Forgiveness is a Part of Love

Hello all,

Sunday, Catie had one of her best days since September. She ate her 1400 calories and her ANC count (essentially her white blood cell count) started back up from “0”, indicating that she has the ability to make those cells and that as the count continues to climb that her ability to fight infection again gets better each day. On the home front, we had a good day as well as we shared mass, trimmed bushes, decorated for Halloween, threw the football around and just enjoyed being together. All six kids whether in Memphis or Mechanicsburg went to bed healthy and happy. Thank you God. So with all of that “success” it hit Christine and me pretty hard when we found ourselves giving in to frustration and anger and yelling at each other through two phone calls. Below is our attempts to overcome the hurt and frustration of the phone conversations and probably the ever present fact that we miss each other more than we can ever allow ourselves to admit.

Kevin, my darling,

Please forgive me. I know that you never would ever do anything to intentionally upset or bother me. It is unrealistic to think that it will never happen. In the past two days we have had two fairly awful phone calls. I still can’t believe that you hung up on me. I was so upset that I attempted to crush my phone like the Hulk. I am not that strong, thankfully my phone held its own.

There are so many factors at play in our lives that add to our levels of frustration and upsetment. I am delighted to have Maggie here now and I can’t wait to spend time with her. To watch and witness Catie and Maggie being sisters, even here at St. Jude’s, will be a joy. Yet with every one new person that gets added to the mix there is an adjustment and there is a level of understanding that must be reached. Maggie is healthy and is also very nurturing – maybe more so than I am. She wants to take care of Catie. Catie doesn’t want that – Catie wants to play and be a kid and not be sick. All the playing must be done within our apartment as Catie’s counts are still at zero. All the playing must also be interrupted every hour to feed Catie. Maggie is a good influence on Catie. Catie is eating more than ever. She has gained weight, 21.1 kg and she ate +1400 calories today!

I desire to have each of the older children visit for a week. Maggie is here. Max is coming. Mia, the jury is still deliberating. Due to the ages of the children they need to fly accompanied by another person. We are already relying on more people to help us do what we think is right for our family than ever before and now we need chaperons? We have added yet another layer of people that do things just a bit differently than we do. How things are done provides either a level of comfort or a level of stress to a situation or person – namely to me. I ran into a problem or rather frustration and immediately picked up the phone and took it out on you. You didn’t do anything wrong and had I actually listened to you the entire situation would have resolved itself before I even knew what had happened and it would have been fine. But instead I called you and yelled at you and made you feel even more alone than you already do feel.

Why didn’t I turn to God and remind both myself and God that the situation is well in hand and everything will work out because God has our backs? I don’t know. I do know that when I was yelling at you I was not loving you. All of my focus and all of my love was directed away from you. I felt as though you were managing me long distance and that upset me even further. Why? Today was a day of victory and I allow the victory and the successes that Catie was having to be overshadowed by anger and resentment. Please forgive me??

When I hear of stories about couples and they are fighting and one of the two takes off their wedding band I become so upset. I think “what is wrong with them?” Why can’t the one who still is wearing their ring offer back to their beloved spouse the ring that was given in love and hope and promise of a life lived together as one as God intended. Why are people so stubborn? Kevin, I am that stubborn and I just don’t ever wear a ring, not because I took it off, but because I don’t like rings. Why would I rather yell at you for “handling” me instead of being thrilled that you cared enough about me to try? If I believe that you truly love me – and I do. Why wouldn’t I see that your attempt to “handle anything” was an attempt to love me and save me from being upset. Isn’t that what love is suppose to do one spouse for the other – prevent the upset? Whatever actions are taken love is always the best answer.

That was today’s gospel “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest? He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40. When I am yelling at you I am not loving you as I would myself. When I hear your voice I know what I have done and it is never too late to say that you are sorry and to ask for forgiveness. Just like it states in this gospel the whole law depends on these two, well, within our family our whole existence depends on our love first for God and then for one another. For only when I am at peace and all is good between us can anything good be happening here.

