Monday, November 19, 2007

Enjoying the Moment 11/19/2007

Good Evening to All, although at this time in the evening most sane people would be snuggled up in their beds, which I am, just not sleeping. I just got off the phone with Baby Cate's night shift nurse, as we do every night around this time, just to check in, see how much she weight she gained, how much she ate in the afternoon. But, that is the last time I will have to make that call. Tomorrow, our little girl wll be home. Home for Thanksgiving, truly one of the most thankful thanksgivings we have ever had, I tear up as I am writing this because of unbelievable beginning of this journey and the indescribale the outpouring of support and love we have had on our little famly, and the fact that tomorrow, our little girl will be home, home to be loved, physically by her Mother, Father, Sister, and Brother. I got two comments on the Blog today, from two people who do not know us or the journey we have been on, but who God has allowed to stumble upon the path that so many of you have joined us in walking on. I do not know how to put into words what it feels like as a Father to hear the outpouring of such love and compasion for your child. I am not really sure if I have ever felt or experienced such an event. It has truly been for myself and my wife a life altering experience, and to know this is only the beginning is inexplicable. If you will humor me, I want to share with you all something that I felt God put, said, placed, however you want to say it on my heart as I sat in Mass yesterday. The Gospel reading spoke of not worrying about the future and what is to come. The priest began his homily by saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." He proceed to go on to tell the congregation that we, as human beings, spend so much of our time worrying about the "future", our next vacation, our children's college funds, our retirement and that we so often lose sight of the moment. The moment, is what God is so present in, the moment that is right now, because truly that moment is what we have. As I reflected on Baby Cate's short life, that began not even two weeks ago, I think of all the scenerios that have run through my head, and how I am already planning for her first, second, and third heart surgeries, when she is not even home yet. We have not even begun to experience life with her here, in our own home. I was reminded so gently, to slow down, enjoy the moments that we are having with her, whether it is just her and I in the quiet morning NICU snuggled face to face or just sitting beside her and Ali, as she cuddles close to her mother as she nurses. These are the moments that past, unbenouced, unfiltered, yet unforgetable. Its in these times, that I am not worrying about her college fund or how we will pay for heart surgeries, its the other twenty-two hours a day that I need to bring my heart back to the fact that we are under the watchful eye of our God, who loves us emencly and knows our every move, thought, concern, and fear. The communion hymn in Mass yesterday, "Be Not Afraid," the refrain is, "Be not afraid, I go before you always, come follow me, and I will give you rest." As I heard these sweet prophetic words I was brought back to the day Baby Cate was born and the words that God spoke to my heart, "Do not be Afraid." It was an affirmation, or more of a reminder, that He has Baby Cate in His hands and that He knows that plans that he has made for her, and that we, Ali and I, must not worry about the future, but enjoy every moment that we have with her, our other two beautiful children, and each other. With that being said, on the eve of our little girl coming home, we begin a new journey, a one of embracing each day, not in fear, but in the peace of knowing that our loving God is with us, in our family, and with us in the community He has blessed us with in all of you. Our other two holigans are very exicted to meet there new little sister, and we are excited to bring her home, home to a family that is ready, as much as we can be today, to embrace this journey, and home to a community that has been lifting her up to the throne room of God. This journey is not over, it is only a new chapter in story of Baby Cate, a chapter that we are eagerly waiting to turn the page and to see what is in the pages to come. This is not the end of the Blog, and I hope you will stay tuned, believe me, the Cantrell family has always been interested, we just have never really publicly pronouced it as we have over the past two weeks, but even more now with a new little one, who will bring her own story and flare to our already crazy lives, I can only imagine it will only continue to get funnier. Baby Cate weighed in at 7.1 lbs tonight, her original birth weight, thats my girl!!!! As I said before Baby Cate already has her first Cardiologist appointment scheduled and Dude, her big brother as already tried out her baby swing and realized its not as cool when your feet drag on the floor and that the little ducks that hang over your head, really do not taste that great. We have some plans in the making for all of you who have continued to follow Baby Cates progress to join us, her family, in the celebration of her life, and as I said, this Blog is no where near over, only a new chapter, so please keep reading because there will be news very soon, on how you can be a part of Baby Cate's life. We love you all an are extremely grateful for each and every one of you. God Bless and Good night and remember, enjoy the moments, becuase its all we have.


