When I first read about Courageous Catie, I immediately wanted to give something to the family. So when my brother-in-law and sister visited them (at the request of my cousin, who knew the parents), I decided to tag along. When we got there, I saw Catie’s mom was rushing out to look for a place to stay. Catie’s dad couldn’t stay long with us because there was no one else with Catie. They both seemed upbeat and very friendly – which seemed like a ray of sunshine in such a somber place as a ward for immuno-compromised kids.
While there, we met Apple, who brought food for the parents. She also gave them a card from some coffee shop so they can get coffee anytime without having to fork out cash. I was amazed at such thoughtfulness and we got chatting. She didn’t know the parents personally, but was part of a group that brings food to the parents everyday so they have one less thing to worry about. I immediately gave her my number and asked her to put me in the roster too.
A few weeks later, she asked if I could take care of dinner that day. So I ordered something for them, but the delivery guy got confused and delivered to their next-door neighbor. It was embarrassing, and I told Apple bawi ako next time (I’ll make up for this next time). There wasn’t a next time. Catie soon passed away.
It took me a while to write all the things I’ve learned from Courageous Catie and her parents, since there are just so many. Here are a few.
1) Jesus loves you more than most.
This was one of the things the parents told Catie before she drifted off to sleep that she didn’t wake up from. What a wonderful, wonderful thing to teach our children. That even though we, their parents, love them to the moon and back, there is Someone who loves them even more. I’ve since taught my almost three-year-old daughter about this, and most nights, before we go to sleep, we go like this, just like Catie and her mom did:
(after prayer time, and bless and kiss and hug)
Me: I love you Lia!
Lia: I love you Mommy!
Me: I love you more.
Lia: I love you more.
Me: I love you most.
Lia: I love you most.
Lia: Jesus loves me more than most!
2) It is NEVER too early to tell them about what Jesus did for them.
At three years old, Catie already knew Jesus. I was inspired by how she was raised by her parents to obey God.
Ever since my daughter could talk and reason, I’ve been trying to decide when to tell her about the Good News that Jesus died for her. She’s not even three yet so I keep thinking maybe it’s too early. She knows the “story” since we read Bible stories every night and I explain communion to her, but I’ve never really asked her to follow me in the prayer to accept Jesus.
One night, while we were cuddling before sleep time with the lights off, I started to explain what Jesus did. That we all do bad things, like when she doesn’t obey Mommy. That we all need to be punished, like when Mommy palo (spank) her. That Jesus doesn’t want us to be punished. That Jesus wants us to go to heaven with Him. That we need to ask Jesus to come inside our heart and save us. I asked if she wanted to pray with me, and she did.
I was still wondering how much she understood until after the prayer, she looked at me and asked, “So what is Jesus gonna do inside my heart now?” My husband replied, “Jesus will help you be a good girl.”
There are still a lot of lessons but let’s end with these two first. Because my daughter is calling me to make a bed for Barbie out of blocks…