Update for 7/19

This update will be short and sweet.

Kevin and M.E. have returned to PA. We struggled for the first few minutes but praise the lord we worked through it opened some mail and moved on to the next thing. Kevin and M.E.’s visit was emotional for all of us. Kevin however demonstrates little of what he is feeling. He is amazing and I am not just saying that – God has gifted Kevin with some rare talents and abilities and Kevin has been wise enough to utilize these gifts. Throughout the events of their visit I found myself crying, rarely out of sadness or fear but mostly out of the sheer magnitude of emotional stuff there is to deal with when you have six children and you are only caring for one. The other five still have needs, many that I will never even know about. I have to trust the Lord that they are able to articulate their needs to someone who is with them. How does Kevin do all that he has to do? “Don’t you miss them?” I ask Kevin about the other four children when he is here with me. “I can’t invest energy into something that isn’t here now. If I do I will be missing out on what or who is here now, you, Catie and M.E.” he responds. When I try to live this way it makes it so much easier.

So as Kevin is leaving Catie begins to cry. It is the first time ever that she has truly cried since this roller coaster ride began. She sobbed, tears, shaking and clung to her Dad. It was so beautiful to witness. She let go and told Kevin how important his visit was to her and that his leaving was painful to her. She had a good day though she had a very little appetite. She and M.E. went to the Children’s Museum then went shopping for some new larger t-shirts and cotton hats. Then they came back to the room and watched High School Musical 1. That is a great day for a kid. When Kevin left she was so quiet I decided we needed a pick me up so we went to the front desk to see if there were any packages (I knew there were because they call and tell you) she received two.

Mrs. Lyden (the other Kindergarten teacher (not our Mia’s teacher) from St. Joseph School) sent Catie a copy of the school year book. She was thrilled she sat and studied the pages and pictures. Mrs. Lyden also sent a 2 meal pass for Cracker Barrel (Catie’s latest favorite) which the local Cracker Barrel gave to Mrs. Lyden once they heard Catie’s story. The money for the meals was now available and Mrs. Lyden put it into the card for Catie. Catie was thrilled. The other package was from St. Columbkill Church. They sent one of those enormous cards it was signed by everyone who attended the prayer service on July 11th. Catie read each note and then she noticed that Maggie (her own sister) had written something. She asked if she could call Maggie. The next hour was spent with Catie catching everyone at home up on what has been happening here from Catie’s point of view.

When she hung up the phone she had a huge grin on her face. “Can we go to Wild Oats?” she asked. Wild Oats is the organic grocery store and eatery up the street. They have samples at the end of every aisle. Catie thinks of it like a smorgasbord. Catie snacked, chose a meal, ate it without complaining and then requested that we go for ice cream her treat (thanks to Mrs. Lyden).

Now she is sleeping soundly. She is a terrific kid. I pray I have the strength to keep my focus on the task at hand and not allow myself to be distracted by everything I am not doing. Truth be told, Kevin would be and is much better suited to be here. Parts of this he would love to learn more about, one example is on Friday during her third Radiation treatment he questioned whether we were allowed to go in with her on her third visit. I responded why would you want to go in there, I wish she didn’t have to go in there. I am much better suited at dealing with all the constant noise and busyness of a big family. The quiet makes me leery. Kevin finds it peaceful. God has placed each of us where we are and it would be ungrateful to question why.

I love you Kevin. I miss you. Katie thanks for watching the kids. I know they had a blast. Colleen and Taylor thank you for all you did for the past two weeks. I couldn’t be here without you taking care of everyone for me. Happy 11th Anniversary!! Maggie, Max, Mia, Molly and M.E. I love you and I am very proud of all you are doing to help each other and love each other while Catie and I are away. We will return to you as soon as we are able. In the meantime we are working on flying you down here for a visit that way you will know first hand what Catie’s day are like. Megan thank you for saying yes to our offer or request for help. You are heaven sent. Jessica and Jason thanks for your car so that Catie and I could have our adventure tonight.

Peace be with you all,

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