Greetings to all! We just arrived home from a weekend at my sisters’ camp in Mississippi. It was an awesome weekend with family! We just hung out, rode four wheelers, fished, and ate like kings. There has always been something about the woods that sets my heart free. I do not feel trapped by a fence and suburban living. My mind and heart are free to roam where they may. My cell phone was dead and my computer was in my briefcase in my truck, and it was wonderful. No thoughts of work, bills, or anything else that ravages my mind on a daily basis. I thought about Cate often, but they were different thoughts, they were peaceful thoughts. Our families have truly been such a great blessing during this time, they let us talk if we want to talk and they do not ask us, “how we are doing?” They know that if we want to talk about Cate or about our hearts we will.
As we began our drive home my heart began getting heavy. The memories and the pain of Cate’s absence grew stronger. When I was a kid, as I wrote about in a previous blog, my mom and I would fight like cats and dogs mainly over her drinking. It would usually end the same way every time with me slamming something and walking out getting on my bike and riding away. I would just ride for hours, sometimes I would end up at a friend or a family member’s house, or sometimes I would just ride. The whole time I was riding the world was “good,” but when I would turn my bike back towards home I would be filled with all the emotions I had before I left, anger, sadness, and helplessness. It would all come flooding back, filling my heart and soul like a levee break. I have experienced that same occurrence many times over the last year. When I would be at work everything was fine, but when I would turn my truck back towards home all the emotions over Cate, her heart defect, her upcoming surgery would rage in my heart and I usually would arrive home in not the happiest mood. My poor wife, she has to deal with me ALL the time, that girl is going straight to heaven for sure.
This morning as we were driving on the interstate heading back home I felt so sad. I missed Cate, I missed her car seat being in the middle of our other two hooligan’s seats and them talking to her and making her laugh. Oh how Dude could make her laugh, at times he would make her laugh so hard that the rest of us would start laughing too. I knew that we were coming back to a house that was full of her memories that would just fall out like an overstuffed closet when the backdoor opened. I had just had this wonderful weekend with my sisters and brother-in-laws filled with laughter, scrabble, celebrity gossip, stories, and horseshoes, which I am sore from, aint that ridiculous. It was just an amazing weekend and not an hour after leaving I was right back to where I was on Friday before we left, heartbroken and helpless.
It is hard to believe it has been a month since Cate’s passing. It feels like it has been an eternity and a blink of an eye since she filled, or should I say overflowed her baby swing. Reality has set in that is for sure and if you read Ali’s blog then you know of the pain that she is experiencing. Our kids are still hurting, even yesterday sweet little Ella woke from her nap in a rather melancholy mood and of course I do not handle whining well so I was quick to fuss at her about trivial things that she could not do because she can be hard headed like her daddy. She went in the camp and sat in a chair and just cried. I went in to see about her and FINALLY asked what was wrong, to which she looked at me with tear-filled eyes and said, “Daddy, I miss Cate, I didn’t want her to leave us.” My heart was immediately filled with pain as I watch my little girl grieving over the death of her sister. I pulled her close to me and told her that I missed Cate too and I didn’t want her to leave us either. They all are hurting and as I watch and pray ferverently for them and try my best to lighten the cross that they are all carrying I know that this is just part of the process and it is just the road that we must walk right now, but it is a painful one. We are and will be a stronger family because of Cate. We are still and will continue to cling to the Cross of Jesus Christ right now. Someone included a quote of Mother Theresa of Calcutta in a card they sent us and I wanted to share it with you all as right now I find a real comfort in knowing that Christ is very close to us during this painful time. Mother Theresa said, “Pain, sorrow, suffering is but the kiss of Jesus. A sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you. May God give you all the courage to accept your cross with resignation and love in union with the passion of Jesus. God Bless you.” We will accept and embrace this cross knowing that our God loved us enough to lower Himself to become Man and to endure the Cross to pay a debt that humanity could not. We will let Christ kiss us and be close to us right now because we need him more than we need our next breath. Please remain with us in prayer, and know that we love to hear stories of how Cate has impacted your life or how you have used her for an intercessor in Heaven, it truly helps us bear this cross knowing that there is a bigger picture that God is still creating through the loss of Cate. We still have some prayer cards if you would like one please just send us your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love you all and pray for you often. Much love, The Cantrells
I also am sad to say that I will be attending the wake tonight for sweet Baby Cooper, he passed away last Wednesday night. I asked Cate to meet him at the gates of heaven and show him around. He and Cate are now causing a ruckus together in Heaven. I am saddened for his parents and his family who now have to walk this road that we are on. I wish this pain on no one. Please pray for his parents and family as the mourn the loss of their precious Cooper.