I hate it that it's been so long since I updated the blog!
So much has happened, the girls continue to grow and grow! They are beautiful soccer players and students. It is a joy to watch them grow. I am so proud of them.
And they are proud of their mom! This spring I was elected to the School Board in Naperville. The girls were tireless campaigners and we are all excited for this new chapter.
We continue to remember Ray! This spring so many events have commemorated Ray's life and legacy.
Most recently, we went to Washington D.C. for the Ray Fitzgerald Charity Classic Softball Tournament hosted by the Illinois Congressional Delegation. It was a great day -- around 95 people attended and we had fun playing softball and raising money for cancer research. Ray would have loved that day!
The Monday afterward, the girls and I participated in the first ever Stomach Cancer Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill! 28 stomach cancer patients and families participated in this event -- all together we met with 57 offices and we are working to send a letter to the National Cancer Institute to ask for more research for stomach cancer. This was a rewarding day. Since Ray died, I have been working to transmit the message that this deadly cancer is growing in young people. Nothing more effectively communicates that message than the young people themselves going to Congress and telling their stories.
In April, we went to Taylor for the Second Ray Fitzgerald Lectureship, where I gave the keynote speech, continuing to lay the foundation for Evangelical and Catholic partnerships to serve the world. We had great student participation and we are all looking forward to the third event, scheduled for September 24!
Also in April, the girls and I went to Brother Rice High School, Ray's alma mater, to throw out the first pitch for a varsity baseball game. That was also a moving day - we were touched by the baseball players and coaching staff who honored Ray in this way.
I continue to be asked to tell Ray's story and witness to the way that God continues to take care of our family. And I continue to be grateful for God's hand in this way.
It's Father's Day so we always miss Ray on this day. Our neighborhood hosts a little fishing tournament for Dads and kids. We participated in this tournament a few times when the girls were little -- how we all wish that Ray was still here to fish with the girls. They would no doubt be competitively working to win the tournament with a large number of fish.
We are grateful for our family. In so many ways they help us to manage all of the tasks of a super busy family with only one parent present. Ray would be grateful we know and I am grateful for their help.
We think of Ray on this day and our prayer is that he knows how much we still remember and celebrate him always. We are all blessed from the years that he was here to be a Father to the girls and a loving husband to me. We wish it was longer! But we are changed from his presence and we are grateful for the time we had.
not alone and not afraid --
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Deuteronomy 33:27