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 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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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Final Clues

Shayla was up entirely too late again last night. At one point after midnight, Shayne looked over to where Shayla was sitting beside me on the couch and said, "Your body still isn't on this time zone, is it?" She giggled and said, "Not yet!"

She took great delight in telling Shayne the various locations people had guessed (some correct) via blog comments and emails from the pictures she picked out to post. I told her that I was going to post the pictures that would definitely give it away in the morning, but for the first time I felt like Christi and her funny little personality was with us through Shayla's humor. Shayla asked if I'd please just put up one more picture to "help" (cough) and then to give it away with my next post. Because I agreed, here goes with Miss Tricky's clues. (Christi would have LOVED this "game".)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Where's the Thomas team?

Miss Shayla joked around with me late last night, sitting on my lap reviewing the hundreds of photos we took, and wondering if anyone would guess where we went on vacation based on our horseback riding we posted. It was the first thing she asked when she (finally) woke up (at 11:30 AM). When I told her, "Eight comments were left, one correct guess," she laughed and laughed and asked, "Can I pick out other pictures that might help them figure it out?" Here they are! What do you think?

We spent a glorious week with Aunt Marty and Uncle Jeff. In reflection of our amazing week, Shayne said to me while driving home last night, "You introduced them as 'My aunt and uncle,' while I always said, 'Were with our good friends.'" Both of those responses are true.

Any guesses for silly Shayla - who had the time of her life on this vacation!

We're Back!

It was an INCREDIBLE trip, but it's great to be back home! Any guesses as to where we were? More pictures after some much needed zzzzzzz's! God bless!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Banker's Retirement

Eric's New Venture: .....but after a great deal of soul-searching and personal reflection about what’s really important to me and the things I want to accomplish in my life, I have made the difficult decision that I need to make a change. For this reason, I am announcing my retirement from Monarch Community Bank and will be stepping down as its Regional President at the end of July to start my own business.

As many of you may know, I have helped close friends from Ohio over the past 4½ years in their struggle against cancer for their daughter, Christi. The website that I created for the family surpassed one million hits and despite her passing in September of last year, the “blog” site the family still updates on a regular basis attracts visitors from across the globe.

While I knew this event would change me somewhat, what I didn’t expect was Christi’s personal battle to cause me to question my own “purpose” and what I really should be doing with my talents and skills. At the time I was honored that I could use my love of technology and the Internet to help the family share their story with loved ones, friends and literally millions of others across the globe. I feel this is just the tip of the iceberg…

Nine months ago today, cancer killed Christi and I still cannot shake the ugly and horrific images of our suffering child from my mind. We will now take a break from the high temps. The past six weeks have been terribly difficult, the hardest months we've yet experienced, yet we know how fortuate we are to have received the loving support of many. We wish "Webby" the very best in his new venture and thank him for blessing our lives by sharing his gifts!

Playing at a Cincinnati Children's museum, age 4, 2002 (another treasured photo)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Biking Banker Article

Supporting daddy as he competed in the International Highland Games in Glasgow, Kentucky (May 2002). Grandpa had this picture hanging up so I borrowed it and scanned it. This was taken just weeks before she was diagnosed. She ended up being very grumpy that day. We never thought she had a terminal illness, we attributed it to the fact that it was a terribly hot day. (Shayne's dad told me he liked this picture because he snapped it after I went to use the ladies room. He said Christi kept telling Shayla to stand still for the picture, but Shayla wouldn't do it. Imagine that! Hee hee!)

As I drove south to class this morning, I wondered how this summer's class would be. Soon I realized that I could count the number of classes I have to take yet on just one hand, so I ended up smiling the rest of the journey. Driving home I was again smiling as I think it's going to be yet another great one!

Tomorrow it will be nine months since Christi's death. I do not believe I've ever missed her more.

Shayla is having a great time at Girl Scout camp, despite temps in the high ninety's. Hopefully, the very high temps will break soon.

We're very proud of Eric. He raised nearly $7,000 for CNCF! What a gem! THANKS, WEBBY!

The article is very sweet Keeping Christi's Spirit Alive, Eric Races Again!

