Day 3

Good evening Catie’s family,

By now you have all received the notification of the Liturgies and viewing times for Catie, and we are looking forward to seeing you even though we are not looking forward to seeing you at all if you know what I mean. Christine and I would prefer to be spending the next few days driving Catie around to see all of you so that you could see her miraculous cure up close and personal. I am confident that you would prefer that as well. Instead, we have attempted to provide opportunities for all those that wish to be present for this chapter of Catie’s story. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will be a whirlwind tour that we will have to endure. Please do not feel that you have to join us for all of it. We know that we are in your thoughts and prayers, and that we will most likely see you at one of the events. With the inclement weather and the driving distances between the venues, please stay safe and make the best decision for you and your family.

To all of the priests and deacons that have been following Catie’s story. Please know that if you are available for either Thursday or Friday’s masses, we would love to see you concelebrate.

We have spent the last few days running around, planning and keeping busy. We have shared mass as couple or as a family each day, and while it provides comfort because it opens a gateway between heaven and earth and allows us to be close to Catie, it also fills us with a heaviness as we struggle to understand her absence in our lives. Handing over Catie’s clothes to Jeremy from the funeral home was difficult; so much so that I continued to put it off. (Remember who I am I put nothing off. I face everything and in many cases everyone head on as soon as I know what is needed.) Each Sunday for the past twelve years I carefully selected and laid out clothes for our sensational six. I began in age order and ended with dressing the baby. For all of you who have shared a mass with us or seen a photo the results speak for themselves. This was so different. First of all I was not dressing Catie. I was not touching her body. During the past two months as she continued to lose her ability to dress herself I did this with Kevin’s help. For the two of us it was an opportunity to care for our Lord Jesus Christ. Now I was asked to hand over this responsibility. I debated; it is only her body she is no longer there. I debated; it would make me suffer more and unnecessarily. I debated that I would need Kevin and yet the fab 5 are alive and would not our time be better served being there for them. So I ran up the stairs and gathered the clothes for Catie. I selected her white ballet slippers and head piece that she wore for her First Holy Communion, Maggie’s First Holy Communion dress – Catie wanted her dress to be worn by her cousin Helen this spring for Helen’s First Holy Communion, a cross given to her on her First Holy Communion and her purple rosary bracelet. Handing it over provided no closure. I wonder what will?

Today, I went out in public. Real public not just or church or to St. Joe’s – I went to Giant. It was so difficult. I had to hold onto Kevin’s arm. I needed to feel his strength and warmth. I watched mothers selecting fruit and veggies and it didn’t even register that their selections were not organic. I watched mothers talking with their children – little girls – and tears fell. I will never see or talk to my little girl again. I am afraid that I am going to walk up to some random stranger with a child and tell her how wasteful it would be not to cherish every breath that her child takes because at the end of life breathing changes. Are these feelings going to go away? I feel like I am in a dream – did Catie live? Am I only imagining the past 8 months? Am I losing it? No I am not. I have suffered a great loss and I am grieving. My daughter has died at the age of seven and in many ways it is a tragedy but there are two sides to every story. Catie had goals. She independently set them with some guidance from Kevin and me. She set them and then set out to achieve those goals. She wanted to go home. Check. She wanted to be there for her grandfather’s birthday. Check. She wanted to receive her First Holy Communion. Check. She wanted to learn how to write and read cursive. Check. She wanted to learn to play Happy Birthday on the piano. Check. She wanted to go to Lourdes. Check. She wanted to go out to dinner. Check. She wanted to go to the Brady’s. Check. She wanted her legacy to be established. Check. (And please send one to St. Jude’s). She wanted to go to Heaven. Check. May I die knowing that I accomplished all that I wanted to in my life. May I think about and establish a legacy for others after I am in Heaven. My prayer and in many ways I am sure that Catie’s prayer for all of us is that our lives are as rich and full as we all made hers.

We will see you over the next couple of days.

Catie please watch over all of us as we attempt to celebrate your life without your guidance.

Trusting in His will always,

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

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