Each and Every Day

Good evening Catie followers,

Each and every day is filled with newness and adventure and the joy of sharing the day with those we love; doing all or some of what we enjoy doing together. This past weekend we hosted BigBig Design as Cindy and Anthony came for a visit to discuss the Catie’s Wish Foundation website that they are designing. (IF ANYONE FOLLOWING CATIE’s STORY WOULD LIKE TO BE BROUGHT UP TO SPEED ON CATIE’s WISH FOUNDATION BEFORE THE UNVEILING OF THE NEW WEBSITE, SIMPLY CONTACT US AND WE WOULD BE HAPPY TO SHARE ALL THE LATEST. WE EVEN HAVE A FEW GIFT IDEAS FOR THE HOLIDAYS — ALL CATIE’s WISH ITEMS ARE GIFTS THAT GIVE TWICE — AS WE FINANCIALLY SUPPORT PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH. THINK ABOUT IT!) We also had a preview event for the Give Thanks. Walk this coming Saturday. (THERE IS STILL TIME TO REGISTER – EVEN ON SATURDAY MORNING.) The O’Brien’s were on hand to welcome Santa and light the sand sculpture. Each time we hear the story of Catie told by someone who didn’t know Catie we are amazed to see their eyes filling with tears. One woman came up to us and just hugged us. Isn’t that what we are all to do for each other? Be there and allow the lives of others to touch us?

Each and every day is also filled with longing and sadness — not for Catie but for ourselves as we miss having Catie in our lives, listening to her sing, seeing her smile, feeling her rub noses with you as you kiss her, witnessing the wonder that filled Catie’s day — as we long to love Catie for just one more minute. Loving Catie means knowing that life of earth after her diagnosis meant a life of tremendous pain and change. Catie never complained, never hosted a pity party or asked why this happened to her. She did ask Kevin why her tumor came back. Asking and hearing the question brought them both to tears and me too, as I recall walking into the room during their discussion. That moment was Catie’s agony in the garden. From that moment on Catie’s focus was on others — making Christmas special for all who knew her.

Each and every day we try to live by Catie’s example. After the first four kids get on the bus prayers begin for the other kids we know. Prayers for Dax and his parents; this little boy is so young — two years old and too young to say good-bye to and yet more importantly too young for his parents to be there for him while witnessing his suffering. They are also witnessing tremendous love and generosity as their town has already decorated for Christmas as a sign to Dax that they are praying for them. Then there are the three J’s. (The three J’s is what we affectionately call these three little boys as we pray for these children in alphabetically order in hopes that we would not forget anyone — but confident that God and Catie know exactly for whom our prayers are intended.) We have been praying for Jack, Jonah and James for months. Two have relapsed. This close to the holidays we are filled with prayer for their families and for their doctors and nurses. One of the J’s has growth on his latest MRI. We remember this time last year. We were split in two to begin with having half the family at home and the other half in Memphis — now with Christmas and the desire to gratefully acknowledge all those helping us, all those new to our family, and all those we missed we felt split in four. Funny how none of it mattered once we heard the words “the tumor has returned and medically there is nothing that can be done to save Catie.We can possibly prolong her life though the tumor will continue to grow.

Each and every day we pray that we remember for the entire day how precious and special life and love are. They are more than special; they are blessings and miracles themselves — given to us by God. We all need to focus, following Catie’s example, not on our own needs but on the needs of others. Today, many need prayers, love and sacrifices done on our part, for we, many of us, are the able bodies that can help to make a difference in the lives of others in need. Why would we do this when many believe that we have been through so much? That is what we are all asked to do by God for one another; it is written in the Greatest Commandment. You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10: 27) This greatest commandment transcends religious belief and in other circles it is referred to as The Golden Rule. An enormous mosaic of The Golden Rule hangs in the United Nations Headquarters where it takes up the entire wall, floor to ceiling. In 1996 this mosaic was made into a postage stamp as the UN is its own country. We began our marriage sending our invitations from the UN as this stamp held more meaning then a lovebird or heart, which were the US postage choices. Did we know then that this was foreshadowing for a future non-profit? No, we were simply in love and desired to start a life together taking vows to love one another in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer until death do us part. We of course prayed for the healthy rich good times and in the course of our thirteen year marriage this is how we have been blessed. Losing Catie makes every moment a challenge for all of us but it has also helped us to appreciate how very much we mean to one another. Catie brought so much love into each of our lives and in a way we owe it to each other to do all we can each day to make up for the gap in love that has been left by Catie’s absence.

Each and every day may you recognize all of your blessings and give thanks to God for them. May you also take the time to pray or make some type of sacrifice for so many who are doing without so much this year. May God continue to bless you and your family.

Peace be with you,

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

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