Good evening Catie Team,

     May the peace and joy of Christmas be with each one of you.  As the world prepares for Christmas this week and traffic on roads and in shopping malls swells to its breaking point, I thought about all of you who have shown your willingness to follow this journey and offered a prayer for you and your loved ones.  Two years ago, we were home with Catie and preparing for her First Holy Communion both in South Carolina as well as in Mechanicsburg.  For those that have read back in this prayer journal or have been with us since then, you remember the travel adventures of flights and midnight driving to give Catie the celebration she wanted as she received Jesus in the Eucharist.  Saying “yes” to Catie was something we tried to do each day because that day was potentially all we had.  How well do we all do in saying “yes” to each other without the specter of impending death to motivate us.

     Many of us are willing to drop everything and do whatever is asked of us for family or friend in the case of an emergency.  We put our lives, our plans, our own desires on hold and selflessly do what we can for another.  We recognize in the immediacy of their request and the depth of their need an opportunity to reorder and reprioritize our lives in service to another.  We sprint in response to the need and put off until tomorrow whatever we can.  The consequence of our willingness to focus our resources of time and treasure is secondary to the desire to assist someone in need.  To me, that is the beauty of Christmas and the Nativity story.  Not that there was no room at the inn, but that one of the innkeepers offered a solution instead of merely saying “no” and shutting the door.  The answer “it may not be much, but it is all that I have” is the true meaning of sacrificial love.  Do what you can, give what you can, offer what you can, and God will take care of the rest.  He does not need us to take care of His children, we need Him to give us the opportunity so that we can be filled with the joy of giving.

     Christine and I were talking last night about how proud we were of Catie in the weeks following the suspension of treatment.  All she wanted to do was go home and go to school for as many days as she could, but she stayed at St. Jude until she had hand delivered every single Christmas present to each doctor, nurse, caregiver, patient, and friend that had meant so much to her.  She understood the joy that comes from giving what you have.  She gave everything and left this world a better place because of her presence (not presents) here. 

     This is a stressful time of year and there are a myriad of opportunities to become angry with the driver who just cut you off, the idiot (I mean wonderful person) who cut in front and grabbed the last parking space that you had waited ten minutes for, or that special someone who finished packing all of their gifts in their car, and instead of leaving so that you could park, re-locked their car and went back into the mall.  In addition, the stress that comes from the balancing act of dealing with family.  Those that came that you wish had stayed home, and the ones that did not come that you wish had.  The ones that failed to understand or appreciate the thought that went into their gift and the apparent lack of thought that seems to have gone into yours.  At the end of the day, that little baby who chose to leave the beauty and serenity of heaven and deal with the likes of us came here for ALL of us and accepts each of us and the gifts we bring without exception.  Think about Mary and Joseph.  Here they are with a new baby and no one shows up to celebrate with them except strangers.  And no one thinks to bring a gift except the Magi, and instead of Pampers or a nice outfit, they bring myrrh….to a baby shower.

Give what you can, be with all the people you can be with, accept them for who they are and love them anyway.  Travel safely.

God is good, all the time

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

For that last minute gift for the sports fan in your life, consider the book “99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Filling out Your Hoops Bracket” by Jared Trexler.  Just follow the link below.  With every purchase, Jared, (the newest member of Catie’s Team) will donate a portion of his profits to Catie’s Wish.  It is truly the gift that gives twice!!

The Central PA tour of lights continues through the first week of January and the shows are more spectacular than ever, so check out   and go see the shows!!

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One Response to “Christmastime”

  1. Marthe Terry says:

    Dear All of Catie’s Team–Beautiful and meaningful journal entry! And that light show–WOW! You know the purple house was my favorite! May God, the Babe in the manger and His Most Holy Mother Mary and Good St. Joseph grant you all a blessed CHRISTmas and a wonderful New Year of following God’s Will! Love in HIM, Marthe