Tonight's picture was taken in March of 2009. By that point, we were surrounded by SO many things in our home, it was overwhelming. Things kept piling up, and yet we were rarely home to contend with toys, gifts, mail, and supplies. On that particular day, Mattie decided to dress up in his knight outfit, and was being playful. I captured that brief moment in time. Brief because cancer changed Mattie's personality, which was totally understandable. Mattie went from a happy, well adjusted, and engaging child, to one who was ravaged by the disease. While undergoing treatment Mattie preferred to be isolated and experienced great depression and anxiety. These changes profoundly affected Peter and I, and yet we remained strong for Mattie.
Quote of the day: Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great. ~ Mark Twain
We are on final approach to the Walk!!! Only one day left of planning! I am quite tired this evening, but I wanted to share a lovely email I received from Mattie's preschool teacher, Kathy. Kathy and Mattie had a special bond, most likely because they both have a contagious energy and spirit about them. Kathy sent me this picture that her daughter took tonight while traversing the hallways of Georgetown University Hospital. The content on the poster was created by Mattie. Linda, Mattie's Child Life Specialist, involved Mattie in a special project in March of 2009. The project involved getting children and their parents to describe an ideal hospital room and setting. Naturally because Mattie was in love with Legos, he designed his vision using these wonderful colorful bricks and then created a whole story with characters to bring his Lego hospital alive. I recall the story above of Steve and Paul, two rambunctious boys who were patients in the hospital and HATED the food. Something Mattie could relate to. His story was fascinating to me because it was through his story I could see that he related to the two main characters, and yet wrote himself into the story line. The Mattie in the story, always saved the day by fixing and rebuilding things. Not unlike my Mattie!
I went through my electronic pictures tonight and found a picture of Mattie's Lego hospital that coordinates with the story you read above. Mattie envisioned and built this hospital room and outdoor play space all on his own. Mattie's Lego hospital room had a private bathroom and a large closet (both are things I always desired and he heard me complain about often!). Mattie and I played with this structure for hours and acted out the story of Steve, Paul, Mattie, and Sam MANY times!
Within Kathy's email to me tonight, she said, "On this special weekend, please know that Mattie is recognized by many as an extraordinary person, even people that he didn't know!"