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Catherine, A Sandy Hook Angel

Story ID:8945
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:? Connecticut USA
Person:Catherine Hubbard
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I love reading the inspirational accounts on Guideposts,
and I am not alone in this regard. This month I was surprised
to find on their June cover an unrecognizable face. Usually
they picture some celebrity whose story is featured. In my
opinion, this is a mistake. Celebrities get their due on
so many other levels and with other magazines. I would hope
that Guidepost would have realized this and would feature
instead everyday people on their magazine covers. Celebrity
has its place, but in my opinion, Guidepost should celebrate
the EVERYMAN on its covers.

This month they did, and featured the wistful face of one of
the Sandy Hook mothers who lost a child during the unimaginable
massacre at their school. To have 26 people gunned down all
at once is certainly a horror which we all hope and pray will
never be repeated. And, of course, the saddest part of these
killings is that 20 of them were little children.

But then, a beautiful thought for some of us who believe in
heaven -these 20 little children became instant angels who were
pure and blameless of any serious faults. Each one of them had
been precious members of their family, and now the members had
to be hopefully content to pray to their little angels in heaven.
I have a feeling, I too, will be asking favors from one of them-
Catherine because she loved animals.

Her story starts with Catherine's mother, Jennifer Hubbard
having to write her little girl's obituary. She wrote as
she started this sorrowful project: "People need to know how
much love went out of this world when she died." Then she
typed: "Catherine Violet Hubbard, age 6, born June 8, 2006
passed away Friday, December 14, 2012 during the tragedy at
Sandy Hook Elementary School. She is survived by her older
brother, Frederick...."

Writing her daughter's obituary was hard, and she couldn't help
feeling as well the grief of every mother who has lost a child
so young-whose life was over before it had begun. She wrote that
Catherine's death had left an unfillable void.

Reflecting on her little girl, she remembered that she had been
shy around adults like most little girls, but when it came to
animals or other kids, she was in her element, and it was a whole
different story. Her mother noted that her little flame-haired
daughter became a miniature Dr. Doolittle in the presence of the
animals she so loved. She felt it was her need to care for every
living thing.

Arthur Schopenhauer once wrote "Compassion for animals is intimately
connected with goodness of character...." I agree, and this little
munchkin must have had goodness and then some to love animals as
much as she did.

I loved this whole next paragragh in this Guidepost story
because this little girl became alive for me when reading her
mother's account of her in their yard:

"How many hours did Catherine spend in the backyard with her
friends patiently training our old yellow Lab mix to jump over
a stick? Hugging her. Picking her up, though she weighed twice
as much as Catherine."

Yes, I can visualize this sweet little girl hugging this big
beautiful dog of hers. She probably didn't even realize how
really heavy she was and whats more- she probably didn't care.

Jennifer continued with her remembrance of Catherine in the
yard: "She had a thing for critters-her pet bunny, her fish,
the crickets in our yard on lazy summer nights, even the worms.
Butterfies were a big deal. She'd gasp with delight when one
landed on her hand, which they always seemed to do. Maybe it
was because she'd whisper to them, 'Tell all your friends I'm

Obviously, this child was very special to be appreciative of
ALL of God's creatures. As I copied this, I thought I saw God
calling to St. Francis and telling him - I think Catherine can
be your help mate with all the petitions coming from people who
care about animals. And I saw Catherine's face light up with joy.
This was an indescribable honor for one who also loved all of
God's creation.

Her husbnad Matt looked at what Jennifer had written and said it
looked good to him. Then Jennifer observed that she had to
incorporate a memorial of some kind because people would be
wanting to send donations. After thinking a moment, he offered
a possibility - what about the animal shelter? Yes, Jennifer
agreed that this would be a fitting memorial to their child
who loved animals.

A friend found the Animal Center's address and sent it to
them. Catherine typed the address on the obituary form
requesting donations be sent there in lieu of flowers.

After the heartbreaking viewing, funeral, and saying good
bye to their beloved daughter and sister, the family turned
their attention to the Animal Center to see what had transpired.

Matt decided to visit the animal shelter and when he came home,
he reported to Jennifer that it was not a shelter per se but
a house. Horrified, they felt they had made a mistake.

Finally, Jennifer called them and a woman answered. She
explained that they were animal rescue voluteers. They didn't
have a building or anything like that. They wanted to call
earlier, but felt they should wait a bit more during the
grieving process and then pay a visit in person.

A few days later- two pleasant unassuming women paid the promised
visit. Jennifer asked them how much in donations had they received?
One replied that it was about $175,000! The donations had been
coming from all over the country and even from different parts
of the world.

Surprised, Jennifer asked them their plans for the money. They
replied that they always dreamed of starting a wildlife sanctuary.
It would be a "place where both animals and people could find
healing. It would be calm and serene. Peaceful. There would be
walking paths and places to sit. And there would be opportunities
for people to work with the animals."

Thank God thought Jennifer- their planned sanctuary would have
pleased Catherine. Six months after her death The Catherine Violet
Hubbard Animal Sanctuary was becoming a reality. Amazing that from
something so horrible as the death of one's beautiful child, something
so good and beautiful materialized and will always be a testament
to the loving life she lived.

Of this sanctuary Jennifer Hubbard wrote:

"We want it to be a place of peace, peace born of terrible,
incomprensible violence. Peace, like the peace of Christ, that is
the only answer to evil. Because no amount of hate, no gun or
bullets, can kill love. Especially the love of a child like our
daughter, Catherine Hubbard."

As for the other 19 angels, they each have a special story as
had Catherine. I know that each family has memorialized them
in some way because each young life was special. And they never
want to forget the beautiful child God sent them -even for so
short a time. And for people of faith - they will always be
able to turn to their angel in heaven and tell them how much
they love them still and how much they are missed.