Heaven on Earth

Hello to all of you that continue on Catie’s journey,

Both this Saturday and last, we celebrated First Holy Communions with friends and classmates of Catie’s. Franchetta and Audra, two of Catie’s closest friends welcomed Jesus in a special way last weekend, and we were honored to share that special day with them. Today, all of Catie’s 2nd grade classmates from St. Joseph’s celebrated their First Eucharist, and we joined them. At the bottom of the page listing all of the communicants, the people who created the program listed Catie as well with a note of remembrance and that she had received her First Communion on Christmas day. It meant a great deal to us that Catie was remembered like that as being a part of the class meant so much to her. Thank you for continuing to include Catie as part of the 2nd grade class.

Both days were potentially bittersweet as the opportunity existed to focus on the fact that we could have been celebrating Catie’s First Communion, but were not. Instead, God reminded us and allowed us to focus on the children that were receiving Jesus for the first time and in focusing on them, we as parents learned a valuable lesson. As usual, God taught us the lesson through Molly who began to cry during mass because she missed Catie. Molly has never said this to me before, and as we quietly talked about this feeling, I found myself telling her that Catie was undoubtedly with us at that moment. I explained to her that we believe that heaven touches down on earth during the mass, and that Catie was most certainly present with all of her classmates. Communion is exactly that, the uniting of those on earth with those in heaven, and the joy and grace we receive from the encounter is what keeps us in communion with God and one another. The smile that lit her face when she realized Catie was in some way “with” her at that moment was a clear sign of that joy.

We learned something else though. With each encounter with God through the sacraments, we gain the blessings and grace that come from these heaven on earth experiences, and we gain a moment when we can be with Catie again even if only for a second. With each of these “hello’s” however is yet another “good-bye”. The sadness that sometimes follows the ecstasy of these moments of communion is real and deep. My guess is that the sadness is really a longing for the moment to last forever. What we call the forever moment of communion is heaven, and one day, we will all share what Catie is already experiencing; what a party it will be!

Christine and I had a wonderful night out tonight as the fab-5 are with friends for the evening. We laughed, cried, celebrated our love for one another, and caught up on sleep. Thank you to those that are watching the kids, we owe you one. Catie’s Legacy account continues to grow, and is currently at $2.2 million, giving us a better than 50% head start on next year’s goal, thank you for your prayers and support. Remember that Catie’s ultimate goal was to close the doors of St. Jude, and we are committed to her vision. The school dress down day program is gaining momentum and looks to be a winner. If you know of a school that we can contact to participate in a dress down day for St. Jude, please let us know. Accountants and attorneys are putting the paperwork together for “The Catie Wish Foundation” as a tax-exempt foundation raising money for St. Jude. We continue to be thankful to Catie for her vision and confidence in us that we can work to achieve her goals of eradicating pediatric cancer through research and prayer.

May God continue to bless you and the work of your hands,

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

PS we continue to receive prayer requests and messages of other childrens’ on-going battles with their cancer. Please keep Jonah, Trevor, Ellie and Ethan in your prayers as their setbacks and roadblocks are being navigated. In addition, please remember Marit and Hunter, two children who were on Catie’s protocol. As they journey back to St. Jude for their 3 month post-treatment check-ups, we ask God for a clean bill of health for them as we deal with the sadness that Catie is not joining them.

This is a link to an article that appeared in the Patriot News after Catie’s birthday celebration last week, as well as an editorial that ran on Friday.



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