Support For Christi Thomas

This blog is to help offer support to the Thomas Family and their daughter, Christi, in her battle against cancer. Please visit Christi's website at www.ChristiThomas.com to learn more. There, you'll find journals, photos and a lots of other information about this amazing child and her family.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Past Birthdays

Christi's First Birthday (1998)

Forever My Baby You'll Be! (Christi, 1997)I have my two "sleeping baby" photos at the top of the stairs. I took this one to the funeral home and upon it's return Shayla said, "Mom, isn't that me?" I told her, "No, the other one is your sleeping baby picture." She said, "Oh. I always thought it was the other way around." We never talked about the baby pictures. Ever since then I keep wondering if Christi knew which baby picture was hers. Oh, I wish I could find out these things that died with her on that bleak September day.

I just love this picture! Christi seems to be saying, "Oh, for me??" when she came home after a busy birthday day and realized that Grandma Nee Nee stopped by and left her birthday present sitting on the kitchen table. (It was a stuffed cat; she named it Cocoa.)

The next day (May 13, 2002) the brand new five year old took Cocoa with her to the hospital where she had her tonsils removed. Little did we know it was the first of MANY surgeries she'd endure. (Photo: With the wonderful Mrs. B. who happened to be our awesome nurse when Christi was admitted to the local hospital in September of 2002 and the cancer journey began.)


I was very touched to receive the following from a fellow NB mom. We're hopeful Eden will be back home and able to make Christi's Tea Party, but we know the cancer world so we'll just keep our fingers crossed that Princess Eden can indeed join us!

Lisa lovingly wrote: Hi Thomas Team from Philly! We no more arrived and the present of Christi was apparent. Once we were settled in the RMH, Eden was hungry and wanted to run to McDonalds so as we were walking out we looked for a stroller for her and there were none to be found. As we headed for the door one of the Volunteers was walking our way with Christi’s Jogging stroller and asked if we would like to use it… I have seen it enough in pictures to know it was hers. I cried all the way to McDonalds. The next day Flashes of Hope showed up at Clinic to do pictures of Eden and asked if we knew Christi. Later that day after we were settled into our room I went to the kitchen and ran into another parent who’s Child has Neuroblastoma and once she found out we were from OH she asked if we knew Christi. Please know that Christi’s memory lives strong here in Philly as well as in the hearts of all who knew her!

After Christi died we went back to the Ronald House to pack up our room for the final time. We also donated Christi's big blue jogging stroller which served us well for all of Christi's treatment years. What was very symbolic was that it got a flat tire on that final trip to CHOP so we tried to explain to Ronald that it was a great stroller, but it needed the tire fixed and we often wondered if they ever fixed it or just threw it out. You can't imagine the comfort it gave me to read Lisa's email to know Christi's stroller is still helping other kids get around Philadelphia! Yahoo! Thank you, dear Lord!

For months I had imagined going out to the cemetery on Christi's birthday and releasing balloons. Now I've come to realize even though I feel like I should do this and that she'd love that, I just cannot muster up the courage to do so. Each time I catch a glimpse of the date and see it's so close to May 12th - always a very special time for our family, I am moved by grief. I vividly remember the very first time I held her in my arms in the recovery room following her birth and of course the last time I held her - after my plane landed in Philly and Tim safely drove us to the Ronald House. Even though her legs had been hurting all week and walking had been minimal, she burst through the gates outside of the Ronald House and jumped up right into my arms in her purple silky pajamas. I miss you so much, sweet Christi!

Eric surprises Christi by showing up at her party at the movies!Wasn't it just a year ago today when we knew it might be her final birthday so we hired a limo to pick up her friends from school to wisk them off to the ceramic shop and then to the movies? Weren't the Cooks just here to celebrate her special day? It's the oddest feeling. Like I can actually reach out and put my finger on it, then it was like she suddenly went out like a light. Well, as one can note by the time, it's been a very difficult week for us. We're going to somehow get through the weekend - her birthday, mother's day - oh my. May God be with us. We're not doing so well on our own.