Michigan Banker Article Link

Make a Donation - Support CNCF

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

Once again, we tried very hard to pretend that it was NOT Father's Day today, because it's just too painful without Christi here. (Last year she sketched Shayne the most beautiful card - and I flew out with her early the next morning to CHOP.) This year we got up at 6AM and headed off to Maumee Bay State Park where Shayne competed in a triathlon. He's a gem - a rare and precious find! I'm so proud of him! A sweet family we know and love was there and Shayla had a ball playing with one of her friends from jazz class. I am so glad Shayla didn't have to play by herself today. That was a tremendous blessing!
Nice swim, dad! Now get on your bike.
Finished the swim, off on the bike!
Crossing the Finish Line!
Shayne celebrates with his mom (Grandma Nee Nee) after the race!

I'm also very thankful that Eric (WEBBY) finished his incredible 100 mile mountain bike race up in Michigan today. I was very concerned about him and the intense heat. We were relieved to receive a text from Eric telling us he made it and he even beat last year's time by nearly one hour - he finished 10 hours and thirty-two minutes. Go, Eric and most importantly THANK YOU for raising over $6,000 for the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. CONGRATULATIONS, ERIC!!

Tomorrow will be the start of yet another challenging week. Girl Scout camp starts and how I long to send off TWO daughters to camp. Christi really enjoyed her special time there with special people! All of these "firsts / without Christi's" are very hard. We thank the Lord and sweet people here on earth for getting us through.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Another Ritzy Week

Having Shelby spend the week with us was absolutely delightful! What continues to sadden me the most is coming home and Shayla not having her sister to run off and play. Last summer, Christi was feeling so well, they spent many hours each day off playing together while I studied at the kitchen table. This week, it was like a repeat of last summer. The girls came home from Ritz theatre camp and took off playing together while I studied in the kitchen. I just kept shaking my head and thinking about how "comfortable" it was having two kids off playing together. Then I had to remind myself that it was cousin Shelby playing with Shayla, not Christi. Nevertheless, Shayla had a glorious time - not just at camp, but also having Shelby with us all week! Thank you, Shelby!

Holding Buttercup at the vet's.
Shelby received her first horseback riding lesson (and loved it)!
I tried to squeeze in something "fun" for the girls every day!

I'm not certain it was easy for her, but she wanted to stay by herself in Christi's bedroom, so she did. Shelby and Christi were incredibly close. All week I found it odd to have someone in Christi's room - a room I typically try to avoid, telling myself she's really in there talking on the phone, reading or drawing. One morning I walked by and noticed Shelby just staring and looking at Christi's things displayed on her dresser. I walked in and gave her a hug. Later I asked her if it was hard staying in Christi's room because she could stay with Shayla or stay in my room or in the living room - whatever she wanted. She told me she just trys not to think about Christi being dead because that's so sad but she likes staying in Christi's room and she knows that Christi would want her to have fun in her room like they always did.

This reminds me of a picture I just "saved" from my cell phone, taken nearly one year ago.
Shayla & Christi, June 2006

Our little squeaker (Shayla - a mouse)
Shelby, a begger

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Memorial Ballet Dance

My deepest thanks to the very kind man who took this home video during Friday's dress rehearsal so that Christi's webfollowers can see this beautiful dance performed by sweet and talented dance teachers Christi adored. THANK YOU!!

Movie Link*
*Note, this is a rather large file (over 8 MB), so dial-up users likely will not be able to view this video. Sorry.

Don’t wait out the storm. Learn to dance in the rain.

Shayne was in Milwaukee this week for work and he text messaged me the words printed above, knowing I was really saddened again this week, being the Ritz's summer theatre camp for kids. Even though I texted back: "I don't want to dance in the rain. I don't want to dance, period. I want her back in our arms and dancing on our stage, not God's!!" I do think she taught us to "dance in the rain".

I stopped at the cemetery on the way to my teachers' meeting Wednesday (where it was wonderful to see my dear friends again) and I discovered three beautiful silk flower bouquets left at her grave. Even though it took me a bit to get over my emotions due to someone's kindness, I kind of felt like it was she had received her flowers following her stage performance. She always loved receiving flowers after her performances at the Ritz, be it her dance recital or summer theater camp show. God's people are good. I called my sister and asked if she left them on Sunday afternoon and she said that she did not. People are simply amazing and we have been richly blessed. As Shayne said to me recently, isn't it amazing that other people haven't forgotten Christi. I know I'm not the only one missing her belly laugh, silly joke telling and her captivating smile. Rest in peace, CT!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pat: Christi's Nurse Practitioner / Alex's Lemonade Stand (Video Clips)

Another heartbreak caused a lot of tears last week. It was learning that Christi's dear, dear nurse - Pat Brophy (We often referred to her as Dr. Maris's partner and right hand woman.) was diagnosed with cancer. In this video clip, (click on the center for the five minute video to start) Pat is also with the recently deceased Kendall, his twin brother Zachary and sweet mother Aimee. Just seeing and hearing Pat's voice was enough to bring me to tears, but then to have her talk about her own battle with cancer made me weep. Our prayers are with Pat and her family.


