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.