09 January, 2006

The Cathey Family Lives On

I'm sure most of the readers here will remember the heart-rending article about Major Steve Beck, a Marine casualty assistance officer. One of the families he worked with was that of Marine 2nd Lieutenant Jim Cathey. Lt. Cathey and his wife Katherine had been married less than a year earlier, in a civil ceremony. They planned an elaborate wedding when he returned. A wedding dress still hangs in her closet:

She placed the picture at the top of the casket, above the neck of the uniform. She bent down and pressed her lips to it.

"I'm always kissing you, baby," she whispered.

She took several other photos of their lives together and placed them around the uniform. She gently added a bottle of her perfume, then picked up the dried, fragile flowers of her wedding bouquet. She placed the flowers alongside the uniform, then turned again to the major.

"The ultrasound," she said.

The fuzzy image was taken two days after her husband's death. [snip] She stood cradling the ultrasound, then moved forward and placed it on the pillow at the head of the casket.
Their baby arrived as an early Christmas present to the heartbroken young widow. As Katherine says, "We brought a child into this world. He's a miracle and he'll be something that will bring joy to my life for the rest of my life."

H/T Jarhead Dad