Anonymous said...

love you charlie! we are thrilled for you guys! your words are written so beautifully! "How great is our God?! SIng with me how great is our God..all we see how great, how great is our God!" Happy Thanksgiving 2 days early!!!

love..the walther famiia

Tara said...

I am so happy Baby Cate is coming home. She gets more and more beautiful everytime you post a pic. Thanks for reminding me to be thankful this holiday. Love you guys

Anonymous said...

Charlie...this is wonderful news! I can only imagine the beauty and special meaning this particular Thanksgiving will hold for you, Ali, Dude, Ella and Baby Cate! I'm still praying hard but on this day I say a special prayer of thanksgiving for Cate's progress and ability to be home with you all. The photo that is posted this morning is absolutely gorgeous - she looks just like her big sister and already got that sly little "Cantrell" grin on her face! Love you guys. We are out of town for Thanksgiving but can't wait to see you all once you get settled at home.

Please give Ali and the rest our love.

Jane and Tommy

Cathy Ferguson said...

Charlie & Ali,
Praise God that Baby Cate is coming home tomorrow to her loving family. What love will be showered upon that sweet baby! She is so lucky to have you all as her family.
We are sending prayers up for Cate & you all and I know God has all of you wrapped up in His loving arms! I have friends at work praying for you all too. I am keeping Mom, Dad, Jake and Laura posted and they are praying too. I know God is healing Baby Cate's heart as we speak.
Charlie, what a testimony you and Ali are. You have such a strong faith and you all are an inspiration to everyone! We are SO PROUD of you all and I know Pat is looking down and is also so very proud of you all.
Your message in your blog today really hit home. Each day we are given is such a gift and blessing and we should not worry what tomorrow brings for God will not give us more than we can handle. Bill always says if I don't have something to worry about, I think up something!
Everytime I read your blogs, I laugh, cry, and feel even closer to God. What a gift and blessing you are to me and everyone else.
We still fondly remember the Thanksgiving we shared with you and Ali and the kids a couple of years ago. What a blessing that was!
I LOVE YA'LL DEARLY and you all will definitely stay in our thoughts and prayers. Please give Ali and the kids a big ole hug and kiss for me. You are a gift and blessing to our family.

Anonymous said...

why do i even bother putting makeup on anymore? b/c these blogs and the comments make me cry like a baby every time...seriously though..praise you Jesus for the Cantrell family! for the witness they are to me, to others, and a constant reminder that you are God and I am not...and that we give all things to you..for you know the plans for us!!

we love you guys so much!

Anonymous said...

Dear Charlie,
You are the only one in your beautiful sounding little family that I've actually met....but I can imagine how wonderful your wife and three children are. I will pray for all of you....God will never let you go. Even when you think you are just hanging on by your fingernails, He whispers to "let go"...then you realize He's got you--no hanging necessary.
"Be not Afraid" and "Surrender" have been coming up every single day in my prayers...I will now lift that same prayer up for you, for your wife, Ali, and for your precious Cate. Have a Blessed Day--a great homecoming!
In His Grace,
Rox Richard

Anonymous said...

we have prayed for and loved baby cate for so long!!! thank you for sharing your journey with us and so many others...that girl is already doing God's work at 2 weeks old---ain't she somethin'?!

always in our, the berman family

Kim and Judy said...

WOW! Tears just streaming down my wonderful to have your precious Cate home! You guys are such a wonderful example of faith for us all. They are all beautiful!!!! Enjoy your many blessings this Thanksgiving day!
Kim and Judy

Anonymous said...

Hey Charlie and Ali,
I just want you guys to know that I have been praying for you and your new little girl ever since I heard about her struggle for life. She has really been a trooper, but she doesn't deserve all the credit; you guys do too. I'd be willing to bet the yall have prayed harder for the life of this childer than you have ever prayed for anything in your life. God workds in mysterious ways! Good luck with everything, and I can't wait to hear you talk about this at Steubenville and things like that. Have a happy thanksgiving, and know that I will continue to pray for yall.
Travis Beslin