always hope...

I did not know little Baby Cate or her family personally. I am but one of the thousands of people that have been praying for her over the past several months and keeping track of her journey on her families blog. When I checked in on Wednesday to see how things were going, I was crushed to find out that God had taken her home.

As I started to read the post, I wept with her Mommy and Daddy and my heart felt so heavy for them. But them a beautiful thing happened. I felt a tremendous sense of Hope. I was in awe of her father's words as he expressed how God was present from the beginning of Cate' troubles until He gently brought her home to Him. This is a humble man who loved his daughter as God called him to love and he did his job well.

As parents, our one job in this world is to see that our children get to heaven. We pray and love, we nurture and discipline, we teach and love some more, all while keeping our eye on Our Lord in heaven. Sometimes they can stray and we are called to action, to pray and sacrifice even more. I think of St. Monica and all that her son St. Augustine put her through. If she can do it, so can I.
Why did this little girl have such an impact on me? Well, I have been in the ICU with my daughter. I have waited to hear whether or not she would wake up. I have been on my knees at the side of her hospital bed begging and pleading with God for more time. I have struggled to remain hopeful, to remain strong and committed to give my daughter the best life I can. I have held her broken body in my arms and wept for the little girl who would never dance or say "Mama". And yet, like Baby Cate's Mommy and Daddy, there is peace in giving it all to Christ. There is peace in resting in Our Lady's arms seeking the comfort of Our Heavenly Mother. She knows what I am feeling. She held her Son.

So I take comfort in my faith, my family and all those who pray for us each day. I take strength from the Eucharist to hang on for another day, to be the advocate and champion my Courtney needs me to be. When I am so very tired, I rest in the hope of another smile or hearing her laughter. Such precious things, such simple miracles that wield such power. I do not take anything for granted, for tomorrow has past, I have not been granted the gift of tomorrow, all I have is NOW.

I hope and pray that when the time comes for my Courtney to fly to God's arms, I will have the dignity and grace to continue to HOPE in all things, for He is righteous and merciful.
Baby Cate , rest with Him, laugh with Him and love your parents and siblings with the love only an angel can provide. Pray for us Cate and May God Bless You!

With Hope Always,
Mary

"The race is over, and Cate was victorious. We all win that way. We do ask that you remain, Hope Filled, with us as we stand together, plus many, minus one." Cate's Daddy

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