Day 13

Good evening to all of Catie’s family,

Catie wrote extensively in her journal today and did so without any prodding from her parents. Her journal is one way that Christine has used to help Catie keep her feelings and thoughts present to her throughout her journey. At times, (many times), writing in it has been a chore that was worse in Catie’s mind than some of the therapies she has endured in the past 6 months. Today however, she eagerly picked it up as we were driving in the car and wrote her longest entry yet. Today was a “good day so far. We went to brunch and I had waffles with powdered sugar and syrup, black olives, cucumbers, strawberries, grapes and sprite. Then we went to get my First Communion dress. It is very pretty. Tonight I get to play Santa Claus to my friends, I like playing Santa.” The dress is indeed beautiful, and Catie looks radiant in it. We will be uploading some pictures onto the website tomorrow of her in the dress. The brunch at the Peabody Hotel was amazing, and as we were leaving, the manager of the restaurant recognized Catie from last Sunday’s mass at St. Mary’s across the street from the Marriott Hotel where we all spent Thanksgiving. The world, as large as it is, is still a wonderfully small place at times. Side note, the waffles at the Peabody do not come with black olives and cucumbers.

She did get to be Santa again as well as she gifted the Rheas and the Skinners who have done so much to gift us in our time in Memphis. Jessica, (Christine’s sister’s, husband’s, boss’ daughter) and her husband Jason and their children Jaxson and Katie with a “K” have been there for Catie and Christine since the very first days at St. Jude in July. They gave up a car to Christine so that she and Catie would have the freedom to not only trek back and forth to the hospital and Target House, but to experience Memphis when Catie’s condition permitted exploring. In addition, Jessica and Christine and Catie and Katie became wonderful friends. The Rheas made us feel at home in an unknown city and they were one of the blessings that I thanked God for on a daily basis as I knew how precious their presence was to both Christine and Catie. Later in the summer, Jessica needed her car back but told Christine that another member of her church, (Ellen Skinner) had an extra car that she could lend to Christine to offer the same freedom. Thus began another friendship as we had the opportunity to receive the overwhelming generosity of Ellen, her husband Jeff, and their sons Lucas and Collin. On each of the late night flights into Memphis, there was Ellen of Jeff waiting at the airport to deliver me to Catie and Christine. But much beyond the things they did and the generosities they showed was who they are, and we are grateful to God for putting us in their midst and to them for accepting God’s call to help us out in our time of need. After a wonderful performance at their church this afternoon, (The Plum Pudding Concert), we all went to Carrabba’s and had a wonderful meal where Catie polished off two of the largest plates of ravioli and an entire loaf of bread. Remember just a few short weeks ago when Christine had the daily grind of trying to reach 1600 calories, now Catie eats that much in pumpkin pie alone each day.

After dinner, we attempted to say good-bye. Thank you for who you are and what you have done. Without you, this journey as unwelcome as it has been at times would have been unbearable. We hope to see you again. Please continue to pray for us. Leaving Memphis and St. Jude was never the ending we imagined. The follow-up visits to the successful treatment were to keep us coming back to St. Jude every 3 months for the next 3 years, plenty of time to keep the fires of these friendships burning brightly. Instead, we are going home and most likely never coming back. It changes the tenor of the farewell. As with the rest of this journey, God has a plan for this as well. We will do our best to honor the plan and the friendships.

Tomorrow is a special day in the church. It is the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the focal point of the apparitions at Lourdes. As such, when Catie wears the entire First Communion ensemble for her picture tomorrow, there will be a strong sense of harmony with God’s plan and Catie’s acceptance of it. She will wear the gown again on Christmas Day, the following Sunday, and then again in Lourdes. The spiritual journey that she will travel in the next month is filled with meaning and significance. I am blessed to be a witness to it and to be able to chronicle it for those that follow Catie’s story. The remainder of the day tomorrow will be filled with tests and appointments and a farewell tour through half of the clinics and departments at St. Jude where Catie will again be donning her Santa hat and giving a little bit back to those that have done so much for her here. Tuesday will be much of the same, and the plan at this point is to fly out of Memphis on Wednesday morning and all be back under the same roof on Wednesday night. We will of course keep you posted.

Thank you for continuing on the journey with us and with our little prophet.

God bless,

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

Discover more from Catie's Wish Foundation

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Comments are closed.