Day 39

Hello to all who continue to journey with us,

There are so many reasons that we have not been writing on a more regular basis. My computer is down and has been since the week that Catie died. I have also been focusing on the kids and how they are dealing. We are all doing well. It is so odd to say that we are doing well and yet we are. The sicknesses and ailments that we have all had seem to be over – PRAISE THE LORD.

Many times throughout the day we speak about Catie and remember her with ease. When the kids are playing Wii there is a Catie Mii. The Mii Catie is bald, wearing purple and has neat sunglasses on; she is also very althetic just like Catie was. Whenever one of us is bowling, running a race, skiing or playing soccer there is Catie playing along. It may seem strange to you but it is comforting and sweet to see how excited M.E. and Molly get to see Catie up and playing again. We know that it is just a game but it is also the game that Catie gave to us for Christmas. She should be connected to their joy and fun, that is the reason that she gave it to all of us.

This week has also brought back many memories of St. Jude. One of the girls at St. Jude that we knew and delighted in spending time with is MaryKate Rushing. She is very ill. She is fighting a good fight and being as brave as an 8 year old can be but the medical options are becoming very limited and prayer is needed. I have been praying and talking to Catie about MaryKate.

When I read Regina’s, MaryKate’s mother, CaringBridge updates I am transported directly back to St. Jude at the week of Thanksgiving. Catie is in pain and we are out of medical options. We turned to each other and to all of you and together we all turned to God in prayer. Catie still died, and yet all of our prayers were heard by our loving God and Father. “Why did Catie have to die?” is a question that I have heard over and over again. “I am not skilled to understand what God has willed what God has planned.” Thank you Aaron Shust for giving me words that comfort me and remind me that God has a plan.

Kevin and I have been reading a book called The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. We are not finished yet (about 70 pages to go) but the book is providing me comfort. I do believe that God is all loving. I do believe that bad things happen to people. Some of the bad things are caused by others, like 9/11 and in the book the abduction and murder of a young girl named Missy. Some of the bad things are not caused by anyone, like cancer.

Cancer does not ask if you want to fight or if you are ready. Cancer does not play by any rules. In Catie’s case it caused pain, revealed itself, required surgery and treatment, it laughed at the treatment – as it was not effected by the treatment, and it took Catie physically from us. Yet the parts of Catie that cancer didn’t touch were Catie’s spirit and Catie’s faith. Cancer can’t touch those and they will never die because they live on in all of us. They live on in all of us each time we pray, each time we remember Catie and they live on each time we love one another – like Catie loved us all.

Please continue to keep the many kids at St. Jude in your prayers, especially MaryKate, and please remember all of the individuals who care for them. While it must be gratifying to cure the thousands that they have cured over the years, each time that medicine fails to save one of these kids, it must be very difficult to keep on trying.

May God, who has a plan for all of us, continue to bless you and keep you in His loving embrace,

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

PS – Maggie had her braces put on her teeth this week, and Fifths disease has finished its run at Mia. Christine has begun a vigorous exercise regimen with Catie on the Wii.

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