While we are apart, we are a part

Good evening dear friends,

It is hard to believe that 2 months ago we had just come back from Washington, DC and our annual pilgrimage to the nation’s capital and our biggest care in the world is that we had “lost” Molly for 10 excruciating minutes in front of the Lincoln Memorial. What we could not imagine then was that the tumor that would soon turn life upside down was already growing rapidly in Catie’s spinal column and would soon begin causing her pain. Our lives can change in an instant, in 2 short months, or gradually over time. This life change is a tricky one. As we sit down each evening to share with you our update and prayer for the day, we think back over the past 24 hours and try to put into words our most intimate thoughts and feelings as we watch Catie live the journey she has been called to live. It is a humbling experience, and we truly believe that God and Catie are writing the story, but Catie has not learned to type yet.

Before we get to the events of the day, (you know already that something happened), a few updates on dates, and times and such:

  • Catie and Christine will be returning home to Mechanicsburg either the last week of August or the first week of September, (we will let you know as soon as the date firms up). We want to close off the cul-de-sac and have a welcome home Catie party…..not a big deal, not a long event, just an opportunity for her classmates, friends, etc. to say hello.
  • There will be a fund raising event at the Valley Forge Convention Center on Sunday September 14th
  • There will be a Race Day on November 15th in Mechanicsburg (5k, 10k, and 1k walk)
  • The Catie Fund has a new address –

    P.O. Box 261
    Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

  • Maggie lost another tooth tonight – just seeing if you were paying attention
  • Packages continue to arrive at Target House for Catie, thank you, your generosity is overwhelming, however it is a small apartment, and Catie is having a hard time keeping up with just opening packages. We know that many of you want to do something for her, (we all want to CURE her) but in lieu of that we all want to do something, please, just send her a card, a note, a picture to let her know that you are praying for her and thinking about her. And for all of you that have sent packages, thank you, you have made the apartment into Catie’s home.

Now on to the highlights of the day:

The Jonas Brothers, Angus T. Jones from “Two and a Half Men”, and Demi Lovato from “Camp Rock” came to Target House today to hang out with the kids, and Catie was able to hang out with them…..omg, omg, omg!!!

We have some photos of them spending time with Catie that we will be sending along and will be posting to the NEW website. Exciting news to come, there is a new website and it will be unveiled for you this week….stay tuned.

Despite the presence of real TV stars (OMG, OMG,OMG), today was a difficult day, not because any one thing happened but because, this is still real. Max sat at dinner tonight and looked at me and said, “Dad, I keep hoping I will just wake up and this will be just a bad dream”. I know how he feels. I’m sure as Christine went through another day of watching Catie going through another day, she felt much of the same; and the reality is, this is the short part of the treatment. Another day of radiation, another day of inching closer to the hair loss which will most likely begin tomorrow, and another day apart.

I have known Christine for 32 years since we went to school together beginning in fifth grade and I waited a very long time to hold her in my arms and feel the warmth of her embrace. To not have that on a daily basis is anathema to me. So what do we do? Despair, lose hope, give in to the temptation to blame someone or something or even God so that in some way we feel better? We have a choice. In reality, as I began to write this update, I did not know the answers to the questions I just posed, I certainly did not know them nor could I articulate them as I spoke to and cried with Christine on the phone earlier. The best I could come up with was logging on to mapquest, printing out directions, throwing the kids in the car, and we’ll see you in 16 hours. But shockingly, I do not have all the answers, ( admittedly, I have many of them), but God has them all. So, I put the kids in the car, drove to Good Shepherd parish, (doors locked at St Joe’s) and sat in front of the Blessed Sacrament for 30 minutes and asked God to help me understand this. (Blessed Sacrament – forgive the quick theological discussion here – we believe that God is truly present in what appears to be bread through the mystery of the eucharist, and this “Blessed Sacrament” is kept in tabernacles in churches around the world).

Did God help me understand all of this, or at least today’s installment….of course. Maggie, who had been praying along with me told me that what she felt while she was praying was hope, and what I felt was understanding. Hope that all of this has a purpose, that the “Plan” that God has for Catie and all of us that witness with her is so awesome that we cannot yet imagine it. And understanding, that if I can believe that what looks like a piece of bread is really and truly the presence of God, then any physical separation that exists between Christine and Catie and all of us is just a physical barrier that we can overcome only with faith. As I set up the chairs around the table tonight for dinner, (Mac and cheese from the Connollys), I thought, what a small little family we have, just the six of us. What I know in faith is that all of you that read this and believe that there is a connection here join with us for every meal as we do with you. We are all part of something greater than ourselves or the people in our home, and we are on a journey home to a place where we can all sit around a banquet table together. The celebrations we have here are just glimpses of the one we will all share one day. Thank you for joining us on our journey and allowing us to share yours. Keep the faith and know that our prayer this night will be for all of you.

Love and God bless,

C,K,M,M,C,M,M, and M.E.

Big House

I don’t know where you lay your head,or where you call your home.
I don’t know where you eat your meals,or where you talk on the phone.

I don’t know if you’ve got a cook, a butler, or a maid.
I don’t know if you’ve got a yard with a hammock in the shade.

I don’t know if you’ve got some shelter, say some place to hide.
I don’t know if you live with friends in whom you can confide.

I don’t know if you’ve got a family, say a mom or dad.
I don’t know if you love at all, but I bet you wish you had.


Come and go with me to my father’s house.
Come and go with me to my father’s house.
It’s a big, big house with lots and lots of room.
A big, big table with lots and lots of food.
A big, big yard where we can play football.
A big, big house, it’s my father’s house.

All I know is a big, big house with rooms for everyone.
All I know is lots of land where we can play and run.

All I know is you need love, and I’ve got a family.
All I know is your all alone, why not come with me.

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