The great Pat Brophy will never know how richly she blessed our lives! On Shayne’s very first trip to CHOP with Christi, in 2003, he met Pat for the first time. When he called me later that evening he was raving about this incredible nurse. Soon after, I met her myself and could easily understand why he gave her such a glowing report. I also always found Pat to be bright, professional, efficient, and one of the most compassionate women I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.

I will never forget her kindness, especially when Christi relapsed and was in pain in January of 2006, and also when she arrived with the team about 20 minutes following Christi’s death saying, “No matter how many times I do this, I never know what to say.” Nor will I forget her remarkable ability to keep calm and professional, when I was everything but! One incident stands out in my mind in particular because of how upset I was (although she probably didn’t know it) and how calm Pat remained, despite my distress.

Date: March or April 2006
Location: Day Hospital
Pat: “What are we going to do?” (Regarding the fact that it was Friday and Pat had worked her fingers to the bone getting a one time shot approved and available for Christi, but Christi would have to receive it at the Ronald House on Saturday. Pat did not know Shayne had given Christi every single shot, he was home with Shayla and I was not about to ever give her a shot, period.)
Angela: “I don’t know. Figure it out. I’m going to go get Christi a sandwich. That's something I can do.”

When I cooled off and came back, Pat had once again waved her magic wand and had arranged for a nurse to arrive at the Ronald House for Christi on Saturday. (In reality, Shayne flew in because he missed Christi terribly and knew she wouldn’t want anyone but him giving her any shots.) I will never forget Pat going all out for us like she did that day – and countless other days.

Trying to work full time, go to school part time and also take care of a child with a terminal illness (and be a wife and a mother to a health kid) probably didn’t make me the most pleasant person to be around at times, especially when it came to scheduling Christi’s care. Pat would kindly arrange Christi’s many tests/appointments and I’d sometimes respond, “That doesn’t work for me. How about ……..” That angel on earth would work her hardest to try to ensure Christi’s care while allowing me to try to live a life that I knew had to go on, with or without my daughter. My most treasured times with Pat were not of talking about Christi’s care, but of talking to another working woman about my career and my students. I’ll forever be grateful of her kindness, professionalism and friendship. What a blessing she is to all who know and love her! Gooooooooooo, Pat - truly a hero!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Living the Spirit of Christi

**A sweet fellow dance parent sent me an electronic video this morning of the dance teacher's tribute captured at dress rehearsal on Friday. Eric's hopefully going to add it to the blog soon. I think you'll love the beautiful dance once you see it.**

Megan sent me the sweetest email. I'll include this:

I can't even imagine how hard this week must have been for you and Shayne. Even I had a really difficult time pulling myself together for this memorial dance. It did help me to choreograph it, however, as dance has always been my outlet. Before the dance on Saturday, Hannah, Heather, and I also started sharing "Christi stories" with each other and had each other laughing and crying at the same time. We have so many funny memories of her that won't soon be forgotten. Although it was a very emotional time backstage and in the audience, it just goes to show you how many people still love your little girl.

I'm going to share some of the sweet words written about Christi in this amazing young lady's application materials.

Through teaching dance, I have learned so much through all of my students, including Christi, but if I had to remember one thing about Christi and one lesson she has taught me, it would be to laugh often. As I think back to the times she was in my class, in the hallways, and at the Ritz, I really don’t think she ever stopped giggling! She was always so full of life and had an extremely contagious laugh. There were so many times when she would send her fellow dancers into hysterical laughing fits, as I would try to mask my own laughter in order to maintain control over my class. This was a quality that we should all strive for. After all, life is too short to be miserable all the time and we should all strive to enjoy life as much as this young child did.

The second way that she has inspired me is through my education. I am constantly inspired to do more and push myself harder as I think of all the children who didn’t get the chance to graduate, attend college, and be all that they could have been. I keep the bookmark that I received at Christi’s funeral in my SSR book for school. Everyday I look at her picture and am inspired to keep going and work harder. This includes my plans for higher education. She and I both love to learn, read and work hard.

