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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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Reliving the Downhill

Well, despite the fact I'm trying not to let my mind wander back, I cannot shake it. We planned our weekend to help us not remember, but I can't help but find myself reliving how we spent this weekend a year ago. And it was at this time Christi left our home for good and headed toward her death in Pennsylvania. Christi had a pretty good day on Saturday - making "11 German Shepherds" (Today I noticed Aunt Marty has the script book Christi wrote on her refrigerator! So sweet!) I vividly remember emailing Aunt Marty and my mom on Sunday saying, "It's a good thing we made that video yesterday, Christi hasn't been able to get off of the couch all day." By mid-afternoon she perked up a bit and she put on a “pumpkin” Halloween costume a sweet supporter sent her in the mail. (And I’m so glad as she never made it to Halloween. The sweet lady sent two and I thought to myself, “Oh, let her enjoy one today and save the second one for Halloween. I’m so glad she did the one at least!) We all four sat at the kitchen table making model magic creations. (Christi's has been kept in our kitchen hutch. I just can't part with it.)

In the early evening, we had made the decision to get her to Philadelphia. I packed her suitcase, all the while praying that it wouldn't be the last suitcase I'd ever pack for her; yet, sadly weeks later I unpacked it with gushing tears. Carefully, I prepared the van trying to make it as comfortable for her as possible as I spread out many soft blankets which has been sent to her by loving supporters. (Father Joe included it in his sermon at her funeral.) Right before they left Christi asked me if I packed "Cinnamon" her teddy she made at Sarah's 10th birthday party in May. I didn't so she ran (much to our surprise and delight) up to her bedroom to get it. I snapped the final picture of her, holding that beloved bear we later gave to Sarah, and they were off.

Shayne drove straight through the night and pulled into CHOP's parking lot about 4:30 AM. He said he put his arms behind his head because he was exhausted and fell asleep. At 7:30 Christi woke up him telling him she had to go to the bathroom. At least we can laugh about this a year later....his arms fell asleep and he couldn't get them down and struggled to get her out and inside the hospital. I believe Dr. Maris and Pat were surprised and quite saddened to see them on Monday morning. Shayla and I somehow got through that week alone, just like we WILL do this year too. Shayla is doing very well - not realizing this horrible time we are suffering through. I wish I could say that her parents were doing well.

We had a nice, busy weekend getting some home improvement projects done on Friday night and a long overdue basement cleaning. (Shayne put up a beautiful backsplash in our kitchen. I'd wanted to do it for about two years and I can't believe how nice it looks. He's got a lot of talent!) Saturday we visited with his mom (She's doing great! Hopefully, she'll get the pins out and brace off in two weeks!) and his sweet aunt and uncle and grandma. Then we went to his beautiful cousin Vicki's where she had the "Thomas Party". She's quite the hostess with a large rented blow up bouncy thingy for the kids and too much good food! It was very nice to catch up with everyone. Shayla was anxious to get to Aunt Marty and Uncle Jeff's to see "Dolly" - the new horse. What a delight!! It was fun to stay over night and to get up early this morning to take Dolly out riding. Then it was off to Gambier (Home of Kenyon College) to riding on the Kokosing Gap bike trail and then back for another ride on Marty's horse. I will continue to let my mind reflect on the great weekend and try hard not to remember the hell we were enduring a year ago. I think that is best, despite the fact it's like my mind is haunting me.

I apologize for the many errors I’ve probably been making in recent posts. This English teacher isn’t well, nor at her best, yet I feel so close to Christi when I write, and I miss her so and want to feel close to her, so I continue. I think it helps me heal, but the pain right now is so raw and most likely my writings have been filled with errors too.
Oh, "HELLO, DOLLY!" Shayla couldn't have been any happier today. Last night, she couldn't wait to get to her great aunt (and her Godmother's) to meet Dolly, a Tennessee Walker - what a beauty!
Shayla jokes with her dad on our lunch stop.
So blessed to be healthy and out enjoying a great bike ride on a glorious and lovely day today in Mt. Vernon.
I came across this picture of Christi & Traci at COSI, one year before her death, and I just love it. They both look great; Christi in all her glory - at COSI and with Harriet, wow!!
Shayla at Aunt Marty's Today. This picture reminded me so much of one snapped of Christi last summer. It was used in her funeral program booklet, but I cannot find it right now. Hmmm.
I'm willing to bet I said, "Wait! One last picture before you go." I love it and am so glad I took it. She looks great here on her last minute in our home.
The last time we, as a "family of four" had a Model Magic night.
Christi's last time spent with her beloved cat, Buttercup. (Trying to put Buttercup's Halloween costume on. Needing help from Shayne on what was her final day in our home and in our state.)


