Monday, July 7, 2008

United We Stand

Greetings to all! Well, as Ali and I approach our six-year anniversary and the birth of our family, on July 12th it’s hard to believe it’s already been six years. I know for a lot of you that may not be along time, but for me in my youthfulness, wink wink, it is one-sixth of my whole life, and that is a lot to me. I am married to the most amazing woman that God has ever kissed this earth with. She truly embodies everything it means to be a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. She does it with such love, grace, gentleness, humor and sincerity that it is very easy for anyone, but especially me to love her and desire to serve her everyday. It has been a true honor, joy and blessing to be able to journey hand in hand for the last few years and I look forward to many more to come. God has taken us on a variety of road trips over the past six years that we were unprepared for at such a young age, but with each situation God always provided us with the grace and love to weather each storm, which is what gives us our confidence today as we stand in the midst of this new road and new squall. Which leads me to my feelings of the day, or the past couple days I should say.
As I woke up yesterday morning my heart was heavy, just missing and longing for Cate. I was in the shower and I just couldn’t get her off my mind. Ali walked in, my family has NO issues with personal space or busting in on people in the bathroom and Ali began doing whatever women do in the bathroom that takes FOREVER and I said to her over the shower, “I really miss Cate today,” to which she replied, I have too. She went on to say that the past two days had been very difficult for her. We went throughout our day yesterday in a quiet respectfulness of each others processing time. There is not much to “say” right now, we have said we miss her, we have said we’re sad, we have said we’re angry. We are beginning to run out of “new” words to describe the way we feel right now.
I woke up this morning, LATE, rushed out of the door and began my morning commute to work. The passage that kept returning to my mind was from Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man leaves his father and mother, and cleaves to his wife, and the two become one flesh.” Pope John Paul II called the sacrament of marriage the “primordial sacrament,” because the purpose of a sacrament is reveal, to make known, or to make present a hidden mystery of God. Ali and I’s marriage, some days more than others, reveals a hidden mystery of God to each other first and secondly to the world. She and I are united in a similar, yet far reaching way, as the Holy Trinity is united. Therefore, our hearts will feel the same, will beat in unison, morn in unison, and hopefully heal in unison. But, for this to happen we must create an environment for that to happen. We must take time to nourish our marriage.
The other night Ali and I got the chance to go out to dinner in Lafayette to one of our favorite restaurants. We ate EVERYTHING that we enjoyed to eat, shared a GREAT bottle of wine, but as good as the food and wine were, it was not was those ingredients that made the dinner wonderful and life giving. What made the dinner wonderful for me was that Ali and I got to sit in each other’s company and not have to talk about Ecmo machines, blood transfusions or funeral preparations. We just got to enjoy each others companionship, laughter, and life. It was truly an Oasis in this desert time and reminded me that we must continue to do this for our sanity and for our marriage. It is difficult with children, as many of you know, to take time for yourselves, but it is a necessary ingredient for us to have a solid marriage, especially as the storm winds blow hard against our unity. I don’t want the winds to tear apart what we have works so hard to unite and by the grace of God they will not. We will cleave to our God and to each other during this storm knowing with confidence and hope that His Grace is sufficient. Summer is fading fast and Ali, being a teacher, knows that hers is coming to an abrupt end VERY quickly, but we are trying to sketch out a weekend where we can “retreat” just her and I to refocus our marriage and our family so that our vision might be united as we travel down this path together as a husband and a wife. Please pray that our destination may be clear and our time relaxing, refreshing, and visionary.
We have started the “Thank You Note” process, which will take a while, but we have started. We are extremely grateful for everyone who has sent flowers, food, and financial support for our family with medical and funeral expenses. We are; however, unable to find out the names of all of you who have so generously contributed to the account at Chase in honor of Cate and our family. We have tried, but the way that they handle deposits at the Chase it is impossible. If you have contributed and would like to make us aware of your donation you can either send me an email at or send me something in the mail to
P.O. Box 52978, Lafayette, La 70578 with your address information. We do not want people to think that we are ungrateful for your generosities we just are unable to get anymore information from the bank. We hope that you understand.
We love you all very much and are extremely grateful for the continued support and prayers for our family. May God continue to lavish on each one of you and your families: let us all stand united! Much Love, The Cantrells


Pat Broussard said...

Happy Anniversary to you guys. Charlie and Ali, thank you so much for this blog and sharing your family.

Crystal Judice said...

Hi Ali & Charlie

Thank you for your beautiful message today. Congrats on six years of marriage. Randy and I just made five in June. We are very grateful weve made it this far. I know what you mean that people might not think 6 years is alot, but five is for us. And its not in a bad way, marriage just takes time, patience and prayer. We do work hard at it. We will continue to pray for you and your family. I will also say an extra prayer for you and Ali. I pray that you will forever be with each other and stay together the way God would want ya'll too. God bless you!! Happy Anniversary. Keep up the good work Cantrells. Thanks for continuing this blog.

Dylan and I strolled to the cemetary yesterday for my grandpa, and Dylan wanted to go see "Baby Tate". Thats how he says it because he hasn't conquered the "c" yet. I love when he tries to talk about her. He blew kisses and said "Bye Tate". It was so cute. Just thought I would share that with you guys. Love You

God Bless
Crystal Judice

maureen Gallagher said...

Ok seriously.... your beauty, love, and transparency is so breathtakingly over the top... The Lord is really just showing off at this point. Love y'all.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!! As if I didnt have hard enough expectations for my future husband Charlie, you just made them even bigger haha...My cousin Lindsey Dawson who was in St Jude's and got treatments in Rayne with Philip is getting married on Friday so we will keep you guys in our prayers in hopes for an amazing anniversary, and I agree you should get away and relax and spend time with each other! Oh and problemo I mailed a card last week to you guys and I apparently didnt think and just looked up your address and mailed it there and havent received it back...but Ill email you to see anyway lol...Love you guys! Erin Dawson

Anonymous said...

