Day 14

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see. -John W. Whitehead, Founder, Rutherford Institute

This quote has always touched me and hearing it recently made me sad that Catie would not outlive me and take my message and the things we learned together to a future time and place. Then I thought about where she has gone and where I hope to go, and I realize that she is fulfilling this mission. I also realized that it is my mission to continue to send her living message out into the world so that more and more people come to know not only Catie’s story, but come to know of her legacy and of the miracle that is St. Jude.

I recently heard a story that I just enjoy thoroughly. One night there was to be a virtuoso performance of a master pianist in a grand concert hall. All of the patrons were dressed in their finest with evening gowns and tuxedos. One mother decided to bring her 9 year old son in an attempt to awaken within him a passion for the piano. Dressed in his little tux, the boy was fidgety as the audience waited for the maestro to take the stage. Without anyone noticing, the boy left his seat, climbed onto the stage where the grand piano beckoned to him, and unbelievably began to play chopsticks. The crowd, shocked into silence gasped at the audacity. The maestro however rushed to the stage, and leaning over the boy, whispered in his ear, “keep playing, don’t stop” as he placed his hands on either side of the boy’s hands and began to play along and create a beautiful song in combination with the boy’s halting chopsticks. Together they made beautiful music. God whispers the same message to us on a daily basis. “Don’t stop my child, keep going, I am here to get through this together with you.” And together, we will make beautiful music.

That is how Catie lived her days, and it is a call to me to live mine likewise. Regardless of where we are in our faith journey, God is there right along side us and creating beauty out of our sometimes feeble efforts. His message to us; Keep trying, keep going, never give up.

Last night, Christine and I took 7 of Maggie and Max’s friends to play Lasertag. The 11 of us climbed into two cars and we headed to LaserDome for a few hours of fun and excitement while Kim was watching Mia, Molly, and M.E. When we arrived at the counter to start the fun and presented our credit card, Doug, the manager on duty explained that they had heard about Catie and had decided as a management team to not charge us for the party. Catie had this kind of impact in Memphis all of the time. It took our breath away, but it also filled us with peace and gave us a smile as we stopped and thanked Catie for hooking us up from heaven. As Christine placed candles on the cake, she put 10 on for Max, 11 on for Maggie, and one for Catie. Thank you LaserDome for a wonderful evening, and thank you Keira, Sam, Sam, Frankie, Alan, Cassie, and Ashley for celebrating with us.

Tonight we had a lovely visit with the Groves and as the clock struck 10pm, the four of us realized that with 7 kids under 11 in the house we were probably pushing the envelope a bit and should get them to bed. Thank you Molly for coming up from the basement and letting us see how tired you were so that would stop talking and let you all get to sleep. That is the way it is with close friends, the time just flies by. Seeing 8 year old Franchetta, (check Catie’s website, there are pictures) was great because her smile is back. We hope and pray that the rest of Catie’s classmates, cousins, and other children who were touched by Catie’s story have their smiles back as well. We smile for the memories, we smile for Catie because she has gone ahead of us and is blissfully happy in heaven, and we smile because there are blessings and people in our lives today and our smile shows God how much we appreciate all that He has done for us today.

Peace and God’s blessings to you,

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

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