St. Anthony, St. Ann, and St. Jude

Most of you know that my Grandma, Nanny Shea always prays to these three Saints whenever she has lost something.  Coming from a Catholic family on my Mom’s side…this has become a family tradition, a known fact that if you lose something, you pray to them.  As a matter of fact, one time I was out-of-town visiting one of my oldest best friends in Austin.  Stephanie was attending The University of Texas.  She and I had gone out for the evening on 6th Street.  Not necessarily being “Angels” per say, because there was a lot of alcohol consumption, but we weren’t out of control either.  Steph had decided to not carry a purse with her to hold her keys.   She then proceeds to take the ignition key of her jeep off the key ring and slid it down the side of the plastic cellophane covering her cigarettes so that she wouldn’t have a huge key ring to carry around too.    After Steph and I had stopped and visited several bars and ready to head home, we realized that “the key” is not in the plastic cellophane in her pack of cigarettes.   At this point we aren’t really sure where we lost the key and not really sure if we can back track our steps.   In panic mode, I stopped and told Steph, let’s say a quick prayer to St. Anthony, St. Ann and St. Jude.   These Saints are supposed to help you find anything you have lost.  We are now standing in the middle of a restroom in one of the bars, and start to say our prayer.   As we leave this bar, we are trying to trace our steps back to the last few bars and while walking;  we are looking down at the brick sidewalks, looking at the sewer drains in the street to find a needle in a haystack.   If you are familiar with 6th Street in Austin, or any major college down where all the bars are located…this key is to never be found because there are people everywhere.   After asking a zillion of people, going bar to bar and we trace our steps, becoming more desperate and thinking we may have to walk a couple of miles home or try to get a cab – with little to no money left on us.   We arrive to what we think was the first bar we went to.  We are asking around and somehow this dude from across the bar finds out we are looking for a key.  He hold’s it up in the air, and says “You looking for a key?  Is this it?”.    Steph and I are in shock and quickly grab the key from him.  We thank the random dude and head back to Steph’s place.   We didn’t talk much on the way home, and there were probably two reasons we lost that key.  1. God wanted us to sober up before we drove home.  2.  God wanted us to renew our faith in him.   OK, and maybe the key in the cellophane wasn’t a good idea either.  When Steph and I got home she asked me what the Saints names were again.  She grabbed a post-it note and wrote them on her fridge and said she would never forget that event.    

Which brings me to the reason for sharing this with you.  Scotty and I had bought a brand new digital camera last Christmas.   Shortly after we got that camera it disappeared and I’ve been praying to The Saints for the last several months.   I have looked ALL OVER this house and have asked friends and family if they have seen this camera.  Did we leave it at a friend’s house?  Even the thought of someone taking it from our house while entertaining crossed my mind.  Not that we would have anyone we know ever do that, but you just start to think these things.    Mind you, it’s been almost a year since I’ve seen this camera and after we bought a new one for our trip to Antigua in October, I’ve totally forgotten about it.   I was laying in bed the other night.  I’m saying my prayers, talking to God, talking to my Dad, to Marsha, and my Sister Courtney.  When all of a sudden the camera pops in my head.  So I asked Courtney if she knew where the camera was.  I said to her, I’ve talked to The Saints but I still haven’t found that camera and could she help me find it.  A couple of days go by and we had family come in town from Virgina Beach.  We are leaving Sunday morning to head out to church and as I go to put my coat on, I realize my right pocket is heavy.   I reach into my pocket and there it was.  The camera I’ve been looking for.   With family around me,  witnessing what I had found.  I start to tell them about my prayers and question to Court.  OK, so I start to freak out.  Here’s the camera I’ve been looking for!   The battery was totally dead, and I was hoping to find some pics of Court on it.   After we returned from church, I put the battery in and didn’t have any random pics of Court.   I’m not saying she’s a Saint – but I think she certainly had some pull in me finding that camera.  I really don’t know why it would have been in that coat pocket in the first place.  

Anyway, the point to this post is never give up on your prayers.  Keep the faith and nothing is impossible.   Write down these Saints names, because you just might need them some day.



