Friday, February 18, 2011

The Birth of an Angel

 

web-C_Byrne

February 9, 1969 – February 16, 2011

It would be easy to be angry. To dwell on the unfairness of it all. To morn the loss of a life so young. But Cathy never took the easy route. Instead she worked harder than anyone I know. Her forty-two years on this planet were not easy. When you are handicapped nothing ever is. She never complained. Well, almost never. If you knew Cathy you knew she wasn’t a pushover either.

She was, however, the first person in line to tell someone they did a good job. If I were scrapbooking or sewing or cooking she always told me that I was doing a good job and she was proud of me. After the kids cleaned their rooms or finished another chore she would inspect their work and tell them they did a good job. When her brother finished a project around the house, there she was, telling him how he did. Doing a good job was important to her. So much so that if she thought you didn’t do a good job, she’d tell you to do it again.

Cathy put all her energy into doing a good job at everything she tried. And tried she did. I never heard her say she couldn’t do something. She would only ask how to do something and boom the next thing you know she was going at it. There was no stopping her. Her entire life she studied to be able to read better. She set goals for herself and achieved them. One of her more recent accomplishments was to live independently for the first time in her life. She was doing a good job of it.

Cathy was always looking after everyone else. For twelve years she helped raise her niece and nephew, she also volunteered at the private school they attended. I can only imagine how many times she told all the children and teachers they were doing a good job. 

She was the most helpful person I’d ever met. If you mentioned you needed anything at all Cathy would be up and out the door to fetch whatever it was so fast it would make your head spin. If you left her unsupervised anywhere near the kitchen, even only for a minute, she would have the dishes done before you knew what she was doing. Then she would ask you if she did a good job. If only she knew how good of a job she did. You see, she was fabulous at teaching others. Not in front of a classroom, but by example. Cathy always showed you what was really important in life. To never give up. To do a good job. To help others. To live, love and laugh like you’ve never been hurt.

It would be easy to be angry, but instead I am inspired. If she can get up and out of bed every day while battling cancer to walk to school in the snow at 42 years old to try to read better… well, I can only be inspired.

Cathy has earned her wings and ascended into heaven. There is no doubt in my mind she was hand picked to be someone’s guardian angel. There is no IQ test to qualify to become an angel, one must only be pure of heart. That she was and, of course, we all know she’ll do a good job.

christinesig

32 comments:

Jack said...

What a nice tribute, Christine. I know I would have loved her, she sounds like an angel. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Jack said...

Sorry, that was Milah not Jack.

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

With tears in my eyes, I offer you my heartfelt sympathy. What a beautiful, inspiring soul. Thank you for sharing her with us.
kim

Autumn said...

What a good lady. From what I have read here, she sounds like a hero for being so kind when it is hard to find that nowadays. I send you my prayers.

Courtney said...

Lovely!! May we all learn from this wonderful angel. I believe from what you've shared that she fully accomplished all her goals here on Earth...to love deeply and inspire others.
My blessings to you and your family,
Courtney

Lori said...

Ah, I'm so sorry. You are right, she has earned her wings.

NV said...

SO very sorry to hear this. Now she'll just be encouraging everyone from afar ... God love her and bless you in your time of sorrow. I know you loved her.

And she did, too. ;-)

johnmayersquare said...

What an inspiration...and she is in heaven at peace watching and guiding all the rest of us...God rest her beautiful soul <3

Snappy Di said...

Oh, how sad. I lost a friend, Cathy a year ago in February. Cathy's are just the best people!

SO terribly sorry for your loss.

Di

Gale, Ky quilter said...

What a touching tribute. It feels now as if I knew her, too. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Yes, indeed, she is an angel.

gale

Florida Farm Girl said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, but she's in heaven and doing a very good job right now. We can all be inspired by her.

Nancy K. said...

What a tremendous loss. For those who knew and loved Cathy and for those who never got the chance to meet her. The world needs more people like Cathy! She was certainly blessed to have such a loving family and as the parent of a handicapped child, I know that she also deeply enriched your lives. TREASURE all of the happy memories!

The love is palpable.

God speed, Cathy!

Hugs and my deepest sympathy to you and your wonderful family.

Left of Ordinary said...

I agree, a lovely tribute.
I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

(frequent reader, infrequent commenter, Indiana local).

JodyB08 said...

Christine, WELL SAID!!

I am one of Cathy's classmates and one of her close friends. I remember the day that she came out to another classmate and I and asked if she could read to us. She was SO proud that she was able to read the whole story. We were proud of her and let her know it. SHE BEAMED!!!

I am truely going to miss her enthusiasm and her drive. She was always the first person at school and the last one to leave. She would help wherever and whenever she could.

I feel blessed to have known her the short while that I did. She has inspired me to push harder, try more and to get up and go. I think of what she has gone through and am AMAZED at the person she was. She has had some big battles in her short life but she didn't look at them as battles but as challanges that she could overcome.

I'm sorry for your loss, Christine. You, Mike, Madonna, Phyllis, Don and the rest of the family are in my thoughts!!!

MamaMonki said...

What a beautiful tribute. I'll say a prayer for you and your family.

The Barn Door said...

So sorry for your loss Christine.

Mary Ann said...

Christine, Christine, Cathy, through you, has touched our hearts. Thank you for this wonderful tribute.

Winona said...

Christine, beautiful tribute. If Cathy could, she would say you did a good job. She definitely has earned her wings. I will pray for your family's comfort in these hard days to come. Blessings, Winona

Jayne said...

Oh Christine, I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute you wrote. It brought tears to my eyes. Cathy is truly inspiring to us all.

Karen Anne said...

I am so sorry.

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounded like an amazing person! It sounds like all of you are blessed for having been part of her life.

Penny said...

A very loving tribute to an amazing person. Good job!

Phyllis said...

Your family has my sympathy. You have an angel in heaven!

thecrazysheeplady said...

You did a good job.

Carol said...

You wrote a beautiful tribute. God indeed has another angel.

I need orange said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

The world is a better place because Cathy was here.

Mom L said...

What a touching memorial to someone who must have been a treasure to all who knew her. Thank you for sharing this - I know writing the post must have been hard. My sympathy for your loss.

Nancy in Iowa

The Chickens' Auntie said...

What a lovely remembrance of Cathy, Christine! She must have been a special person and I feel as though I know her a little bit from reading it. My prayers are with you and your family as you grieve this loss.

Mariel said...

So sorry for your loss. The world lost an angel and heaven gained one. God's blessings to you and your family.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Lovely post Christine....I am so sorry for your loss. blessings, marlene

CathyD. said...

Christine, You've written a beautiful tribute. I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to your whole family.
Thinking of you all.
Cathy

Carolien said...

Hello Christine,

A breathtaking story on your blog, so beautiful and sad because you'll have to miss that good-job-angel too.

Take care^& thanks for sharing,
Carolien