Sunrises vs. Sunsets

Peace be with you all,

The few days that we spent at the beach were a gift. Of course there was some work involved – that I have come to understand will never end – there were beds to be made and meals to be cooked. We even had the opportunity to go shopping because one of my darling children (for those of you who know us, you can guess which child) put their clothes away in their new dresser. When they put their pjs on that night they informed me that I forgot to pack any underwear for them. So Kevin went out that night – no luck finding children’s underwear on LBI at 10pm. The next morning I traveled down Route 72 to the local WalMart and bought underwear. Later that same morning I was quickly straightening up each bedroom and I noticed a drawer in the nightstand was open – figuring someone was filling it with shells and sand I peeked in to discover – the underwear that had not been packed. When I asked this child if they had listened to me and put all of their clothes in one drawer? They simply smiled and responded that there were so many drawers that were empty they wanted to give each drawer just a little bit so they all feel good. There it is. The secret to a simple life. A little bit for everyone and everyone will be happy.

Thursday night before going to bed Kevin and I went out on the deck to take in the view, which was awesome. We also caught the moon rising over the ocean reflecting its glow, though not full, on the dark ocean. I was very satisfied. I had no intention of getting out of bed and standing in the chilly ocean breeze of the early morning to watch the sun rise. I did however wish to be loving to my husband. If the sunrise was important to him I’d be there. That morning, Friday, we woke to the sunrise. It was beautiful. Visually the sun broke the dark horizon gradually. The sun continued to rise with an intensity of color and light. There were a few clouds Friday morning. The sun’s strength shone through the clouds dispersing color and rays of light, painting a masterpiece. When it was all said and done there were six in our bed, which had been moved across the bedroom so that I could enjoy the sunrise without getting up – it was before 7AM. Everyone enjoyed it. Max, who is always our early bird, and Catie both slept. They needed their rest.

When I think about the sun and the moon I am always brought back to God and His majesty. The sun reminds me of God’s almighty power and strength and intensity to provide. The sun provides warmth. It helps all crops grow thus providing us sustanence. It provides us with light to work and to see. When the sun sets on each day it provides us with a reminder that we to need to rest. The moon, however, reminds me of the vastness of God’s creation – the universe. I am but one person, so are each of you and so is Catie. While Catie, my child, is ill she is not alone. There are many children who are ill.. Few are as blessed as she is to have such support and outpouring of love and prayers. Each day as the sun sets on the day and the moon rises for the night we are given another new day. A new day to live and to love and to be thankful for because a new day is a gift.

Catie slept most of Friday. Everyone else walked and played on the beach. It was very breezy and cloudy for most of the day. Mia and Molly concentrated on the sand. They touched as much of it as possible. They dug in it. They sat in it. They buried parts of themselves in it. They buried their crocs in it, which caused a slight panic as they couldn’t find one of the crocs without Kevin’s help. Molly even tried eating it, and with a mouthful told me that it doesn’t taste good. Ahhh, those learning experiences. I’m hoping that one will stay with her the next time we are at the beach.

Max and Maggie played together. They have always enjoyed one another. They miss spending time together playing now that school is a part of their day. Those two love a different part of the beach. They love the water’s edge and the wet sand. They were as wet as you could be without going swimming. With wet sand covered clothes they delighted in their time at the beach. Kevin and I delighted in them.

M.E., at two, needs some time to get used to the idea of sand. It moves into her crocs. She doesn’t like this, so we take off her crocs. Then it squishes between her toes. She doesn’t like this, so we pick her up and carry her. When we go to put her down, her legs remain curled up and she won’t let go. Finally we place her on a nearby bench. From the safety of the bench she watches everyone enjoying the beach. She tries to get off the bench. She puts one foot down and draws it back up. She puts a hand down and touches the sand. She simply can’t and yet she wants to so much be a part of what everyone else is enjoying. I pick her up and put her in the sand. I step two paces away from her. She screams and cries and reaches for me. She takes two steps and I move two steps away. She fusses and takes two more steps. We notice two sandpipers running through the sand. Without fear or hesitation she chases them around the beach – through the dry sand, the packed wet sand and down to the edge of the water. Finally she enjoyed the sand.

In many ways I am like a two year old. When I first realized that Catie was sick but didn’t know what was wrong I had to find out. Once I found out, I had to deal and take care of getting Catie out of pain. As each piece of the puzzle of taking care of Catie is put into place I hesitate. I can’t do this.. Today I flush her line without hesitation. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I change her dressing with less concern. Two changes remain before we return. The site around the line looks good. Six line flushes before we return to Memphis. When we are dealing with a sick child and you feel like saying “I can’t do this” you are right – left on my own I couldn’t do this. Thanks to God I don’t have to – He is with me. It used to take me 45 minutes because I was nervous and unsure of myself, because I couldn’t wipe the tears away with my sterile hands (Beth, are tears sterile?), and because Catie would cry. Today it is a different story. Today I am still in awe and so thankful for those of you who are interested in science and medicine – God Bless you. Thank you for coming up with a Double Luemen Hickman line. While it causes me some discomfort, it saves Catie more than I can imagine.

What is next? What lies before us in Memphis ? It is a lot. Catie doesn’t want to deal. She will take the details of what “it” is the day before “it” happens. Is that why she is sleeping? I don’t think so, I think she it tired. So what to we do? We keep allowing her to tell us what she needs. We keep an eye on her and pray that if we were in her shoes any of us would be half as brave. We keep loving her and thanking God for putting such an amazing child in our lives. She is a gift from God; for only a loving creator could create someone like Catie.. Catie is filled with fight and determination.

This weekend she rallied to visit with my family. They played a lot of go fish. She sat on the couch most of Saturday. Kevin picked her up for the family picture, but other than that she stayed on the couch. She spent time chatting with anyone who wanted to sit with her. My mother brought a first class relic of Saint John Neuman. Another amazing story I’ll share another time. On Sunday after Mass, we packed everything, including the new unneeded underwear, and headed to Catie’s Godfather’s house. There Catie found another couch. She gave Kevin quite the gift as she fell asleep on his shoulder forcing him to watch the Giants game. She smiled and ate once she woke up and again visited with anyone that wanted to visit with her. Again Kevin held her for the family picture. Uncle Jim, Godfather Jim gave Catie another first class relic, this one of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus. We are storming heaven on Catie’s behalf.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support. You have all been wonderful. Most of the things that I wanted to put into place to help everyone out during my absence have been put into place. Thank you all for volunteering. Plans for Kevin to visit several times during the month of October have been made thanks to the generosity of so many of you. Megan is truly of gift to us. Now that she has introduced herself please contact her if you want to help in any way. She is an amazingly capable person/young lady/director and probably knows more about our family and marriage than of her own parents. She has witnessed it all.

Thank you for joining on this journey. We couldn’t do this alone.

God Bless,

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

We will be starting a 24 hour Eucharistic Adoration on November 28th, (Saint Catherine Laboure’s Feast Day) and will then be continuing on the 28th of each month until Catie and Christine return home. October 28th will be a “dry-run”. If you wish to participate, please contact us through the website on the prayer request tab.

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