i've looked in the east,
i've looked in the west,
the places only we
i've heard you whispering
in the night
but wake to silence
with the light.
i see you quicken
yet not be there.
just a movement of
and then in rage
the demon rears
with anger, pain,
and endless tears.
yet once or twice...
was that your touch?
i know my sorrow
must hurt you much.
and for just a bit
i finally see:
it isn't you that's lost
but me. love, momma
Welcome. This site celebrates the life of our beloved daughter, Caitlin Elizabeth Mayes who was born in Vermont on June 30, 1986 and passed over on November 27, 2005, Thanksgiving weekend, at the age of 19.
Cait battled Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia for almost 5 years. She was diagnosed on March 16, 2001 when she was 14 yrs old. She lost her teenaged years to the demon. She turned 'Sweet 16' in hospital with a fever and vomiting. She once had a fever of 108+ degrees and had to be life-flighted to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she received her cancer treatment...she loved the flight as one of the 'guys was really cute, mom!'
Cait underwent more painful bone-marrow aspirations than I can remember. She did a lot of porcelain hugging after various chemos, had mediports put in, taken out, put in, taken out due to problems. Some years she spent more time in hospital than out. Yet she never gave up.
When relapsing 10 months after undergoing the hell of a bone-marrow transplant, and I had told her that I could not in good conscience push her to undergo another bmt if they got her back in remission, she said: 'If that's what it will take to get me well, then that's what I'll do, mom; I am NOT going to stop fighting now, after all this time!'
Even when her oncologist at Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh whom we'd worked with for almost 5 years had stopped believing in her, she never stopped believing in herself. The lack of faith hurt, but she just kept going. However, sometimes OTHERS make decisions that even the strongest of us cannot overcome!
She was brave, endearing, manipulative in a sweet way, intolerant of injustice, guileless, bright, creative...all the traits that make one interesting and wonderful. Cait's heart was the biggest part of her, and whomever she met gained so much just by knowing her. She gave more than she ever took...she is my hero.
Cait loved Brit comedies such as 'Blackadder' (Baaaaaa!), 'Red Dwarf', 'Are You Being Served'. She loved old movies, Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock. She wanted to be a writer. She adored cats. She asked for a flamethrower every birthday and Christmas. She did the best Sean Connery impersonation I ever heard.
She would read anything just for the sake of reading. She was years ahead of her class in reading because I would point her in a direction and she'd take off...we'd discuss afterwards and she always 'got it'. She was the best part of me, as if whilst in utero she'd winnowed out the good and didn't accept the bad. She loved twirling as a toddler and would spin, arms outstretched, her smiling face pointed toward the sun. That such an amazing creature was born to and of me leaves me stunned to this day.
Caitie at 4 by A. Mayes
For those of us with love of hearth
content to stay at home.
For those of us with gyspy hearts
whose feet forever roam.
For those who hold their compass firm,
their path always in sight.
For those of us who’ve lost their way
and struggle in the night.
For those of us who have traveled far,
beyond the pale and more…
For those of us who miss you so,
you who have gone before.
No candle in the window
Can lead us all the way.
No lantern burns bright enough,
No matter what they say.
Those lights all diminish
With fuels that will run dry.
So what are we to do
When the season makes us cry?
The only light that's true enough
And safe from any vandal:
Is the love contained within us all
So our heart become the candle.
I hope there's dancing where you are.
And young men noble and bold.
Moonlit sand to walk upon,
A special hand to hold.
You watched as others lived their lives
And longed to be a part.
But the curtain fell, the play was done
Ere you could give your heart.
Yet now you're free! No more pain!
I sense your smile, bright as the sun.
Flowing dresses, flowing hair...
A new stage built, a new play begun.
So tonite when I look above
And wish upon a star
It will be for one thing only, my pet:
That there's dancing where you are. love, momma
This was an assignment from our grief counselor: i was to use a design incorporating the word "HOPE". H is her dad, the broken daisy O is Caitie, the P is her brother Mick and the E is me.
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I want to thank my dear friends of the eBay Soapbox for their compassion, support and incredible generosity following Cait's passing. I could not have survived the time immediately following that terrible, terrible day without the kindness, time and attention they offered at a busy time of year.
I can never thank them enough for all they did for our family. Each of them is a special person who makes the world a better place just by living in it.
Love to you all,
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A special thanks is given to the many wonderful nurses and other staff members of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Especially the nurses of 8N, where Caitie spent many, many weeks over the 5 years.
The dedication of these people is to be admired and praised. Without them, our kids would not have any chance at all.