Day 51

Hello Again to All who continue to lift us up in prayer,
Yesterday was Sunday. The first Catie’s Legacy event was to be held and in typical fashion for our family it was our attempt to see as many of those we love without exhausting ourselves. Instead of attending Mass at St. Joseph’s, we decided to join friends at one of our former parishes, St. Columbkill. In order to be at P.J.’s at 2 we would need to attend 10:30 Mass, requiring us to wake up and get out of bed and be ready for Mass by 8:30. Are we crazy? Probably, we could have gone to a later Mass at St. Joseph and still made it to the event. We made a choice to share Mass with some of those who have been there for us. There have been many mornings when I have been tempted to sleep in and skip Mass. Do I? No, not even during the week. Why? Well, as Father Bob put it yesterday, I don’t attend Mass simply to bring my prayers and list of petitions to God. God can hear them anywhere at anytime. So while I do bring my prayers to Mass, I also trust that during the offeratory they are placed on the altar and given to God. Which means that I let go of my requests. I hand them over to God and fully trust that He will take care of them. This is not an easy practice. I use to return to the altar and after Mass was over take back my prayers so that I could continue to dwell of them, be distracted by them and in many cases be upset with God for not fixing my problems sooner – how could He when I took them back?
There is another reason that I attend Mass and that is to worship my God. How could I not be thankful for all the He has blessed me with – Kevin, the sensational seven (regardless of whose house they live in today), my family, my friends, our good health, all those praying for us to this day, the beginning of Catie’s Legacy and today? How could I not pray to God? Did God give Catie a spinal ATRT? No. Could He have taken it away? Yes. Why didn’t He? I do not know. I do know that if He had I might not have grown any closer to Him? I don’t know why He didn’t. I don’t know why He chooses what He does. If I start questioning this decision of God’s then shouldn’t I question all His decisions? Could I make better decisions given the circumstances? No, I never could, nor do my meager eyes of faith show me everything. Did God take Catie from me? No, Catie is more available to me through prayer than she has ever been and now she doesn’t interrupt or ask “Mom, can I go now?” Does God make it so difficult to get through each day or do I allow myself to create my own excuses, crutches and crosses? God always has time for me, even though often when I am in need of comfort I turn to others not to God. Why do I sometimes see the difficulties in my day as crutches and crosses given to me rather than as my own creations? Focusing on what is difficult keeps me from others – I alone wallow in my sadness and pain – God is no where to be found because I have masterminded the whole lonely, sad and miserable scene and there is no part for God to play. Why? I like to think that is human nature but I don’t really want to know anymore about those times other than as soon as I begin to pray the feelings of sadness, loneliness and misery pass. This I believe is when God is closest to me revealing His incomprehensible love for me, and once I accept this I again understand that God is good…all the time.
After Mass we saw many of our dear friends and it was wonderful to be back at St. Columbkill. Seeing Mrs. Keenan, Catie and Mia’s pre-school teacher, was very emotional. It is that way each time we see someone who we have not seen since Catie’s death. Many of you offer us such words of comfort, such as Therese who told me that even though her children are grown it is beyond what she can imagine. Others offer us words of strength such a Ed, Therese’s husband, who looks me in the eye and says, “one day at a time”. To me to see a couple that is married for fifty years still being such compliments to one another gives me hope that God indeed blesses marriages. The day continued with us heading to Blue Bell with no directions or GPS. We took a detour in Conshohoken to pay a visit to Catie’s gravesite. After praying a decade of the Rosary we were back in the car. It was so funny to hear each of the children ask Kevin if he knew where we were when clearly we were heading in an uncertain direction.
Once we arrived, (yes, Kevin is willing to stop and ask for directions), we watched as P.J. Whelihan’s filled up with over 200 St. Patty/Catie Legacy revelers. Lauren and the wonderful wait staff took excellent care of us and the Irish food was outstanding. People were generous as always where Catie is concerned, and we raised over $3,500 for St.Jude and Catie’s Legacy account!! There was TV news coverage as well as the Times Herald; the article is supposed to run on Tuesday, we will send a copy when we see it. We played the 26 minute Catie video to the packed house and there were few dry eyes. We arrived home after a wonderful event and the kids were in bed by 9. They were apparently a bit tired after the event as they woke up in time to miss the bus. M.E. slept until 3pm after waking up and going to Mass! They all had a good day today, and are all in bed and asleep tonight.
Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers!
God bless,
Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Mia, Molly, and M.E.

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