17 Comments:

At 11/5/07 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angela,
I have been following Christi's (and your family's) journey for almost a year. I can't imagine having to pass these milestones, but you are keeping Christi's drive and determination alive EVERYDAY! She touched so many lives in her short time, and you continue to do so... I think you are doing a fantastic job of healing. With an angel like Christi working in Heaven and her mom and family working down here, NB doesn't know what it is up against! I will Relay for Life this year in honor of Christi here in Nebraska... Cancer has ripped through my family, but not in such a young life... You are in my prayers daily.

Heather Leuenberger
megnjaxmom@yahoo.com
www.caringbridge.org/ne/mimigracey

 
At 11/5/07 8:26 AM, Blogger Pat in CA said...

This is going to be a such a bittersweet weekend for you guys.... so sad that Christi is not physically with you but (maybe not til some time later) so joyous to see all the lives she touched as others share their wonderful memories with you. I'll be thinking of you all here in California.

Love & hugs,
Pat from CA

 
At 11/5/07 8:41 AM, Blogger Olivia said...

Dear Thomas Team,

I cannot imagine your grief during these days; my heart breaks for you.

I have no doubt the Tea Party will be a great success; you have a great team working on it both here and in Heaven. I look forward to hearing about it.

Much love & many, many hugs,
Olivia

 
At 11/5/07 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Shayne & Angela,
Just wanted you to know that we think of you often in prayer and will lift you up this weekend. May you find the strength of his enduring love sufficient.
-bob, for Laura, Anna and kids.
www.annabanana.org

 
At 11/5/07 10:31 AM, Anonymous Cammie said...

Happy Birthday Angel! Christi is spending her birthday with Jesus this year! Prayers for your family for strength to make it through the day!

 
At 11/5/07 12:37 PM, Blogger Kim said...

I am thinking of you all as Sweet Christi's birthday approaches! Prayers for peace and comfort for the Thomas Team!

With love and hope -

Kim

 
At 11/5/07 8:24 PM, Blogger Staci said...

Happy Birthday in Heaven Sweet Christi...

Angela,
I hope this weekend you feel the love around you that Christi obviously has left behind... I hope you can find the strength to wake up and enjoy these days with Shayne and Shayla.. and remember that your little one is with you always..

In my Prayers
Staci C
NJ

 
At 11/5/07 9:15 PM, Blogger Mauro C. said...

Hi there,

I would like to invite you, and your readers, to be part of my challenge.

I'm trying to post 1 Million Love Messages From All Around The World in my blog.

I hope that you can help to promote this challenge... and, of course, i'll be waiting for your message :)

Best Regards From Portugal,
( www.1millionlovemessages.com )

 
At 11/5/07 9:22 PM, Anonymous Kyra Miller said...

My prayers are with the Thomas Team at this tough time. Keep the faith and I know you can do it!

 
At 11/5/07 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Thomas Team. It is Saturday 12 May in Australia and just to let you know that we'll be singing Happy Birthday to Christi here today. I am praying that God will give you comfort to get through your first 12 May without Christi. I hope everyone has a terrific time at the Tea Party and I wish we could join you all. What a pity American and Australia are so far apart! With the thoughts and prayers of our little family to yours. God Bless you all. From Michelle xxxx

p.s. It is so sad that the pics aren't showing up on the website at present. I hope it is a temporary glitch that can be sorted out soon.

 
At 11/5/07 10:21 PM, Blogger Spring Barnickle said...

Sweet Angela, Shayne, and Shayla,

I just wanted you to know I will be releasing balloons here tomorrow for precious Christi's first heavenly birthday. I still check the blog every day and think of and pray for you so often.

There are many here who prayed for Christi that continue to lift you up. Many of your Nashville prayer warriors then and now are children, and I can't imagine anything more appropriate. To explain: I homeschool both our kids, and as I spread the word through our homeschool community about Christi, many families began praying together for yours. A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me that her twin boys, age 11, still pray for you every day, just as they did for Christi. My daughter is still absolutely faithful in asking in almost every prayer she utters (even before meals) that "Christi will be very happy in heaven and her parents and sister will not be sad and they will know she's happy."