I love to learn and will continue to balance my education, family, friends, and dance as I create a life for myself in a new chapter in my book of life. I know if I were to receive this scholarship I would be extremely honored and will strive to make Christi proud in my quest for representing her life and spirit and incorporating her many positive qualities into my life. However, even if I don’t receive this scholarship, I will continue to live her life’s example and will never forget the small child who inspired so many in her short years of life on earth.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Christi's Tribute

Four of Christi's former teachers and assistant teachers put together an incredibly moving tribute to Christi for Dance Unlimited's recital. The song they selected was also sung by Tiffany Grine at Christi's funeral. I'm sharing the words here in case anyone doesn't know the song and would like to read the words. The ladies were phenomenal doing ballet on pointe and they received a standing ovation. (It was very angelic!)

On Sunday afternoon I sat in the front row of the balcony, again crying like a fool. I sat beside the gentleman doing the DVDs. I asked him if it would be possible to get an electronic version of the girls' tribute dance so that I could put it on Christi's blog and he said he thought he'd be able to do that, but it won't be until August. If and when it's ready, I'll be so happy to share it here!

"To Where You Are" by Josh Groban

Who can say for certain
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory's so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be?
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn't faith believing
All power can't be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
'Cause you are my
Forever love
Watching me from up above

And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

I know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are.

My sister wrote:

The tribute was amazing! I felt like I got to see her dance again and I was
so impressed by the love and outpouring (again) of your community.

Hannan and Megan performed another lovely memorial dance for Christi, back in May, at her tea party fundraiser. THANK YOU!

We stopped at Christi's gravesite on the way out. We were all pretty
emotional after the tribute and it just felt good to stop at the cemetery.
The pinwheels and butterfly are so wonderful. They weren't moving much at
all when we initially got there. But by the time we were ready to leave
William asked if the pinwheels are to keep Christi from getting too hot? He
said that he really misses her and then we went to leave. During this time
the pinwheels blew like crazy. Almost as if waving good bye or for Will's
entertainment. I don't know. Gil and I both commented that we've heard
people say they "feel the presence" of a loved one and we both felt like
maybe she was there? William commented about half way home that he really,
really misses Christi and that he's sad. I know she'll always be special to
him, even though he's young.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Angela's Speech Given at the Ritz Saturday Night

After we sent the bikers off Saturday morning and then attended a graduation party, we came home for a couple of hours before heading back to help at the Poker Run and I decided I was going to give a little speech about Christi and her love of dance after all. Therefore, I sat down and quickly typed up the following. Although my hands were shaking terribly, by the grace of God, I did not cry and my voice at least was steady!

Our daughter, Christi Thomas, started dancing with Dance Unlimited when she was 4 years old. She had a glorious year and was happy about returning for her second year, so when she was five, we headed back up those stairs to start her first lesson for the year. That’s when we learned that Christi’s mother (smile, oh that would be me!) made a big mistake and had arrived one week early for class. Although I called Mary Jo in a panic that day, and then was very embarrassed upon learning my mistake, I am so glad I took her a week early because that was the only trip up those stairs she made that entire year, since she was diagnosed with cancer a week later.

Four months into Christ’s treatment, back in 2002, treatment failure was declared in Columbus and this brilliant man beside me did not accept the suggestion of transitioning Christi over to Hospice, but instead found a hospital in NYC with experimental treatments willing to take on Christi’s case, so we loaded up, left Tiffin and moved into the Ronald McDonald House of NYC where we lived for nine months. One night that spring, when Christi was five years old, she was dancing around out little room doing little ballerina twirls. I said, “Oh look, my beautiful ballerina. Show me first position.” Christi responded, “First position? I don’t remember first position,” and she took off dancing toward the restroom. Shayne looked over at me and said, “We paid how much for dance lessons and she doesn’t even remember first position?” We have laughed about that countless time because, you see to us Dance Unlimited means NOTHING about first position, but everything about their position on FAMILY.

It has been the continued love, support and compassion we have noticed since Christi first started taking classes in 2001. We will forever be grateful for the very special relationships and love shared with us by Mary Jo and Bob, and all of the families and teachers. Many sent cards, gifts, money and prayers when we desperately needed help. We will forever be grateful to be a part of your special dance family.

