo is in honor of Peter Brown! He took many of these types of photos on our cruises. 
It may have been a somewhat overcast day, but fortunately the water wasn't choppy. 
The beauty of our flag. 
Pulling into Martha's Vineyard. We were on the deck of the boat while sailing (45 minutes), and then headed back downstairs to get into the car and onto the island. 
The island has several towns in it, each having its own charm. In Oak Bluffs, are these very cute gingerbread houses. 
The hotel we are staying at overlooks the water and this adorable light house. 
Martha's Vineyard has these cute ferries that take cars over the Chappaquiddick. The irony is my grandma used to talk about Chappaquiddick for years. Now I finally see it! Apparently the only way to get onto it is by boat. 
Edgartown, where our hotel is, has so many cute shops, restaurants, and ice cream. In one of the store windows it read:

No one is qualified to decide your worth. You wake up and live your life. Every day. Yours is the only opinion of you that matters. 
This is the Edgartown Harbor Light. It is a total cutie. The original light was built in the 1800s, and this one was scheduled for destruction but was saved by a local non-profit group and congress. 

The beautiful scrub on the island is filled with rose hips. 
This is the hotel we are staying at, and it is a true beauty on the island. 
Do you recognize this? Look closely! If you are a Jaws fan, this was where the beach scenes were filmed. A movie 46 years ago, and its a classic!