Day 2838

Catie Team,

     As parents, we field questions all the time.  We are asked questions about our kids; “How are the kids doing?”, “How’s school?”; and by our kids; “Can I have this?”, “Why?’, “Why not?”, “How come?”.  Some of the questions are innocuous, others are more poignant.  Some receive “yes’s”, others get ”no’s”.  Many times, in the myriad of questions it seems like they will never end.  We listened intently to Catie’s questions and tried our best to answer all of them with as much information as we could.  As Catie came to the end of her life here on earth, the questions and the answers took on even more importance.  With the Fab 5, the questions come from all directions and run the gamut.  Twelve year olds and three year olds ask different questions!  Out of the haze of the questions came this one from Mia, our seven year old who is preparing for her First Holy Communion this Saturday the 24th.  “Dad, now that Catie is in heaven, when will I be older than her?”  How do you answer that question?  Assuming that Catie stopped aging when she died, I took out a piece of paper and a pencil and figured out how many days Catie had lived, and the answer was 2,838 days.  I then added up the number of days that Mia has been alive and subtracted from 2,838 and then figured out on a calendar when they would be the same age and what the first day would be when Mia would be older.  Are you ready for the answer?  Catie and Mia will be the exact same age on April 23rd 2010, this Friday, on what would have been Catie’s ninth birthday.  Mia will be “older” than Catie beginning on April 24th, 2010, the day of her First Holy Communion.  More signal graces and more opportunities to see the hand of God in our everyday.  Mia, as you can imagine, was thrilled with this answer to her question and wanted us to share it with all of you. 

     With Catie’s birthday coming on Friday, the last minute details of making her day as special as it can be have been challenging.  Because of your support and prayers and the support of thousands who have generously shared their treasure, it looks as if we will again reach Catie’s goal for funding St. Jude on her birthday.  Every salary and expense, every treatment, every cost associated with caring for the children at St. Jude will be “paid for” by Catie and her supporters.  Thank you.  For two years now, we have fulfilled a part of Catie’s Wish.  Catie’s ultimate wish, and one that we all share is an end to pediatric cancer and we are still a long way from that Wish, and so we continue to pray and ask all to join us.  Many other plans have been put in place to help make April 23rd special not only for the patients, families, and staff at St. Jude, but for everyone who is part of Catie’s team.  Birthday Cards bearing Catie’s name have been sent to each of the over 500 patients scheduled to be in treatment on Friday along with a “Happy” (small token letting the receiver know that they are being thought of in a special way).  These cards and happys have been sent by one of our very special Ambassadors, Candee and the CCD classes from St. Columbkill Parish in Boyertown, PA.  Two banners, signed by over 1,000 students, teachers, and believers in Catie’s Wish and the power of prayer are being shipped to St. Jude letting all who see them on Friday know that they are in our thoughts and prayers and that Catie lives on as long as we never forget her.  Each of the students that helped with the cards and the banners were asked to go home and with their parents permission, color their home calendar purple on April 23rd .  This is a special way to highlight that day and help all of us remember Catie; who she is, what she stands for, and what she asks all of us to do.  Please take a moment and color your calendar, invite others to do the same, and when Friday comes along, think of and pray for Catie’s kids, their families, and those that care for them at St. Jude and other treatment facilities around the world.  Each of the people who were directly responsible for Catie’s care as well as each of the departments at St. Jude will be receiving birthday cards as well, courtesy of one of Catie’s classmates.  There are so many really great people who continue to take Catie’s story and allow it to change them for the better and we thank you all.

     For those of you in the Philadelphia or Mechanicsburg areas, there will be a special visual tribute to Catie on Friday and Saturday.  Thanks to our Advisor Mike Pascarella, the PECO Building that dominates the Philly skyline will have Catie’s website displayed throughout the weekend, and thanks to Ron D. who did such an amazing job with the Christmas light shows, our house will be bathed in purple light and a projected image of the Catie’s Wish logo that we think will be visible from the Turnpike and most certainly from Catie’s vantage point in heaven.  Thank you both for your continued support and selflessness.

     Please pray that as the week goes along that we stay focused on Catie and on Mia as their respective special days approach.  The temptation to give in to the frustration that accompanies all of the planning and execution is weighing heavy.  I am so blessed as a husband and Christine is amazing in all that she continues to do to make Catie’s Wish all that it is and can be. 

May God bless you and the work of your hands,

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

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3 Responses to “Day 2838”

  1. Laura Jones says:

    Much love to all of Catie’s family—I have been reading the Caring Bridge reports for Oliver Mosca since he was diagnosed with cancer. Bill, Oliver’s father, is one of my brother’s best childhood/present friends. As I read the posts in the guestbook, I have always been inspired by the ones signed, “God is always good”–your posts. Just today, I realized that the writer of these posts had lost a child to cancer. I sat in front of my computer and sobbed. God is so good—to have given your family the grace and faith to accept what, in the world’s eyes, is such a tragedy is beyond comprehension. I have 6 children of my own and have read Oliver’s story with an aching heart on many occasions. I just came to this website and realized that you have 6 children, too. I am so inspired by your faith and am deeply moved by Catie’s faith. You are so right—“God is always good!” I’m glad that I “happened” (there are no coincidences–just God at work) to find this site the day before Catie’s birthday! I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. Much love to you in our Precious Lord and Savior—Laura Jones

  2. Mary Schaefer says:

    Dear Kevin,

    Please know that you all are in my prayers and thoughts that many blessings will encircle you. I just learned of Catie’s Wish today through a column in the Arlington Catholic Herald, and, having coincidentally received a work bonus, I sent it on for your effort. Our son, Dan, was miraculously brought from near death with Guillain Barre through the grace of God, the dedicated caregivers at a small Virginia hospital, and many many prayers. Today he is a senior paramedic. I give to St. Judes whenever I can. Bless you all and bless Mia on her First Communion. Mary Schaefer

  3. Nadine Jones says:

    I will always think of Catie on this day. This day is a special day to me also, as this is the birthday of my late husband. I wish I would have had the chance to meet Catie. She seemed like an extremely awesome and inspiring child. I lost my husband to brain cancer in Nov of 2006. When we found out he had cancer, one of his first comments that he made was, “At least there is one child out there who doesn’t have it.” I wish that child could have been Catie. One thing we can be comforted by is to know that both are in a better place and they are completely free from any suffering and that there isn’t any disease that can keep them down any longer.