Mother’s Day

The Best Mother

Near our front door are the words, “We can do no great things – only small things with great love.” I feel my mother is always following this. She does not try to do great things to impress us, instead she does small things that make our day better. We don’t always see them but she does not complain. She moves on with her day quietly. The best things she does include teaching us about our faith, sending us to Catholic school, taking us to mass, and praying with us. I am blessed to have such a loving and wonderful mother.

Maggie O’Brien


Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who continue to follow Catie’s journey with us,

The letter above was published in the Central Penn Parent magazine as one of the winners of a recent essay contest for Mother’s Day. Maggie’s recognition of Christine’s motherhood and her dead on grasp of who Christine is and tries to be as a mom allowed Maggie to be published and also to win some beautiful gifts for Christine. Included in the gifts was a Vera Bradley handbag that will be a perfect replacement for the one that Catie put a hole in as it rubbed against her wheelchair. Life’s beautiful circle continues.

We had a great weekend together, attended another First Communion for our nephew Brett, and a confirmation for Sarah, the daughter of dear friends of ours who have been such a wellspring of support for us these past 10 months. Mother’s Day itself was low key and hopefully provided Christine with a sense of peace and tranquility. This next week promises to be a busy one as school begins to wind down and class parties, school trips and the like begin to dominate the calendar. Last week, the kids all ran in the “Race for Education”, and they all ran well which was a welcome departure from last year when Catie could not even run 3 laps. As it turned out, it was the first indicator that something was wrong; little did we know the ramifications of Catie’s difficulties that day. So while we were happy that Maggie, Max, and Mia all ran well and raised money for the school, the memory of the day was slightly painful.

And so it goes. As we begin to anniversary dates on the calendar that came to mean so much last year with Catie’s illness, we will continue to have mixed emotions. We will remember what happened a year ago and think about Catie, but with God’s grace, we will also realize the blessings of 5 healthy children who are not going through what Catie did, and celebrate the fact that we are all together as a family. So today, on Mother’s Day, we celebrate the fact that Catie is sharing her first Mother’s Day with Mary and with her Grandmother Gladys. We celebrate Christine and the other mothers who accept the calling to give us life and then show us how to live it. We celebrate the blessings that continue to come from Catie’s story. This week, one of Catie’s fellow St. Jude kids underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor that was identified on an MRI on Thursday. On Friday, the surgeon was unable to find the tumor at all! A friend of mine had a tumor diagnosed on Tuesday and on a subsequent ultrasound on Thursday, again, the tumor was no longer there. Way to go Catie ! Catie’s Wish also continues to make strides for next year’s Birthday pledge as more and more schools sign up for Dress Down Days. We believe that more than a quarter of a million people now know about Catie, and firmly believe that as that number grows, the blessings of the beautiful seven year old with the 1000 kilowatt smile will grow as well.

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

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

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