Today was a day of victory and a day for celebrating not because of the wonderful strides that Catie has made in the past week but it was a day for victory and Christ claimed that victory for each and every one of us on the cross. I, for one, desire to live out the gospel everyday in my life. That life was a gift given to me by God. My God gave me another gift and that is the gift of you. The greatest gift that any person has ever given to me is love. You gave me your love when you gave me your ring and asked me to be your bride. I said yes and I mean to say yes each and every day of my life to God and to you. My yes, you should be able to hear is my actions and in my words. I am delighted that you chose me. Please forgive me for not living my life under the direction of the commandments. Please forgive me for caring more about loving myself than I did about loving you.

I love you.


I love you Christine and I humbly ask your forgiveness. I want to be able to have “the answer” to every question you ask when you ask it and want it to be the right answer. You do not want to be managed from 1400 miles away and yet it is what you have done to me since this journey began. That is ok because I understand that I am attempting to keep alive that which you have done such a great job of building and you desire to see me successful. Thank you for your guidance and please forgive me for bristling when you attempt to keep me on course. Sometimes, as we both know, when I am on the phone with you I get lost even when I know the way. Hanging up on both of us was the only way I could stop you from hearing the awful things I kept saying long after I got off the call. It was a day of victory here as well and there have been far too few of them since you and Catie departed in July. I love you and am going to try to go to sleep now.

God bless


My love,

You know how I force myself through anything that I am “afraid of” because I see it as a lack of faith in probably God and myself too. I am a bit timid, I can’t even admit that I am afraid, to contact you via phone this morning. I want to talk to you. I love to hear your voice. I love to hear you speak and willingly give me the details of your day and when you do I am able to live vicariously with my children.

Forgive me for handling you. I have been foolishly comforted thinking that if I only mention this or that, literally so few things less than ten things, ultimately I will be guiding you to greater successes in the long run. My ego perhaps and not my faith has been trying when I should be letting go.. Carrie brought me this weekend a prayer card of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. In her prayer card, it states that it was her desire to live entirely for God here on earth. When she was pregnant, knowing what she knew about medicine, she trusted all things including her life and the life of her children and their raising to God. I praise God every day that we were asked to live that out in our marriage as well. That does not mean we trust God do to less raising of our children. I pray today and each day forward to trust God more and for the right words, should I feel the need to interject, to guide you lovingly while I am away.

Seriously, there were so few things that I have mentioned especially when you consider the myriad of decisions and actions that you taken and made with the children since I left on July 9th. You are doing it all and I just wish that I could help more. My juices are flowing and I am feeling good. How are you? Can you put these three and your response to this into an update or do you think all of this too private? Small suggestion: maybe you could do the socks sorting with either Mia or Maggie (fancy church socks) once a week. Maggie wore one of her socks and one of, I think, Molly’s yesterday. I have been in contact with Maria – e-mail only. I was specific and I think somewhat gentle about my being upset. She was handling me – not a good choice. Max is set. She can do it. I need to know if you want their, the kids, visits to stop. Does it disrupt you and the house running too much? Think about it over the week. You do have a say, an opinion and God made you, not me, our spiritual leader. Do you have any other concerns?

God Bless and I love you,


I know all about the fear and I am sorry that I ever cause you to feel it. Sorry about the socks, I will take care of it tonight. I want the kids to be able to visit….thanks to the generosity of so many and your management of what we have, we do not have to consider the money in the decision. I saw the emails between you and Maria….looks like she had it figured out before we even spoke last night….oh well. Angela stopped by and said that she loved your and Catie’s emails, as always you are amazing.

I love you and will talk with you later……I am always willing to give you the details as I know them……I just don’t know sometimes, (maybe a lot of the times), and my frustration in not knowing gets heightened when I have to admit to you that I don’t know and you expect me to…..I pray that the 3 of you are having a good day…..everything here is status quo…going to try and visit with Jesus today and see if He can help.

God bless


Thank you all for taking the time to read this. Our prayers and our desire to allow God to see us through this time have brought us to this place and for that we can be grateful or resentful. Our choice, when we get our pride and selfishness out of the way is to appreciate how far we have come since the first week of June when we saw our daughter in excruciating pain and unable to sleep and from the second week of June when we realized that she had a tumor that could take her life or her ability to walk away from her. We are so blessed, not only that Catie is still alive and that we have her on God’s path to health, but that we are together as a family. Bumps in the road at least prove that we are still on the journey. Thank you for all of your continued support, especially your prayers for Catie, our family, and our marriage. Please remember to love the people in your life and never take them for granted, they are God’s way of showing you just how much He loves you.

Love and God bless,

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

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