Save the Date:

Wow, it’s amazing how so many things have started to come together after Courtney’s passing.  Although she’s no longer here, she’s still here in spirit and is making sure we will reach our $15K goal.   I sent an email out to a group of friends to Join our CF Team for the Great Strides walk in May 2010.  We now have 15 walkers signed up on our team and we are currently at $4415, that’s 20% of our goal.  Our cousin Eric Shea in Virginia Beach has booked his flight to come be a part of the walk in May.  My good friend Angela from McAfee has mentioned her husband’s band IMI might be willing to do a Charity Concert in Honor of Courtney.  Another good friend JoAna who’s also at McAfee told me she’s going to start working on a fundraiser at McAfee to raise money for our team.

Yesterday I received an email from an old friend from High School that made my day.  Sarah Brady and I were on drill team together for a couple of years and although a lot of my old “Golden Girls” will always hold a special place in my heart and some memories for life – we haven’t kept in touch except through FB and email.   Sarah has a good friend that has Cystic Fibrosis as well.  CF is not as common or known as most genetic diseases like MD, and illnesses like Cancer so the awareness and support isn’t as big.  Sarah realized this when she was searching for a CF marathon to participate in.  She discovered there are only 2 in the nation – one in Atlanta, GA and Miami, FL.  CRAZY HUH, when you know how many marathons are out there!  She will be participating in the Miami 65 Roses marathon next month and has been struggling with the fundraising efforts.  Sarah put some of her resources together and has pulled some strings to hold a CF Fundraiser at Hotel ZaZa on January 14th.  She has asked me to help her with the event in Honor of her good friend Selwa and my sister Courtney and all of those amazing CF’rs out there.  Selwa, just so you know…you have one amazing friend and an awesome Cyster now watching over you!  I can’t wait to meet Selwa one of these days.

Sarah and I will be meeting soon to work out more details and silent auction items we will have at the event.  Save the date for now and more details to come.  I have a feeling 2010 is going to be a much better year for all of us.

January 14th, 2010 . Hotel ZaZa . 6-8:30pm

Thanks Sarah, you are a God send!


Her Favorite Color Was Green

A good neighbor I greatly miss (who moved to Houston) sent me a message yesterday.  She came across a song called “Her Favorite Color Was Green”.  She was right, I absolutely feel like David M. Bailey wrote it about Courtney.  How could the lyrics fit so well?   D’Lyn and I share a great bond.  She lost her mother a couple of years ago to Cancer.  D’Lyn is as passionate about finding a cure for Cancer as I am about finding a cure for CF.  D’Lyn Biggs has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Breast Cancer research and she has inspired me to work harder to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.    Thank you D’Lyn for sending me this song.  You have always been so thoughtful!  Your prayers have been comforting.

Here’s the link to the song and the lyrics:

Her favorite color was green
That’s about all that I know
Except she knew the Lord Loved her –
her Bible told her so.

She swam in an ocean of laughter
She danced in a desert of grace
The way she loved those around her
Was written all over her face

I was there the morning she left us
I heard every tear that was shed
I wanted to ask God the reason
But I asked him what now instead

What now, God would you have us say?
What now, God would you have us do?
Wasn’t it clear she was faithful?
Wasn’t that enough for you?

God said, how could you ask such a question? Surely the answer is clear?
Do I have to paint you a picture?
Is it not enough I am here?

I said God, that’s not what I meant
But she was just too young to die
God said I know what you mean – Remember I watched my son cry
I said yes, but at least your boy is with you
God said right, and now so is she
I set her a place at my table
and man, you should see that girl eat

In fact, I wish you could see her smiling
then you’d know she feels right at home
She’s been telling the angels about you
Just so you won’t feel alone

Her favorite color was green
That’s my favorite too
She’s already sliding down rainbows
Right between yellow and blue

Video of Court

I don’t know if this plays sound, but I got the video off the Allen Family Funeral Services site, where we made Courtney’s arrangements.

Hat’s off to CF2Chat!

My Mom, Nanny, Kelly & Lindsay and I received such a wonderful gift from CF2Chat today.  This site helped our sister Courtney through so many questions, struggles and conflicts that only they would ultimately understand.  She made LOTS of life long friends who supported her through her ups and downs.  For that, we want to extend our Thanks to CF2Chat.  Wow, what a surprise to receive this in the mail today.

This is a BEAUTIFUL purple glass rose!  My Mom absolutely adored it!  We are all going to put it in a special place and every time we see it we will immediately think of Court and her other Cyster’s and Fibro’s she is with now.

How can we help contribute to those who will need a rose in the future?

Thanks CF2Chat, you made our day!!!

PS, the picture doesn’t do justice on how big and beautiful the rose really is.