Out of the mouths of babes -- the prayers of my first-grader are startlingly accurate in terms of what I, too, want for you, but also make it sound much too simple. I recognize that the days you face are far more challenging than I can imagine, heart-breakingly so, but I did want you to know that you are so loved, so appreciated, so admired, so respected and so remembered every single day by so many -- not just tomorrow, not just by grown-ups, and not just because of amazing Christi, but also because of who you are.

Love you so much,
Spring

 
At 11/5/07 11:59 PM, Blogger Dana said...

Praying for you all during this difficult time of remembering all the fun birthdays with Christi! So glad her memory is living on in Philly!

 
At 12/5/07 12:10 AM, Blogger Tawny said...

It's past midnight now and the first thought on my mind was that it was Christi's 10th birthday. Happy 10th Birthday Angel Christi! You're so loved and missed by many. Please make sure to comfort mommy, daddy and Shayla on this special day as they need you!

I saw Lisa's post and thought it was simply amazing. I'm so glad they fixed the tire so that other kids can enjoy it! Christi seems to be watching over all of her little buddies as they march on in their battles.

The only picture that I can see is the adorable one of Christi and Eric! I wish I could see the others but thank you so much for sharing all of these precious pictures with us! *Stay Strong*

 
At 12/5/07 3:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Thomas Team,

I have no idea what which words to use to express how what I want to say to you all today. You are not out of my thoughts for long.

What else can I say except having lost my sister and my own daughter a few years ago, I sort of understand how you might be feeling today. My love, heart and thoughts are with you on what is such a bittersweet day.

I'm sure that Christi's tea party will be a wonderful success - if I didn't live in England, I'd be there like a shot. I'll be thinking of you all and am sure Christi will be with you all day and enjoy every minute before she attends her 1st angel birthday party in heaven.

It is desperately unfair that she isn't here to enjoy more earthly birthdays with you all and I so wish that you didn't have to sing an extra loud happy birthday but I'll be singing it just as loud from here.

With much love and many hugs & prayers for your strength today. I hope that you manage to find some joy and fun among the pain and that you manage to get some comfort from the happy memories of your beautiful, clever and funny daughter and sister and the inspiration that she (and you all are to so many friends all over the world).

Take extra special care of each other & if I may, I'd like to give a special hug to Shayla as I know how it feels to have lost a big sister.

As for Christi herself - HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANGEL !!!!!

Nicky, England.

 
At 12/5/07 9:21 AM, Anonymous Mary H said...

It's my first birthday in heaven,
what a joy to partake.
My presents are flowers and rainbows
and angel food cake.

My bed is decorated with roses
and glitter.
And the stars that shine upon me
make everything shimmer.

The other angels are dancing and
singing me songs.
Soon Jesus will be joining me,
It won't be long.

We'll all gather and pray
for my loved ones on earth,
Who love me so much,
from the day of my birth.

You see, Birthdays in Heaven
are full of happiness and cheer.
We celebrate with our loved ones,
who proceeded us here.

Yes, Birthdays in Heaven
are wonderful and gay.
One day we will celebrate together,
for that moment, Mommy and Daddy, I pray

I will be sending a balloon to Christi and to Lizzie - another young girl celebrating her first birthday in Heaven - Look for the balloons, girls, they will have your names on them - Send many signs to your family today and especially to your mom tomorrow - God Bless.

 
At 12/5/07 1:07 PM, Anonymous Jennifer Richmond said...

Dear Angela,

I think of you often and when I do I remember I am not alone. You mentioned purple silky jammies...Kaitlin called them her silkies.

The other day while I was driving I caught a glimpse of our girls somehow. They were twirling and dancing with ribbons.

I am repeatedly reminding myself to just believe and know our God will see us through.

Bless you,
Jenni

 
At 13/5/07 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear thomas team,
with my own daughter birthday approching..and sweet christi not being here to spend hers with you , her loving, strong family my prayers go out to all of you . christi spent her birthday with the luckiest man this year...happy bday sweetheart..love and prayers ..kari

 

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