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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Normal

Today was a really great day! A really great, normal, summer day. Chip went to hang out w/ GaGa and Poppy and Iz and I met up w/ some friends and headed to a nearby waterpark. It's a great spot for kids w/ lots of stuff on the sprayground and slides just their size. I loved watching the look of sheer terror on her face as she flew down the slide, and then hearing her beg, "do it again Momma, do it again!" as soon as I pulled her up from the water. She is definitely going to be more of a thrill-seeker than her momma!!

This may sound strange, but there are still times when "normal life" stops me in my tracks. It does not feel "normal" to me yet. I've been a mom for nearly 7 years, but much of that time I haven't been a "normal" mom. Catie was sick for so much of her life and the "rules" we had to play by were so different from those of normal kids. There weren't lots of playdates w/ big groups, long days at the waterpark (she had a hard time w/ heat and most of the time couldn't have made it all day), we weren't able to attend church regularly, she didn't get to go to VBS. All that is OK! We made good w/ what we COULD do and I know she lived full and happy and well... And so, now, w/ Izzy and Chip as we join in on some playdates, spend a huge chunk of the day running through the sprayground and swooshing down waterslides, attending church more regularly, and getting ready for VBS next week... as we live. normal. life. I'm simply shocked and grateful at how wonderful it is. Perfect? Nope, never is... but pretty dad-blamed good!

If I let it, it could make me sad for the things Catie missed... but I also know that she was, at least I think she was, satisfied w/ the pace of our life and the day to day way we lived. I watch little girls who are the age she would be now and I am amazed at how grown she would be. Strangely, being around girls that age is usually a comfort to me... It's the events that get me and that's completely the opposite of how I thought it would be. I confess to being incredibly sad on the last day of school b/c she would have finished kindergarten and gotten her first real taste of summer break after a full year of schedules and routines... and there were tears when she missed what I know would have been her first spend the night party... I guess it's always going to be those "firsts" that get me.... all those "normal" things she would have done. Thankfully they don't come as often as they did that first year.

So, this weekend we will honor her life and try to raise a little more money for research so that kids like her get the chance to try on "normal" life...



Oh sweet girl, I miss ya tonight. You would have loved standing at the bottom of the slide and watching Iz's face as she flew down and you would have cracked up at you brother tasting his peas tonight. I do wonder where you would fit in the mix if you were here... would you be Queen Bee, keeping tabs on everybody (it's a big job w/ that sister of yours) or would you kind of be off doing your own thing and letting the little ones be? I tend to think you'd want to be in charge, but who knows... I DO know that you are now filled w/ far more joy than any of us can even begin to imagine.

Dad and Iz are off on the golf cart making a trash run. I'm hoping they bring a few blueberries back. Izzy loves them as much as you did... she's starting to ask about you from time to time. I like that. It's hard for her to understand where you are though. That will come with time and I'm grateful for the chance to tell her Catie stories. I think I'm going to go relax and curl up w/ the new book I'm reading. Love you sweet girl... Eskimo, butterfly, Daddy, and NikNik kisses to you.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Catie's CURE Classic benefitting CURE Childhood Cancer


We're gearing up for our golf tournament for this year and it's coming up quickly. We've taken a couple of years off, but we're back and we're hoping to have a great turnout for the tourney. The tournament will be held on June 20 at Black Creek Golf Club. For details on the tourney, go to http://catiescureclassic.com. This is the first year the tournament will be a memorial tournament, but we do this to honor our sweet Catie and the life she lived. We also do it so that other families won't know the devastating loss that is so often caused by childhood cancer. All proceeds will go directly to CURE Childhood Cancer (http://www.curechildhoodcancer.org/). We are in need of sponsors (levels are: Hole for $100 and Corporate for $500 and $1000), golfers, and door prizes. Each sponsorship comes w/ different perks, so visit our website to check them out (http://catiescureclassic.com/).

Given the lovely economic times we're in, we're taking a bit of a different approach this year. We are still seeking "normal" sponsors (at the levels listed above), but we also realize that smaller donations add up to make big donations. We are seeking folks who might not be able to be a hole sponsor, but could handle giving $25 (or $10 or $50). If we could have 100 people donate $25, that would be $2500 (and the equivalent of 25 hole sponsors)... 200 folks giving $25 would give us $5000, and so forth.

So, here is my challenge to you. (I'm not usually one to issue challenges, but today I'm going for it). If you are able and willing to donate to our cause, please do. You can easily do it through PayPal on our site (http://catiescureclassic.com/) or to Catie's Fund page ( http://www.curechildhoodcancer.org/default.asp?contentID=66). If you donate at Catie's Fund page, please list "Catie's Fund for Golf Tournament" in the comments section. The second part of my challenge is this... PLEASE forward this on to folks on your contact list. If half of the folks who receive this e-mail give a small amount of money and if everyone forwards this on, we could really build a large army and raise a lot of money.
Forwarding is a HUGE part of this effort because it allows us to reach a large number of people.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks for forwarding this on and donating if you are able. These donations (which need to be made by June 26) fund research that is literally life-giving.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Conversations

This morning at breakfast, Izzy was eating the first blueberries and blackberries from our yard this year when out of the blue, she looked at me and asked, "Momma, Catie like blueberries?" It's the first time she's ever asked me about something Catie liked or didn't like. I told her that yes, Catie liked blueberries (and strawberries) a lot, kind of like she did. Then she pointed to her bowl of cereal, "Catie like cereal, Momma?" And I told her that yes, Catie liked cereal, but she liked it dry in a cup, not w/ milk in a bowl like she did. She seemed satisfied, and I appreciated that she had asked, so we went on with our morning. A little later, as we were riding in the car, she said, "Momma, I want to go to Catie's house." In my mind, I was thinking, "me too baby, me too." But, out loud I said, "Well, Iz, who does Catie live with?" "Jesus." "And where does Catie live?" "In Heaven." So I told her about how Heaven is way up high in the sky above the clouds and that loving Jesus means we go to live there when we die. I told her that Catie was little when she died, so she's gone there before us. And I told her that we would go to see her sister later when it was our time to go to Heaven. Again she said, "I wanna go to Catie's house." So we talked a bit more... Time and space and living and dying are hard enough to understand when you're grown, much less when you are two. But I confess to loving that she's opening the door for conversations about Catie and about Heaven.

I worry that she will be scared of dying b/c Catie died young. Today was the first time I've used the word "die" with her and a couple of weeks ago I used the word "cancer" w/ her for the first time(the child life folks say to be sure to call diseases by their real names and to not say, "Catie was sick and she died" b/c then they'll be scared the next time they get sick.) I wish she didn't have to know that kids could die. I pray that God will give Tre' and I wisdom to guide her (and Chip) in all things, esp. important stuff like we talked about today. I sure do wish I could see in her mind to see how she's making sense of things.