Ok, I gotta ask you Charlie, are you for real........I wanna nominate you for CEO of Hallmark you always know just what to say..BUT I dont think you can top your last very thought out gift to your wife.....or can you? Still praying for your family, and Happy Anniversary....been 16 years for me and my better half...feels like 50 though!

NicoleC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shelley pizzitola said...

Happy Anniversary Ali & Charlie! Thinking of you often. We love you.

Shelley & Jason Pizzitola

Molly said...

Hey guys,
Happy Anniversary! Youare so right about making to reconnect with each other. Kev and I always enjoy are date nights, it makes us so much closer. I think of Cate often and ask her to pray for me now. We hope to see you soon.
Love ya'll

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary to you both!!! Its so nice to read about such a "united", loving, and faith-filled are a wonderful example of a husband and wife..and more importantly a family with complete faith in our Lord! Thanks for continuing to share...will be praying for your weekend away..may it be relaxing and rejuvenating!
Remaining in hope....
Breyan and family

NicoleC said...

Happy Anniversary!
I hope to one day meet a man who is half the husband and father you are, Charlie. And to BE half the wife and mother Ali is.
Thank you for continuing to share your lives with us.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Tommy and I will celebrate 25 in October...sometimes it seems like just yesterday and sometimes it seems like the full 25! But I don't mean "the full 25" in a negative way...just a concept of time. I'm so glad you got to get away to your favorite place, just the 2 of you. It's important to make that time together and it sounds like you both are making time for yourselves, together and alone. You may feel like you don't know "what to do"...but I think you are both doin' it right now...just loving each other and just walking the walk together.
Love, Jane W

they call me the boss said...

Happy Anniversary! Continuing to pray for you and your family.

Lila Lambert said...

This reminds me of the christian song right now "I wonder what God was thinking when He created you..He must have been thinking about me...Cause He knew everything I would need..." Then we just TRUST, big time, that He knew what He was doing when He brought us together.... God created marriage, we live in a bond He joined togther, this blows me away!!!

"Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest awhile" His words to the disciples...Our life, like theirs, is one of service to God, our family,and society. As St. Augustine says "when we rest, it is really He who rests"..God bless you, Lila

Tara said...

You all are amazing. Our prayers are with you. Love- Tara

Alicia said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Still praying the rosary every day and thanking God for the gift of Cate the Magnificant. Also your life-giving love of Him, your family and those of us who stalk your blog. :)

May God continue to bless us all in abundance.


Amy said...

Happy Anniversary Ali and Charlie. We love Ya'll!
Love The Dupres
Amy, Ben and Benjamin

Anonymous said...

As usual, you brought tears to my eyes, Charlie you really are a gifted writer! Anyway thanks again for sharing, I pray your anniversary is the retreat you need! I understand how important that is too! Michael and I will be married 7 years this Nov. and it's easy to forget sometimes that you need to spend some time with just the two of you! Anyway hope it's wonderful!
Teresa Clark

Anonymous said...

Many congratulations on the occasion of your 6 year anniversary. We just celebrated 8. Amazing how time passes and the great gift of unity can be and how difficult it can be also. I hope and pray taht you do indeed get your weekend retreat together. God bless both of you, your mourning and your celebration of unity! God bless, the Bosters

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary, Charlie and Ali. Your marriage is a gem, and as someone else commented, your transparency is beautiful. Thank you for continuing to share your true heart. Just so you know, Cate reminds me daily to pray for you guys.


Cheree said...

Charlie, you all are a beautiful example of what a loving Christian family can and should be. Thank you for sharing with us. Praying that your anniversary is peaceful and restorative. Happy Anniversary!

Cinco Owens said...

Happy Aniversary! Thank you for sharing once again with us Charlie. My husband and I will be married 8 yrs in Aug and we don't make enough time together alone without our three girls, but reading your post today made me realize that although we are happy we do need that time to strengthen our bond. Just as I learned through Cate to appreciate my daughters more I learn today from you to make more time for Eric and I. Thank you, the message you share is one of hope to all. May our Loving Lord continue to shower His Mercy on your family. JESUS I TRUST IN YOU!!! YSIC, Melanie

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,
My heart is about to explode! You two are the epitome of a wonderful relationship and what marriage is supposed to be. Your FAITH has made me stronger. I keep Cate's prayer card pinned up next to my desk at work. Everyone knows who "Baby Cate" is. Ali -- Ethan was excited to play with Dude the other day...I picture Ethan and Ella 10 years from now, Freshmen in High School precious that would be. I will be dropping off some stamps to ya'll this week, maybe Thursday. So many want prayer cards, I figured I could help you out in some way. Or I could even help you stuff some and send them out. Much Love and Prayers still coming your way, from the Garys: Jennie, Stephen, Ainsley & Ethan

Anonymous said...

Charlie & Ali--
Happy Anniversary to the couple that soooo many people look up to.

You are allowed to have bad days. Our kids are a part of us and it is so hard to come to terms with a baby going to heaven so early. A piece of you is gone, just remember that your little girl is watching over you now. I'm here if you need anything.

Love Jennie G.

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali,
I am so unbelievably blown away at your ability to let God work through you. I am so so proud of you as I read your hearts. Happy anniversary to a couple who truly exemplifies GOD's LOVE. I am always thinking and praying for you guys. Much love.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversay to both of you. Enjoy each day with each other. The love you both share is Beautiful.

God bless you and your family,

glenda said...

Happy Anniversary Charlie and Ali. I will continue praying for you and your family.

Glenda Robichaux