There is no Place Like Home

A home is a place where you live or belong. When I started thinking about writing this e-mail I stopped myself many times over the past few days. I didn’t want to write to you about being home until home felt like home or I felt at home. Neither has occurred yet, but I decided to put down everything and pick up the computer. Why? Because I began writing these broadcasts as a form of prayer and maybe that is why I don’t feel at home yet – because I have been focusing on the place I live and not the feeling of belonging.

I have been so frustrated the past few days looking for this or that. Many wonderful family and friends have cooked in “my kitchen” the past two months and several things have been moved. I’ve focused on “where is it?” and not on “thank God there was someone to cook for the children who are without me.” Kevin always has told me I am amazing. I have no self confidence issue, yet when I came home I did. I can’t just return to “old Christine”. “New Christine” has some God-given coping gifts that could help at home, in Mechanicsburg, as well as in Memphis.

So I decided that Mia, our joy-filled child, is right. Mia took me for a walk in the gardens on Saturday morning. It was still cloudy and gray, but she did not seem to notice. All Mia noticed were the fairies. Two of our neighbors, Laurie and Betty added plants to the garden around the cul-de-sac in front of our home. They also added 15 little garden fairies for the children here at home. The fairy garden is the delight of the little girls, Mia (6), Molly (4) and M.E.(2). Molly wants to be in charge of the watering too. She tends to get wetter then most of the flowers. What child would like to stay dry on a hot sunny day when watering a garden?

So I began to notice the amazing blessings that have occurred in our absence. M.E., at two, is speaking in full sentences. The first sentence she spoke to me, at the airport, was “I am M.E.” I thought that she was introducing herself to me and I cried. She wasn’t she was showing off her new skill; sentences. While things were moved from here to there, in an effort to dust that house before my homecoming, most things were exactly where I left them. There even were a few additions.

There is a lovely Angel Statue from Mrs. Keenan in our living room. It sits right next to a picture of Catie just before she met Mrs. Keenan in Pre-school when Catie was 4 years old. It is a perfect match to the living room and we are all grateful for Mrs. Keenan’s love and generosity with the girls, Mia and Catie. They both enjoyed pre-school with Mrs. Keenan.

There is another lovely statue of Saint Ann and the Blessed Mother, as a girl, sitting on the mantelpiece next to my favorite photo of Catie. This statue was given to us by a wonderful man I only know through the little girls, Molly and M.E.. This man smiles to them each morning at Mass. There are generous souls everywhere if you take the time to notice.

This morning the little girls and I went to Mass at Good Shepherd in Camp Hill. I wanted to see the flowers on the altar in the chapel a woman, Marla, who works with Kevin, arranged to have the flowers there for Catie’s intentions. Thank you they are beautiful. At Mass I ran into Mary and Bob DeCosta. This dear couple has many grown children – at least six. Mary is delightful and Bob is always smiling. I had not seen them since before Easter. We had the opportunity to catch up and Mary was most surprised and saddened, as we all are, and yet she is certain that God will heal Catie – like we all are. Mary immediately asked how she can help. Pray and spread the word.

I spoke to Kevin before I returned home and we met for a kiss. Never under-estimate the power of a kiss from the one you love. Trust me I have lived without this most precious way of saying “I love you” for days on end and I treasure a kiss from Kevin more than ever. In fact last night Kevin and I started dating again. You should try it even on a school night. We ‘date’ at night after the kids are ready for bed. Last night we did a little shopping, had dessert and when to Adoration of St. Theresa’s in New Cumberland, PA. Together, Kevin and I prayed for each other, ourselves, our family, Catie and all of you. We are truly blessed. We ask all couples to pray together for us.

Once I returned home I wrote a list and was ready for work. The work would have to wait or the list would have to be cut in half. There were people to see and neighbors to meet and thank. I know from time to time we may overlook a thank you. Please forgive us. I have begun saying a prayer each time I open a letter. First, to thank God it is not a bill and then in case I forget the actual thank you that God knows where my true intentions are. Many of you are unknown to us still. Many letters come without return addresses or e-mail addresses, I attempt to thank you one and all for everything that you have shared with us. Alleluia; there is too much to keep up with even for me, and if you ask my husband, I am amazing.

Catie’s Story is bringing people to God to pray together. Thank you all for reading Catie’s Story. Thank you all for sharing Catie’s Story with all those you know – if you have not please start. Thank you for praying for Catie. We are praying for a miracle and we need all of your prayers to reach God our Father. God alone has the power to heal Catie and any of us who are in need. Prayer is the answer. I pray to God as I recognize that I belong to God’s family and for that I am filled with gratitude and praise.

Now I must finish this broadcast and prepare for the fab four to return from school. There is much to be done. Thank you all for all that you are doing to lighten our load. It is so moving and overwhelming at times to understand all that is happening within Catie’s Story – I see it as a mystery that is beyond my understanding and I am just accepting all the gifts given in love to our family.

Peace be with you,

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

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