In 2003, when Christi was six, and we had been living in the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House for a few months when I received an email from Mary Jo informing me that she needed the girls measurements for their recital costumes. I told Mary Jo that it was six months away and I didn’t know when we would be back or quite frankly if Christi would even still be alive in six months. Mary Jo informed me that she did not care, the girls were a part of Dance Unlimited, she wanted them in the recital and she needed their measurements for their costumes asap. I know you don’t mess with Mary Jo; you just do what she says (She’s like a mom to all of us and really knows best.) so I sat my laptop down, told Christi’s I’d be back as soon as I found a tape measure and I took off running around the hospital asking countless nurses for a tape measure until I finally found one who had one in her purse. (Whew!) I vividly remember running back and taking Christi’s measurements at the hospital while she was receiving a blood transfusion. As I was doing this, she was telling her nurse that she was a dancer and will get to wear a pretty outfit on a real stage. Mary Jo’s kindness in getting those costumes ordered – which they actually wore, will forever be treasured. I know she did not need to include the girls and once again it just demonstrated to us the importance of family Mary Jo and Bob have for their dancers.

In December of 2005, I purchased Christi’s first (and last) pair of pointe shoes. She was very, very excited about them and after her first practice with them in January of 2006, she wanted to take them with her to CHOP where she was enrolled in a new clinical trial so she could show them to her nurses and doctors, which she proudly did and which she displayed beside the television in her hospital room. Many times last year, we traveled with her pointe shoes because they made her so happy. I often hung them from her IV pole because they were a great conversation starter and they made her smile. I also had them placed in her coffin because they were so special to Christi and they made her feel so normal and so happy.

At that point in time, January of 06, Christi’s health took a turn for the worse and many loving cards, pictures and letters started arriving in Philadelphia from her dance teacher, Megan, and her jazz and ballet classmates. She really treasured all of those, showed them to her nurses, and would have me hang them all up in her room so she could see them from her bed.

Shayla and Hannah Last September, from inside of Christi’s hospital bed in Philadelphia, where I planted myself knowing it’d be our last moments together, I taped a picture Megan had sent to the rails of Christi’s bed. Her eyesight was starting to fail and I wanted her to be able to see the love of her dance family surrounding her. It was also at that time that I sent out an email to Bob asking if after Christi made her Heavenly debut, if he’d please escort her body one final time by serving as her pall bearer. It only seemed appropriate to us that a dear member of our family should give our little ballerina, one final lift to her resting place.

Bob and Mary Jo, I have been avoiding you all week because I haven’t wanted to break down and cry and to tell you how much we are going to miss you. Thank you for showering us with your love and support over the past four years. It is truly appreciated and we wish you a glorious retirement.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Ritz's Summer Theatre Camp

I took these photos off of Christi's dresser where she placed them in her bedroom and scanned them to share (and to save them on my computer). She treasured her summer camp experiences at the Ritz and we're most thankful to them for setting up a Christi Thomas Scholarship to allow a needy child the opportunity to attend the summer camp. The cost is $100 making it not a reality for all children. We think Christi must be happy about giving another kid the opportunity to attend. During her three wonderful years at theatre camp, she was in all her glory!

June 2005, age 8
June 2006, age 9

THANK YOU SO MUCH for all who came to watch Shayla dance this weekend and for our dear Dance Unlimited family for helping see us through one of the most challenging weeks we've faced. We're deeply humbled.

This morning I told Shayne, “I don’t think we cried this much since the week of Christi’s death.” He responded, “It’s definitely been one for the record books.” As much as I’d like to put it behind me, I think this coming week is going to be a repeat. It’s the Ritz Theatre’s summer camp. Not taking Christi into the theatre each morning is going to rip my heart out. She loved it so! I have lots of sweet things to share so I will do so in upcoming days. Thanks for checking in. As I told some absolutely wonderful ladies I was blessed to have dinner with this evening, “Knowing others still care gives me so much comfort. It really helps.” Thank you!
I sat with Shayla's little dance friends this afternoon in the balcony and I am absoutely stunned by their kindness. The girls asked me to sit in the middle of them because they said I was funny. They told me some of the most profound things for little girls. "My mom told me Christi's probably dancing in Heaven." "You must be really sad your daughter died; I'm sad for you." "It was really funny last night when you said that after a year of dance lessons, Christi couldn't remember first position." And of course, "You didn't cry last night, but your hand was really shaking. We could see that all the way up here in the balcony." They made my day!

Dance Orbs and Stray Cats

After looking at all of the dance pictures again this morning, I only see one orb. Interestingly noteworthy, the only orb I see is on the photo of Christi's two $1,000 scholarship winners. It's of her former teacher and assistant teacher.

