Life Goes On

We begin tonight asking you to pray for the family of Charlie Decoster. Charlie passed away on Friday after a life lived well, but too soon over. He leaves behind Laura, his bride and love of his life and his 10 year old daughter Mandalynn. I shall miss Charlie and our phone conversations about work, family, God, and living life with gusto. I take solace in the fact that many family and friends that I have lost have by now welcomed Charlie home to His Father’s house and that Charlie is even now making heaven even better than it already was.

Life in Mechanicsburg goes on. The kids had a great time with Aunt Maria, Uncle John, Tommy, and Julia this weekend, and when Molly and I returned home at 2am this morning, Maria was waiting up for us with the update. Thank you Maria and John for taking care of the fab 4 for us. Tonight we celebrated Molly’s 4th birthday and presented her with a red Radio Flyer Tricycle, just like the one she has been absconding from our next door neighbor Colton (also 4) since we moved in. We figured they could ride them together. She informed me that it was a boys tricycle and that I should take it back and get her a pink or purple one. I have been trying to figure out these O’Brien women all my life……….I guess I will keep trying, they are worth it. Aside from that, they are doing very well, despite all that has gone on, they have had, according to them, a good summer. Thank you to all of you that have shared the summer with them.

Life in Memphis goes on as well. Molly and I had a wonderful visit with Christine and Catie. We laughed, we cried, we shared meals and mass, and we crammed as much into 51 hours as we could, knowing that while it couldn’t make up for the time apart, it was better than not having any time together. Christine told you in the last message that Catie’s hair had begun to fall out. Below is a picture taken Saturday afternoon, by Sunday at 1pm, it was literally all gone. It was both heart wrenching and a blessing. Heart wrenching to see the look of terror, sadness, and resignation on Catie’s face (as well as ours), and a blessing that it happened so quickly and while both Christine and I were with her. A blessing as well because it let’s us know that the radiation is being delivered, if it is killing off her hair, it is killing off the cancer cells as well ! Catie has a collection of hats and bandanas and scarves that will keep her stylin’ and her head warm, and we are grateful. She is still beautiful and her smile still lights up a room like no one I have met (since her mother). When Catie and Christine dropped us back at the airport, there were tears all around, and Christine pulled Catie close to her and promised her that someday, we would be getting on the plane together and no one would be left behind. Thank you to all of you that have joined us on this journey to one day bring her home for good.

Today, after radiation treatment number 14, (tomorrow is the ½ way point), Catie and Christine met up with Aunt Lynn, Uncle John, Austine, Douglas, and Anna who drove across from South Carolina. They had 2 terrific meals including one at Hueys, a local favorite where for fun, you can shoot toothpicks through your straw into the ceiling. They also went back to the Peabody Hotel and watched the ducks walk out of the fountain in the lobby to the waiting elevator that took them to their penthouse. Is it any wonder why the south lost the civil war? They also spent a good deal of time at the Children’s Museum, I could tell that they were having a great time because Catie did not answer her cell phone all day.

The new website will be available for you on Wednesday. Some neat features that we can now tell you about. Once you register on the website for the first time, you will automatically receive an email with each update. So if you are passing the email updates along, you can invite the people on your list to register as well, and they will receive the updates directly from Catie. For anyone who is coming into the story midstream, there is a “story so far” tab that gives them either a shortened version of the first month of this journey, or allows them to read any or all of the past emails. There are 30 or so pictures. There is a tab for prayer requests where you can post a request for someone you would like us to keep in our prayers. There is a guestbook where you can leave messages for Catie. And there is a tab called Candles for Catie. Many have you have asked, “what can we do”. Christine had a beautifully inspired thought. Please light a candle for Catie. Most churches have candles for prayer requests. The tab on the website allows you to let Catie know where you lit the candle, and then when we update the map on the webpage, she and you can see all of the different candles across the country and around the world burning for her. We hope that we have come up with the right vehicle to keep you up to date and keep the message going. Please let us know what you think so that we can make the website everything it can be. Special thanks to Cindy, Christine’s cousin who has set the website up and gotten us off on the right foot.

We will leave you now with a thought and a prayer. May God grant you the wisdom to see that life goes on, to realize that when you are assured of the destination, what becomes important is the journey, and that the important part is not that you live, but how you live. How differently would we live tomorrow if we know it was the last tomorrow we would ever have? Mat the people in your life love you like there’s no tomorrow, and may they feel that love from you.

God bless you all and may God’s peace be with you,

Christine, Kevin, Maggie (10), Max (9), Catie (7), Mia (6), Molly (4) and M.E. (2), and Rover, (surprise Christine, we got a dog, just kidding)

We pray that you don’t feel helpless in this situation. Help us by praying. Help us by loving your family. Help us by hugging your kids and your spouse everyday. Help us by spreading Catie’s Story to the most faithfilled people you know and to those that need more faith. Help us by writing to us, even if you don’t know us, and telling us how Catie’s Story has come to you and impacted you.

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