Sunday, Day 27

Good evening faithful friends,

Tonight Catie has once again joined us for pumpkin pie at almost midnight. Kevin and I have been decorating, wrapping gifts, watching the Giants, and preparing for Christmas. The past several days since our last update were as busy as usual for the O’Brien family. I am so busy that each evening several cups of tea get cold waiting for me to drink them. Keep in mind that the temperature in our house is set at 60 so tea does cool off quickly.

Last week Catie went to school everyday in all kinds of weather – rain, snow and wind. Catie arrives by noon everyday. The mother of a classmate has been coming in the morning to do a bit of physical therapy with Catie. Miss Izabela has added glides to Catie’s walker making it easier to travel around the house. She was walking very nicely on Friday with her walker. Catie had so much energy on Friday night that she insisted that everyone, including our dinner guests – the Conrad family, join Max’s boy scouts for caroling at a local retirement village.

Saturday morning everyone slept in until 10AM. M.E. has been fighting a little cold since Thursday. When Catie awoke I was shaken by some new developments. Catie’s legs were tingling. The doctors have asked Catie specifically if her legs or feet have been tingling since before Thanksgiving. Until Saturday Catie felt no tingling. Now Catie’s feet constantly tingle despite as increase in some of Catie’s meds. Catie’s feet and legs are also becoming very sensitive even to touch. Keeping the little girls away from Catie or careful when they are near Catie has become a priority. While all of that is unsettling and scary the worst is how the latest impacted Catie. Catie is sad. On Friday she was walking great and feeling independent and one day later she needs to use her hands to move her leg around. Catie has always been hard on herself and this time is no exception.

Even with all of this Catie was up for visiting and celebrating Christmas. Saturday afternoon we dropped by Aunt Franka for a little dental work and to check out one of Catie’s loose teeth. Then on to Aunt MaryBeth (Catie’s Godmother) and Uncle Geoff’s for a celebration of Christmas. It was wonderful to see everyone. As soon as Catie sat down before the fire she was greeted by her own commercial on the TV. She enjoyed the evening with her cousins, especially Lauren, who sat and played GO FISH for hours. She also received one of her favorite Christmas gifts from Grandpa Vinny and Nana Reenie – fuzzy lamb slippers. Each year a new pair is given to the girls. Max gets a pair of football slippers. Everyone is delighted with the wonderfully warm tradition. We arrived home at 11PM and quickly flushed lines and dressed everyone for bed.

Sunday morning we awoke to a dusting of snow and again everyone slept in until 10AM. After Mass and the settling of some issues we all enjoyed a wonderful brunch compliments of our favorite chef – Kevin. The kids turned in for a quick nap only to be awoken by Santa. Santa came to visit Catie and thank her for doing his work of giving to others. Santa shared a few gifts with Catie – pumpkin fudge was one of them as Santa knows pumpkin pie is a favorite of Catie’s. Santa also asked all of the other kids what they wanted. Molly offered that she would like some socks – size four. Everyone else informed Santa that they would like Catie to be healed and Max added that he would like the playhouse that Catie wanted once she was better. Santa left and everyone ate their candy canes and returned to bed. An hour or so later Mrs. Delaney showed up with more goodies to share. Mrs. Delaney was Mia’s teacher last year and we all have grown very fond of her. She knows us so well. She brought Kevin an apple pie!! We are touched by the generosity of so many. Please forgive us if we are not up to date on all of our thank you cards.

Dinner was excellent and bath time is crazy as usual with six kids. I had no idea I had it so easy at St. Jude with only one. After everyone was bathed and pj’d we began to pack for our Christmas trip. We have run into an interesting dilemma – with all eight of us in the car and Catie’s wheelchair there is no room for luggage. So thank you Uncle Taylor, just like over the summer when Taylor and Colleen moved into our home to take care of the kids before Megan took over, Taylor will work out of the his company’s Mechanicsburg office and pick up all our luggage it and bring it with him when his family travels to SC for Christmas too! Things do have a way of working themselves out. We just need to trust.

Tonight just before Catie returned to bed and after the Giants won we stopped and said a prayer. Catie offered the following “Dear God, thank you for all of the blessings of today the ones we saw and the ones we didn’t.” Catie then continued by praying for the children that she knows that are still at St. Jude or those that she knows that are in the same situation as she is hoping for a miracle. We prayed for Hunter, Jonah, Elizabeth Grace, Dustin, Marit, MaryKate, Braydon, Maddie, Sam, Jack, Sean, Tala, Konley and all of the doctors and researchers at St. Jude. We also prayed to Danny and RoseMarie Thomas asking them to continue the work they began for children here on earth by tirelessly taking Catie’s request to the Lord and asking for many miracles.

Please join us in praying for a miracle.

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

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