GPS and Ladybugs

Catie’s Greeting

Good evening Catie Team,

     My prayer is that you are well and in the Father’s loving embrace as you read this.  I logged onto the Catie’s Wish website tonight and realized that we had not sent out an update since we launched the site on the 22nd of February; how neglectful of us!  As I thought and prayed about what to share with you, I asked the Holy Spirit to guide the message and keep me out of the way.  While I was on the site, I was again amazed at what a testament it is to Catie and to her legacy.  We have had thousands of visitors to the site and they seem to be taking a leisurely stroll through the content.  Catie’s Wish and the website belong to all of us on Catie’s Team, so if you have not already spent some time on the site, I again welcome you to do so, and to invite others to do the same. 

     While I was on the site, I went back to the update of one year ago tonight.  It was a collaborative effort between Christine and myself and much of what was included in that update is as true today as it was then.  One particular sentence jumped out at me though.  “My problem is I see heaven as clearly as I explained it to Catie and she is there and I am still here. I can’t figure out how to live here and keep my focus on heaven.” Just today, Christine and I were having a conversation and the exact same feeling came over Christine.  We are hard wired for heaven.  God gave us a GPS and when we set it for “home”, the destination is heaven and despite what appears to be a long a winding road, He programmed the best route for us.

     Speaking of GPS, my beautiful bride just called me (at midnight) to ask how to program our GPS to get her home to Mechanicsburg.  Christine is coming back from a speaking engagement in Wayne, PA.  This is the second time in the last few weeks that a woman’s group has asked Christine to come and speak to them.  By all accounts, she is doing a marvelous job and is inspiring, thought provoking, funny and very compelling.  It sounds like a dynamic event, and she has been asked to speak again the weekend after Easter.  I am tempted to find someone to watch the Fab 5, dress in drag and see for myself how good she really is.  I never tire of telling people that I marry really well.

     One of the women at the talk this evening told Christine the story of the history of the Ladybug.  Having never heard the story, I Googled it and this is what I found. 

In the Middle Ages, swarms of insects devoured crops, and people prayed to the Virgin Mary for relief. The lady beetles flew in and feasted on the other insects, and became known as “The Bug of Our Lady.” 

Who knew??  Catie the ladybug continues to show up at regular intervals throughout the day and throughout the house almost but not quite to the point of infestation.  The kids did not like the manner in which we were dealing with the creatures, so we now have a collection in a Tupperware container with dried leaves and some grass.  The intent is to transfer them to the garden once the weather warms up a bit.  Because of the recent ladybug theme, we have even decided to produce a children’s version of Catie’s Story called, you guessed it, Catiebug the Ladybug.  We’ll keep you posted.

     Last Friday, Christine and I went to the local bowling alley to be on the air with the Harrisburg country radio station who had set up a remote for the “Country Cares” telethon to benefit St. Jude.  These events are held all over the country at various radio stations, usually in January.  Because of the snow, our event had been pushed back a month or so.  As I walked into the event, I was hit with the realization that at this very same event and location last year, I had gone on the air to talk about Catie and about St. Jude, and from her bed, Catie had cheered me on and in her own way, sanctioned our support of St. Jude.  When the interviewer asked me why we would support St. Jude despite their inability to save Catie, I responded that St. Jude was the best, and supporting them might not have made the difference for Catie, but it might make the difference for the next child.  Catie sat up in bed as she listened to me on the radio and said, “yes!”.  When I arrived home after the interview a year ago, I went to Catie’s bed, told her I loved her, and she responded, “I love you daddy, and that’s never going to change.”  They were the last words she would ever speak.  As you can imagine, with all of that flooding back upon me, having to get back on the air seemed daunting.   

     Christine to the rescue.  My much better half sat down at the mic, fielded questions from Holly who had interviewed me last year and gave a great account of what the last year had been like, what St. Jude continues to mean to us, and what Catie’s Wish is all about.  Christine brought pictures to show to Holly and the other on-air personalities, and even brought a pair of St. Jude baby socks although she did not know why she had stuck them in the basket with the photos.  It soon became evident that Catie was directing events as Christine learned that Holly had just had a little girl and the socks were the perfect gift. 

     We continue to make progress towards Catie’s goal for April 23rd as you can see on the website and have been working hard to finish our year strong.  Please continue to pray for the fulfillment of Catie’s Wish, and for all the kids who need so much more than just our generosity; they need our prayers.  Each day, Christine continues to monitor the progress of the over 100 “Catie’s kids”.  If you have a chance, go to the website, look at the “Injured Reserve” list for Catie’s Team, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to one of the kids’ names, and pray for that one child.  Pray for their recovery, pray for their strength, pray for their family.  And then, know that Catie has just prayed with you.

     Well, it is 1am, and the GPS promises that Christine will be home soon, so I leave you now and thank you again for continuing to live Catie’s story with us.  May God bless you and the work of your hands.

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

God is good, all the time

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