At 26/8/07 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are lifting your family up in prayer with all our hearts at this anguishing time of year. Christi's bear's name was Vanilla. Cinnammon is just as delicious, of course. I always thought you should write a story from Vanilla's point of view, as the beloved toy chosen by a precious, special child, on her way to heaven...


At 26/8/07 10:15 PM, Blogger HeatherB said...

Praying for you. I'm just so sorry for this horror you are now reliving- and that you had to live it in the first place.

My heart is hurting for and with you.

I'm glad you're still writing- thanks for being willing to share your feelings with all of us. You are amazing my dear friend and such an incredible blessing to me.

May God hold you close and bring you His peace this week.

I love you all dearly.

With my love and prayers,

At 26/8/07 11:06 PM, Blogger Zeddy said...

Such a strange contradiction; I visit your page every day and in the process of feeling my heart wrench a little more as I read about your suffering, I leave feeling sustained and more determined because of your strength and courage! Worry not, English Teacher. What you occasionally lack in grammatical correctness, you more than make up for in inspiration. Thank you!

At 27/8/07 12:39 AM, Blogger Denise Ward said...

It looks like Shayla really enjoyed meeting and riding Dolly! I'm just sorry that you have to have so many memories of last year, and all the last things you all did with Christi. My prayers are with you as all try to get through the next few weeks.

At 27/8/07 6:45 AM, Blogger Olivia said...

Angela, please never apologize for your writing. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult these months, weeks and days have been for you. Your blog writing means so much to me, and I thank you for sharing so much here.

I love all of the pictures. Shayla, you're such a pro on that horse. WOW! Maybe you could give me lessons some time, eh? (smile).

Sending all of my love,

At 27/8/07 9:02 AM, Anonymous micaela said...

I think you mean the picture on this post: that looks a lot like Shayla and the kitty. It does look a lot the same.

I'm glad you all are kinda-sorta making it through. I'm sure it's unbealivebly tough.

Hugs to you,

At 27/8/07 2:48 PM, Blogger Spring Barnickle said...

Oh, precious Angela and Shayne, I wish there was something I could do. It must be so hard to try to do "normal" things when you're re-living such horrible memories. I wish I was there to hold your hand while you cried. I am praying that God will hear your grief and take mercy on you, to give you some relief and healing, some way to make it through the next few weeks especially. I love you and am glad you are able to write about how you feel on the blog. Take care, sweethearts.

Much love,

At 27/8/07 3:40 PM, Anonymous Marin said...

Angela, did you notice Christi's beautiful "halo" in the picture of her with her teddy bear? So sorry you're having such a hard time right now. Wishing you peace.

At 27/8/07 5:39 PM, Anonymous Tanner C. Moore said...

I pray for you during this time! Just keep God close and you will get through it! I love reading you post and check it daily! May God Bless.

All my love Thomas Family,
Tanner Moore

At 27/8/07 7:44 PM, Blogger anne said...

I'm so sorry you're having such a difficult time. I don't know that it means much, but please know that I'm pulling for you.

Also wanted to mention that I'm a graduate of Kenyon College. Enjoyed your photos from Gambier and the 'Vern today. Thanks for that!


At 28/8/07 6:56 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Angela - I am glad that writing makes you feel closer to Christi - maybe for selfish reasons. I enjoy reading about your incredible little girls!! I have never met you or Christi yet you are both such inspirations to me!

I cannot imagine the hell you are going through as you relive the road that you walked a year ago...I can only assure you that I pray for your family often and hope that you can feel the love and admiration!



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