When I went to bed last night, Shayne, his mom and Shayla were still sitting in the kitchen talking. I had just closed my eyes when I heard Shayne say, "Shayla, what did Christi say she would do if she could give us a sign that she was with us if she died first." Shayla said, "She said if we looked out and saw a strange cat then we'd know she was with us." Shayne said, "Well, there is a cat I've never seen before out in the yard." I could hear Shayla's little feet running across the floor and the front door open followed by a scream of delight. It was precious. This morning that cat is not here.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Loving Day

God's people are good. I spent a lot of time today just shaking my head in amazing at the love we witnessed. Nearly 80 motorcycles rode in the Christi Thomas Memorial Poker Run today and many others also shared their love with us tonight at the Dance Unlimited's recital. We are very grateful. I'll share more pictures in upcoming days. THANK YOU!Billy, at Rush Graphics, did an incredible job on these absolutely gorgeous tee shirts, wow!
This choked me up. Cody, one of Christi's dear friends from school, rode the entire route today with his father. Amazing thoughtfulness. I was so happy to see them!

Very touching.....the "Friends of Christi" drove the loop at the cemetery before heading out. Many came up to me at the dinner and told me they were crying as they drove past us. (Of course so was I!)
Thank you and congratulations to Bob and Mary Jo on their retirement. (27 years with Dance Unlimited) What a blessing they've been to our family!
Congratulations to this year's Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarship recipients: Lindsay, Julia and Megan. I didn't want to share anything on the blog ahead of time, but we just couldn't award one scholarship so we decided upon two $1,000 (for each of Christi's former teachers - Lindsay and Megan) and one $250.00 book scholarship to pay for Julia's textbooks in the fall. We were blessed with many wonderful applications and we wish these incredible young women the very best. I will soon share one of the essays - which took me about five days to get through it, just like the amazing young woman who wrote it - it's really something special!

Camera Phone Pics

CT & Kaylyn, 2006

Well after all of that "downer" stuff, I reflect upon yesterday and something fabulous did indeed happen! I was finally able to retrieve every photo off of my phone and I now have them saved on my computer! Praise the Lord and thanks to my most brilliant husband who did what I'd been trying to do for nine months in about one hour. Thanks, Shayne!Even though he knows about my (small) piece of mind, he'll never know my peace of mind of now having the photos off of my phone. I had been very worried that I'd lose my phone, or that I'd drop it in the toilet (right, Hariett?) and those pictures would be forever lost. Whew! I'll share more pics later.

Dance Unlimited Orbs

As I'm exhausted, yet unable to sleep thinking about the recital, I sit here looking through the pictures I took at dance rehearsal tonight. I didn't notice the orbs earlier, but I've lightened this photo so show how they're now jumping out at me (just on the pictures of the Christi Tribute, no others). Christi adored all of her dance teachers. Late last night, I ran out and bought single white roses to give to each teacher. I don't know how I'm going to get them to the ladies, or if I even will, (or if I'll have Shayla do it since I often use her for my "cop out" to get things to CT's friends) but I thought they'd go well with their beautiful angelic like costumes.

CT's first recital (age 5.1, year 2001)
Tonight, Shayne is planning to announce the scholarship winners, but first I'm planning to say thank you to Dance Unlimited, Bob and Mary Jo and I hope to say a few words about what Dance Unlimited means to us. Those who know me, know that I always have a typed "speech" or at least outline ready to go. As of now, I have yet to do that. It's the first time I've not been able to get myself together to do this. I'm wondering if that means I'm going to back out tonight or if it will come together for me some time soon. I can't even begin to explain how highly we think of our Dance Unlimited family. I'll never forget this hectic week and yet Bob always managed to still run over to Christi's Lemonade Stand. Amazing! Yesterday, I received many kind words and hugs from many sweet moms. I also received the most lovely card letting me know the dance family is thinking of us during this difficult time. I guess no one would question why we love these people so much!

Bob Murry wrote a beautiful poem, "in memory of our little dancer, Christi Thomas". It is printed in the program book:

A whisper of a little girl,
Too soon we had to part;
Dance through our memories,
Dancing through our hearts.

A smile that glowed for all the world,
A voice forever kind;
Dancing through our memories,
Dancing through our minds.

You never questioned your life’s plan,
The pain your days had brought;
Dancing through our memories,
Dancing through our thoughts.

May each of us feel your joy’s song,
Each day when we arise;
To keep us dancing through our years,
Keep dancing through our lives.

"The End" (June 2004)

We simply cannot believe that Bob and Mary Jo are retiring and moving away. We totally understand their desire to be closer to their children and grandchildren, yet we will miss them terribly. "Thanks for the Memories"! Best wishes, much love and congrats to you on your retirement!