Letter from Q

I’m going to post the letter Q sent to Courtney on November 21st, and I hope neither of them mind me doing so.  My family and I thought it was a very beautiful letter and wanted to share his words with all of you.  Q sent this letter to me because he didn’t think Courtney would ever see his message to her on Facebook.  I was able to read the letter to Courtney the same day he sent it, and it brought tears to her eyes – I think they were happy tears though.  I know they are sharing stories together in Heaven now.

Hey Courtney,

I don’t know that you’ll ever get this, but I wanted to say goodbye, if that’s the way it is.  We’ve been through a lot of the same stuff.  I’m sorry that transplant wasn’t the answer for either of us, but I do know that this is no failure. The opposite, in fact.

The writer Dostoyevsky, trying to find meaning among the unthinkable hardship in the Russian gulags, decided that suffering was not only an affliction but also an asset, a way to hone our character, our strength, our faith. he said our task was not to avoid suffering but to try to live up to it.  We live up to it by not letting it consume our inner selves, by not forking our will over to it.

I don’t say this often, but you have lived up to yours.  You have earned the right to let go.

I’ll always remember you for sharing this bizarre cystic life with me and the others.  I’ll remember you also for your kindness and for the way you stood behind me when half of the world was sending me death threats over Pepe. That meant more than you knew.  Now, as you prepare to take leave, to find your well-deserved rest, I remember that none of us is an island, that we each have important legacies, even if we’re just average people dealing with unpleasant realities.  Maybe we don’t always appreciate this because people forget to tell us we have touched them.

I know you have touched many people and are continuing to do so.  I want you to know I am one of them; I didn’t want to forget.

Whether I’m far behind or just a few steps, I’ll be joining you in the not-to-distant future.  I’ll ask for you when I get there.  Peace to you, Courtney.


adding the video

I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out how I can add the video from the Memorial Service to the blog, but for some reason on my computer I can’t get the video on the disk downloaded to my hard drive or moved from the disk to the blog.  So I’m going to have to try something else.  I really want to be able to share the video.  It’s 15:16 minutes long. 

Today was my official first day back to work.  It was weird going to back  because I thought of Courtney several times; like she was down at the hospital and I wanted to go see her.  When I have those thoughts it only makes me happier to remind myself that she’s no longer stuck down at the hospital.  Which has made this transition much easier for myself and my family.  We know she is enjoying her new healthy, happy, full of life at “Home” with Dad, Poppy and just recently with two more CF friends Ginger and Paul “Q”.  Courtney got a message from “Q” just a few of weeks ago, just before she passed.  He said that he was thinking of her and that he wouldn’t be too far behind her.  Well, he was right…it was less than 2 weeks and she was there to welcome him.  I’m sure of that!   Which brings me to my next point. 

I believe Courtney knew when her expiration date was going to be.  I know this blog is over 6 months old, and I can’t remember everything I have shared with you, but I know I’ve told some friends and family about this incident.  Courtney told us Angels had come to her nearly 4 months ago.  This was before she had her transplant surgery.  She said that they told her to rest her eyes.  When she told me this I said to her “It makes me so happy to hear because I know you are still here for a reason and they want you to rest so that you can get better.”  She told me “No, I think they want me to go with them.”   She had a vision that she walked out of her hospital room with them.  Then again after she had her transplant she told us about Jesus and our Dad at her bedside.  She knew he was there to help her.  It was like she knew it…she knew that time was coming.  If you had the priviledge to see Courtney those last few days of her life, you wouldn’t have thought it was going to end.  I truly believe she knew when that final day was going to be, so she was going to live her life to the fullest as much as she could with no muscles to move her legs and no strength to get up and walk out of there.   My nephew Daniel asked her on the Friday before she passed, “You’re going to die right?”.  Courtney simply looked at him with a smile and mouthed “Yep”.  WITH A SMILE!  She was so ready.  She knew what her reward was going to be!!! 

I know what my reward will be one of these days too, but I can only hope I go with the grace as she did.  I can only hope that it’s as painless and comfortable as she was.  NOT that I’m thinking of going anywhere anytime soon!. 🙂   I’m just trying to leave you with this thought…I hope YOU know.     

I somehow believe that Paul “Q” did too.  He knew his time was expiring, and he was comforted knowing that he would be joining Courtney soon.  I’m starting to think that all of you CF’rs are God’s Angels.   You just have to figure out what the purpose is…

More thoughts to come…


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