Prayers and Needs

This one was rolling through my mind and just started coming out. Pray for us. There are some needs that can not be met by anyone outside of Kevin, myself and God. As soon as we were married that became our reality. The two become one. When we were first married we would fight over the silliest of things. They are silly now but they were not silly or unimportant then. I would want to take care of the kids so Kevin could go out and play golf (for example) and Kevin would want to watch the kids so I could do whatever I wanted to do. We would actually fight over who got to love the other – it was easier to be the one who did something for the other.

While yes, there still are things that we need to have done and help that is needed (more about that later) the most important thing to me is that Kevin is taken care of everyday. I am fairly confident that he would say the same thing is important to him – that I am taken care of everyday. I can’t take care of Kevin each day, especially when I am not with him. The same goes for Kevin taking care of me. However, you can help us take care of each other. How? By being so grateful and appreciative of the fact that God gave you the gift of sight and that you can see the ones you love everyday. In your gratitude and appreciation offer thanks to God for Kevin and I and all people who, through circumstances beyond their control, are not with the person they love. Through your prayers for us God will give us what we need to go through the time apart.

In today’s world when life is measured in accomplishments, what you do and how well you do it, equates for many people into how important a situation is. Consider the aftermath of 9/11…so many people gathered first for the news. Then within minutes and hours people were readying themselves to help. Kevin gathered socks, water, flashlights and masks for the first responders. The hospitals were ready to take the injured. Many of the first responders died heroes – they did something; they sacrificed and saved others. The Sunday following 9/11 our church (at the time) was Immaculate Conception in Clinton, NJ. Mass that Sunday morning was packed; standing room only. You could have heard a pin drop in the huge church. By Sunday, we knew that while there was much work to do at ground zero, there was only one thing that everyone could do and that was to pray.

When we have nothing else we turn to God. Why is that? Do we assume, as many of us do with our own families, that God knows how we feel? Just because He is all knowing, He knows. Do we tell God or show God where He falls in our lives? These prayers that you offer for us are heard and are answered each day here in Memphis and back home in Mechanicsburg. We are doing the best we can every day. Catie is smiling and laughing and looking forward. She is counting the days until Kevin and Max visit – 1. Counting the days until Grammy and Poppy visit – 2. Counting the days until we are finished Radiation – 5. Counting the days until we go home – ? Counting the days until she no longer has cancer – ?. As she is counting days, I am counting on all of you to pray, light candles, pray, help us.

Megan Connolly has a few more days before the fab five return. She is putting together a list of local contacts for three main purposes. 1. Those who wish to help. 2. Local events (like Catie’s Home Coming) 3. Package suggestions for Catie. If you want to help us, even if you don’t know us, and you live nearby please send Megan Connolly an e-mail. If you would please make it easy on her by listing how you think that you can help. Examples: grocery pickup, light house cleaning – vacuuming/dusting, ironing – mostly school uniform blouses and jumpers, rides to scouts for Max, babysitting for M.E. or Molly – if Megan needs to attend to something for the Catie Fund, babysitting after hours for all five – if Kevin needs to attend something for the Catie Fund or play volleyball, weekend driving to BWI if only one of the kids is coming to visit us in Memphis, weekend watching of the fab 5 while Kevin is visiting (our preference would be for family to do this but they will need back-up), videographer, and/or babysitting backup if Megan is sick. I have not thought of everything I just wanted to get ideas flowing. If you think that we may need a clown, we can talk or you can e-mail me directly.

Megan’s new e-mail is
megan@catiesstory.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
. Please include in your e-mail the best times for you to help, how best to reach you and consider our need for some sense of consistency before you offer. If you are really busy, being a backup may be best for you. Trust me there is plenty to do. Please understand that we realize that many people want to help and if everyone does a little it may not seem like a ton of work to a few. I remember opening my roommate’s mother’s lake house my senior year of college. Mrs Yandow gave everyone a rag to dust and a room. We all worked hard for a few hours and it was done. Many hands make light work was Mrs. Yandow’s saying. I had never heard that saying before but it made sense and it still does.

This is a marathon – curing Catie. We all need to get in shape physically, emotionally, socially – within the communities, spiritually and intellectually. There is a lot going on – alone we (The O’Brien family) can’t handle it. Together, with God’s help, we can do anything. What a great ending to Catie’s Story; everyone worked raising funds and caring for the O’Brien family while Catie and Christine were away and we all prayed and God blessed us with the miracle of Catie’s cure. God may have another ending in mind but we can work on getting Him to change His mind – He is loving and filled with compassion.

Tomorrow Kevin arrives with Max. We can’t wait. We have Catie’s last physical therapy visit tomorrow. She will not need any more PT as long as she maintains an active lifestyle at home. We had to add a nutrition visit because Catie has lost a total of 3lbs since we arrived in Memphis. Some weeks she gained weight and some weeks she lost a 1/2 lb but because she lost a 1/2lbs each of the past three weeks the nutrition visit was ordered. So I, Miss Organic, have to listen to the best way to feed my daughter. Lord, please give me strength. Catie’s 3rd appointment tomorrow is radiation. She has five (5) visits left. Catie and Hunter (a 10 year old boy that I have mentioned before) started on the same day and will end on the same day. We are planning a little celebration day out to Incredible Pizza before we go home. It is an arcade and pizza place. Catie is sure to love it. I don’t know how the updates will go when Kevin is here. You will just have to wait and see. If there is anything you want us to know send us an e-mail.

Everyone that has sent packages to Catie. Thank you. Morristown Memorial ER you are terrific. Catie had received so much and is thrilled. She still loves mail. Who doesn’t?!! I have printed all of the Caring Bridge WebSite notes for her. That way when there is only a little bit of mail I can hand her something to read. She loves and enjoys all the notes from her classmates. You guys are terrific. Catie is bringing some great books back from Memphis< to share with you. She can't wait to see you all.

May God Bless you all,

Christine and Catie

PS Tonight Catie and I went to Mass at St. Mary’s in Memphis. We met Ann Harkins from Atlanta, GA. The three of us prayed together and lit candles in front of a beautiful statue of the Pieta (Our Lady holding crucified Jesus Christ.) Megan is adding Catie’s candle to the website. For those of you who don’t know the origin of the Candles for Catie, she started lighting candles the first Sunday we were at St. Jude’s. I thought it would be a neat way for her to understand who was praying for her and learn some geography too.

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