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Friday, August 10, 2007

With Hope

It has been a pretty quiet around here this week. With the heat, we have stuck close to home for the most part. We've hit the gym and the grocery store, but other than that and swimming a couple of times... not too much. Izzy likes the water as much as her sister did. She hardly quits moving the whole time she's in the pool. She just kicks and kicks and she gets into splashing if she's in the mood. I'm glad she likes the water.

It is amazing to me -- in some ways at least -- how many times a day Catie crosses our mind. In the grief books, they talk about your mind adjusting to the loss and trying to figure out where the person that you lost fits now that they're gone. That makes a lot of sense to me and I can see Tre' and I trying to work that out. You want to hold on tight because they're gone... but not so tight that you're not living in and enjoying the present.

Lately, in this whole grief thing, I've been wishing for a plan. While Catie was on treatment, there was ALWAYS a plan. You take this medicine every day for 5 days and then you have 23 days off OR you'll go inpatient once a month, 2 days one month, 3 days the next... stay home when counts are low... take this med to prevent this and that med to prevent that.... There was always a plan -- at least until the tumor would throw us off course... but then we always made a new plan. There was comfort (somehow) in the plan because you knew what you had to do... you felt like it gave you some kind of control. Obviously, it didn't give us ANY control, but still, there was comfort in the plan. Sometimes I wish there were a protocol for grief... you know, to let you know what to expect. I must say that it is definitely a learning process. You learn a lot about yourself and how you work and what you need. I still wouldn't mind having a plan though... then too, we would know when to expect the worst of it to be over.

This week I was talking with a friend of mine who was there the night that Catie died. We were talking about the overwhelming peace that was present that night and in the days that followed. A fellow mom on this journey has dubbed it "holy novacaine." Pretty clever term I think. That novacaine does begin to wear off, but for the most part, the peace remains (at least for me it has). It's funny how you can feel peace and sadness at the same time. How you can rejoice for Catie and long to see her all at the same time. I know that I posted the words to Steven Curtis Chapman's With Hope on Catie's site, but I'm going to post them again here. They are just dead on... absolutely right.

This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams

And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you,
but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope

(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan

But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...

We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...

We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

With hope... Doesn't take the sadness, doesn't change the grief, but at least there is hope. During treatment, "hope" was my favorite word. Hope of a cure, hope for a future... I worried that I wouldn't like the word anymore if things didn't go the way I wanted. But, I like it even more now... while death could take away my hope for a cure for Catie, nothing can take away the hope that remains. Nothing... It's nice, after all that's happened, that there's something that can't be destroyed or taken from you in this life. So... hope just might still be my favorite word.

Off to visit dreamland. Hope your weekend is good!


Mary said...

I've been a 'lurker' on Catie's site and have only signed the guestbook once or twice. I just saw the slide show and WOW!!....really, truly, WOW!!! What beautiful pictures of your sweet, beautiful Catie accompanied by such moving, lovely music choices! I am moved to tears and feel that such a gift was given to me by coming to this site tonight. God bless you, Tre' and baby Izzy. The lovely Catie will always be remembered by me...she sure was something special. :)

alayna said...

I just now realized that was a video, and I just watched it and just let the tears flow down my face. Catie is such a precious person. Thanks for sharing her with us. I have added your blog to my favorites list, and I look forward to watching your family grow & change!
Alayna Brooks

Stephanie Deal said...

WOW! i could never see the slideshow of Catie on the Catie's site but now that i see it hear WOW! it was amazing!!! So many wonderful pictures of Catie...i especially loved the last one...of course you know that people will follow you here...Continuley Praying,
Stephanie Deal

Diana893 said...

Hi there! Just wanted to let you know I've followed you from CB to over here and I'm so glad that you are continuing to write. In response to your latest blog entry I feel compelled to tell you about a book I just recently read after having it recommended it to me. I was absolutely enthralled by it, as I love the word hope as well and all that it entails. It's called "The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness" by Jerome Groopman. It's not super long and an easy read, but I really found it interesting - the author is an oncologist who shares what he has learned about hope through his encounters with his cancer patients. Just a very enlightening and uplifting read that I think you would enjoy! Well I think of you all often and love seeing what Miss Izzy is up to - she is absolutely adorable, just like her big sister! Sending lots of love and hugs your way!

Diana or visit/dianaleigh

Deb said...

I'm so glad you're blogging. I followed Catie's site for a very long time. Although I never had the opportunity to meet her, she touched my life in many ways.

Your writing is a wonderful gift. Thank you for continuing to share it.

Deisy said...

thanks for sharing your life with so many people... you don´t know me but I knew from Caite from a friend of mine, since then, I visited your web page, and now that you moved to this new one, I came and watch the video of Catie's life, she was amazing, and our God is awesome. I know it is not easy but God's peace in your heart is a relief. May the Lord bless you, I have learned from your trust in God and from your strenght. I have a daughter 2 1/2 years old, and she was having test to find out whether she had a serious illness as cancer or not, thanks God she is healthy, but learning form your experience I learn to thank God and to trust He is in control. May the Lord bless and your husband, and Izzy, she is so beautiful...

Catherine Rogers said...

Jenny, I couldn't resist viewing the beautiful picturs! What a lovely family you have been blessed with! All of the pictures were wonderful to see. Izzy is growing so fast. She is the image of her dad! Does she have red hair?! Oh I think that's such a lovely combination, piercing blue eyes and beautiful red hair! Thank you for the picture of Catie that you sent to me. I will treasure it always. Lots of things have been happening and I've been super busy, but let's stay in touch! God bless you dear and your precious family!

Love and blessings,