They are Home!

Thank you to everyone who made Catie’s and Christine’s homecoming so special and so memorable. Thank you to Megan for all of the contacts and the organization. Thank you Lauri for managing so many details and arranging the Rita’s ice and to Rita’s for donating the ice. Thank you Julie for the balloons and for getting Giant to donate them. Thank you to all of the Brownies and classmates who did cheers and signed the banner. Thank you to Ed and Todd and all of the fairies who made the property look so wonderful. Thank you for all of those who did so much behind the scenes to make Catie beam when she saw all that had been done. And thank you Christine for taking care of my baby and bringing her home to me and for bringing my best friend back to me as well. I missed you both more than you may ever know.

For those who were not able to join us, there are new pictures on the site to help you get the feel for the event. Thursday was a rainy gray day, yet God allowed the rain to abate for 20 minutes when Catie first arrived, what a blessing. The awe with which she arrived was palpable in the car as she realized that 80-100 people had filled the street in front of the house to celebrate her return. The 100 purple balloons and 30 brownies, cheerleaders and their leaders wearing purple shirts that read, “Catie’s Team” took an overcast day and added warmth and color. Catie and Christine were each swept away from the car and were hugged, kissed, picked up, and welcomed home. Catie used a bullhorn to thank everyone, and then Miss Trish had the cheerleaders cheer for Catie. As the rain began again in earnest, people departed and a news crew arrived and interviewed Christine and Catie and went live with the story at 5pm, 6pm, 11pm, and 6am Friday morning. The following is a link to the video, the title is “Home from the Hospital”,
135867@video.whptv.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We all went inside and had a wonderful meal as a reunited family, (Thank you Kim) and then the kids all went to sleep together for the first time in 2 months. Friday saw another rainy day, and a rained out Harrisburg Senators game where Catie was to throw out the first pitch. She is set to try again Saturday afternoon when the make up the game. Max and Catie practiced throwing the ball 60 feet 6 inches all Saturday morning, we will let you know how she does and again, there will be pictures on the website. Sunday is scheduled to be a relaxing day of rest with Mass, our traditional O’Brien Sunday brunch, and a short visit or two. Monday is supposed to be a beautifully sunny September day, and we are all going to Hershey Park, (not Hershey Medical Center), and will be enjoying the rides and entertainment and a few surprises for Catie and her siblings courtesy of Matt and the team at Hershey, thank you!

Christine has been wonderful in reclaiming her house and again making it a home. Despite a few shirts of Mia’s that ended up in Maggie’s drawers or a few treasure hunts to find a missing this or that, two realities came shining through. I could not have survived this summer without the help that many of you provided to keep things running at home, and Christine is one in a million. In retail, what separates managers of stores is what we refer to as crispness. As customers, you can feel when you are in an environment where things are running well and there is both efficiency and detail. Excellent managers are rare, but they share this attention to detail that separates them. Christine is an excellent manager and we miss her when she is not here. While we were still able to run an effective “store”, it was quickly “crisp” again when Christine returned. Put simply, I miss her when she is not here because she just makes everything better. What we learned, (and I already knew in my heart), is that I don’t need Christine in my life to manage it, I desire her to be in my life because she completes it. It is my prayer for each of you that you are for someone the fulfillment of their desire for completion.

I stopped writing this and we went to the game, and the sun came out and Catie fired a strike, (catcher’s fault for not standing where the ball was going to go). She then walked off the mound to an ovation after they read a little Catie bio from the press box. We then enjoyed the game, and the Senators won 4-2. When we returned home, it was 7:35, by 8:00, all 6 kids were showered, teeth brushed, central line flushed on Catie, and ready for prayers. It really is like riding a bike! Catie continues to be symptom free, and is actually off all medication for the nausea. We will see if that is a good plan when we hit the rides at Hershey on Monday.

May God who loves you without reservation or cost continue to bless you and may you have the vision to see each blessing and appreciate each messenger.


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

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