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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Thursday, June 07, 2007


I'll post this again since Blogger is blocking it again. Hmmm.

When I applied to OSU for acceptance into their Ph.D. program back in the fall of 2003, I didn’t know how I would ever complete the residency requirement, but I thought if I’d get accepted, I’d worry about that later. (The residency requirement – in my opinion, is very strict. They require you to take a full time load of courses for three out of four consecutive quarters. Most teachers take a year leave of absence while they do this. I do not know of anyone who has done both.) I didn’t know how I would be a full time teacher and also a full time doc student; yet I knew I needed to maintain our family’s health insurance, so I thought I’d just have to do it somehow. I must admit that if Christi would not have died I most likely would not have been able to do this, but as of 8PM last night I have completed my year of residence and have 120 hours on my transcript. (The Ph.D. program is 135 hours minimum; however, I’ll be well beyond that.) On the way out the door last night after class, I had my friend Judy hold my bookbag as I told her Shayla told me to do a cartwheel to celebrate the milestone, so I did. I know I still have years of continued work ahead of me; however, this was a huge step forward.

I’d like to thank all of the many sweethearts this year for providing child care to the girls so that I could take this incredible number of classes (31 hours – but who’s counting?! Hee hee). Mindy, Sherri, Tricia, Marty, Nonee, Nee, and the Grinds. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! As I wrote in my “Grateful Acknowledgements” in the final thirty page paper I wrote for my final class last night, “This paper is dedicated in loving memory to Christi. When I started my residency she was with me here on earth, always inquisitively inquiring about my classes, what I was learning and how I would apply it to my students. Now, as I complete my residency, she guides my work from above.” I also never would have made it without Shayne’s loving support! I am so blessed!

Early yesterday morning I took off for campus where I had my first meeting with my full doctoral committee. Although I was excited to share with all of them the culmination of my coursework since I started in January of 2004, I always also very, very nervous that they may not support my dissertation topic or that the questions we’ll negotiate and I’ll be working on this coming year in preparation for my oral and written examinations next summer would not be acceptable. As I headed out the door, Shayne reminded me, “It’s all perspective, Angela. This is not the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do.” And as I drove I kept thinking back to when Dr. Maris called us out into the hallway and told us Christi had a new tumor in her skull, pushing her brain across the midline and I felt faint, a feeling I had never experienced before. I knew Shayne was right and this meeting could never be that bad.

At noon, I hopped into my van, parked on campus, and dialed Shayne. He was right there for me and he answered with, “How did it go?” I said, “I could cry. It couldn’t have gone any better; I’m so happy. I’ve got a ton of work to do over the next coming years, but we’re all on the same page.” Praise the Lord!!

I was told early on to celebrate all of the little steps along the journey, so there will be a big celebration tonight!! We’ll be heading, with friends, to the Kenny Chesney and Brooks and Dunn concert. (Sorry if I spelled any of that improperly. Shayla is the little country music fan right now – I’m not.) We haven’t been to a big concert in ten years; however, Shayla is loving the Kenny Chesney songs on the radio right now so we thought she’d get a kick out of it. She’s a sweetie!

Christi's first visit to the dentist. I thought she'd be nervous so I borrowed books from the library to prepare her and when we got there she LOVED it! She thought it tickled and couldn't wait to go back! What a hoot!

After our dentist appointments on Tuesday, we went to the Seneca County Museum in our hometown. We had a lovely afternoon and I highly recommend this as a cheap treat for all. Their hours are Tuesday-Saturday 1-5PM and admission is free (Donations accepted). Shayla and I even had a tour guide; he was wonderful. We spent two hours in the sixteen room mansion and we both learned so much. I had forgotten about the museum and I wish I would have taken Christi sometime. Tuesday night she had a fun overnight with the Grine sisters. She’s still talking about it. What sweeties they are! I can only hope and pray that Shayla grows up to be mature, wonderful young woman like they are!


At 7/6/07 10:06 AM, Blogger Aimee Jackson said...

Congratulations Angela!!!!! Your acomlishments never cease to amaze me. That you were able to do this while still working and caring for Christi with the utmost love and dedication is nothing short of a miracle. I KNOW Christi is very proud of you! I can almost see her doing carthweels with you.


At 7/6/07 12:08 PM, Blogger Spring Barnickle said...

Congratulations! That is just amazing! I had no idea you were doing that many hours -- I doubt most people could do that period, much less added on to everything else you've done. Wow!

I hope the rest of your dissertation goes very well. You are so gifted -- intelligent, a great writer, creative, and full of great teaching ideas. I know whatever direction your work takes you, you'll do a fantastic job.

Doing cyber-cartwheels. :)


At 7/6/07 8:22 PM, Blogger HeatherB said...

CONGRATULATIONS ANGELA!! You are amazing!!! :)

Hope you all enjoyed the concert tonight!

I love the picture of Christi in the dentist's chair- too cute!!

Lots of love and prayers,

At 7/6/07 9:29 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Angela, you are simply amazing. Congratulations. I hope you're celebrating tonight.

Much love,

At 8/6/07 12:53 AM, Blogger Tawny said...

Congrats Angela! You are such a hard worker and I'm glad it has paid off. I bet Christi and her angel friends are having a big celebration for angel Christi's amazing mom! I don't listen to much country but I hope you all had a good time tonight. Christi looks too cool in her little sunglasses! She's too precious for words. I've never been a big fan of the dentist but I can handle it as long as I'm only getting a cleaning! *Stay Strong!*

At 11/6/07 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats, Angela on such a momentous accomplishment! This is huge. You are a fine inspiration to live life fully! Can't help but think that Christi followed your lead.


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