Hello All!


Many times throughout this process of living Catie’s Story I have hesitated to do or not do something because I was more concerned with what someone, either supporting us financially or simply witnessing my actions, would think. Should I buy Catie or allow her to buy a cell phone, she is only seven? She should be able to call her Dad anytime she desires, I rationalize. However, the possible judgment of this either imaginary or real person stopped me in my tracks, caused me to hesitate or even change my first thoughts of how to do something for Catie. Sometimes I have given in, Catie does have a cell phone. This morning I thought about this again. I am reading a book, Hannah’s Gift, about one mother’s memories of her daughter’s life and death due to cancer.

In this book the mother points out many things that she herself thought, felt, prayed and questioned throughout her family’s journey. I began to realize that even being in similar shoes as another person, while it may help you to understand why they did something, what they did may still not be right for me even in a very similar situation. Judgment stops us from understanding others. It isolates us. It takes love and God out of our hearts. Judgment helps no one. Understanding and love shares, encourages and offers all that is good in this human life we are all living. Wouldn’t it be easier for all of us, not just Catie and me, to live in a world free from judgments of others and free to love without fear?

When I think of judgments I also think about groups of people and the judgments that are placed on entire groups of people. Let’s pick one, how about Harley riders. OK what do you think? The bikes are loud. Groups of bikes thunder into town. That is sometimes scary or intimidating. Folks riding the bikes wear a lot of leather. Well on Friday when we were pulling into St. Jude at 12:40pm for Catie’s 1pm appointment, we were stopped so that several hundred Harley riders could enter the gates to St. Jude’s. Why? For the past nine years Southern Cruiser Riding Club has given over $797,000 to St. Jude’s. In 2007 they gave $242,802.51. They have a site www.southerncruiser.net and this afternoon I spoke with several members of different chapters. They all agree they would never miss a year and it is all for the kids. These men and women have jobs just like you and me. They also own and ride a bike. They also give – Cruising for a Cure. God Bless you one and all.

We have some wonderful news to share with you we have dates, no times yet, but dates. Catie and I will be coming home Thursday, August 28th and will be home until September 29th, though we may have to fly out that night if no flight works out for the morning. Catie will be going through all her previous testing and then is scheduled to be in-patient beginning Chemo by October 8th. It will be a very tough month for all of us. Once we get home we are going to simply enjoy each other and the Labor Day Weekend – as we have all labored without one another for the past two months or so.

Catie and I had a great visit with Kevin and Max. Max left with tears in his eyes. Each of the other kids did too. It doesn’t make up for all the times that I miss them but it does feel good to know that they miss us too. Catie is doing very well. The additional radiation to her spine is only seen in her even pickier tastes and her lack of a desire to eat a large meal. The window of opportunity is short when it comes to feeding Catie. So Catie is carrying around a lunchbox filled with cheese, yogurt, juice, water, fruit, peanut butter and ham. She works best nibbling. She loves Kevin’s french toast and breakfasts in general. Sunday brunch is Kevin’s specialty and Catie and I miss that the most.

Kevin’s parents are still with us. They fly out tomorrow night. They will join us for Mass in the morning and then we will probably stay inside. Catie has sunburn on her head from a day spent outside at Mud Island. It is a wonderful park that offers a half mile walk along a scaled down version of the entire Mississippi River. Max and Catie took off their shoes and walked the Mississippi. They had a ball. It was wonderful to see them enjoying each other so much. Below is a picture of the RiverWalk.

Please keep Kevin and the kids in your prayers. After Mass in Basking Ridge, they will drive home to Mechanicsburg where they (Maggie, Max and Mia) will get ready for their first day of school. I have never missed this. Kevin will have the camera ready I am sure. I will be there for Catie’s first day back next Tuesday.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support. The light at the end of the radiation tunnel is getting brighter.

Peace and love,

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Catie, Mia, Molly and M.E.

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