Day 44

God Bless you all!

We are still packing. Well let’s be honest we started packing at 10pm tonight. Kevin is downstairs handling the charging of cameras, phones conversions – apparently you need international cell phones, double checking the debit cards, copying the passports and drivers licenses and who knows what else. I am upstairs trying to fit clothes for 8 into a 9X13 pan so that we don’t look like pack-rats. Catie’s medical supplies take up an entire suitcase. So we will look somewhat like pack-rats.

I took a break from packing to interrupt Kevin for a kiss. Last night despite his glowing update World War I and II were waged and settled in a matter of an hour. Exhausted and drained Kevin and I searched for comfort with Catie at a scheduled healing Mass at a nearby parish. Due to the snow that did not arrive the Mass was canceled. We then went across the street to Perpetual Adoration again seeking the comfort of Jesus – but Jesus was not available due to the weather. As Kevin and I sat perplexed and uneasy Kevin offered me the following words, “If Jesus is not available maybe it is because what we need is not found at church but right here with each other.” As so last night began at 9pm, Kevin and I looking to relax knowing that all of the kids were safe and sound at home and we were able to get off this merry go round (as I often call our life these days) and rest and enjoy one another – just us – where it all began. We went searching for a little dinner. Most of the area restaurants, like Jesus, were closed due to the weather. Once we found one the waitress probably wished that they were closed. I sat across from Kevin while tears that began at 2pm continued to stream down my cheeks.

Finally last night I ran out of tears or out of reasons to cry or maybe I found the comfort I was seeking within the embrace of my loving and patient husband. In our Catholic faith, we believe that we receive grace whenever we receive a sacrament – that is one of the reasons that I enjoy daily Mass. Our faith also extends the offering of grace into the sacrament of marriage. Engaging in the martial embrace brings forth grace into this world. Grace is what we needed and yet I only wanted the grace to come from God. God however was not available. Grace was available if only I would allow myself to receive it. God gifted us – me with Kevin and Kevin with me – to help one another and to complete one another. Yet when I was my most vulnerable I didn’t want to turn to Kevin. I was wrong – keeping those that we love most at arms length causes terrible pain. If any of you out there are holding your arms out – realize that the reason God has given you elbows is so that your arms bend for hugging and holding.

Now today we have gone 26 hours since our last incident. That is why I came down for a kiss. I wanted to keep things going. When I arrived in the kitchen Kevin was busy on the phone so I checked my e-mails quickly. I received an e-mail that asked if I believe in miracles? I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I sent out over 300 Christmas cards (most of them late) asking those we know to join us in praying for a miracle. I know that there are some of you out there following Catie’s story who are concerned that if Catie’s is not miraculously cured that she will be disappointed and that we (her parent’s) would be responsible for her let down. That may be but I believe that to not offer the hope of a miracle or the possibility that a miracle can happen if it is God’s will sets a child up for something far more disappointing – life without faith or hope.

See, I have always been fascinated by the idea of miracles and faith. The gospels in which a miracle is performed – specifically the hem of Jesus’ garment being touched or the cripple being lower into the crowded room – are particularly rich and beautiful to me. I could read them over and over again like I was a child. I believe with all of my heart that Catie’s life is creating miracles already. The miracle I wish for is her complete restoration of health. I want to hear her belting out songs and see her dancing. I want to fight with her about something other than it being time to change her dressing. I have always been amazed at the spirit that exists within Catie. If I were God I would want her home with me. As her mother I wish for her to be in heaven and feel so selfish wanting her to wait to go home to heaven. That is where I sit. Thanking God most seriously that I am not in charge. That I don’t have to make that decision – that choice. I trust God with my life and that of my daughters. He alone knows not only what is best for her but also what is best for all of us. God alone can handle this and make it right for all of us – if we but trust in Him.

So yes, I believe in miracles and I believe that as Catie’s story continues countless miracles of faith will continue to come to be known by many all for the glory of God. And so with that I will leave you all and finish packing. Many of you have called, e-mailed and text-ed us letting us know that you will be joining us in prayer while we are in Lourdes. Thank you. You will never know what a difference you have made in our lives – but given enough time we will try to tell you all.

Praying for a miracle,

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

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