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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Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Last Saw This Beautiful Face One Year Ago Today


The lid to Christi's casket was closed one year ago today. I chose not to watch that happen; I never wanted to see darkness covering this little sunshine who seemed to always radiate great light, despite all she was going through. Having had terribly challenging days recently, I try to force myself to remember all of the light and the happy times and try not to dwell on how I miss her terribly. I've never done anything so hard.

Just like we did one year ago today, we gathered out at the cemetery. The three of us sat out there for a long time this afternoon. Of course we didn't shed tears the entire time, we had a few laughs too. (We were quite surprised to see that an amazing sweetheart left two cookies. Shayla said, "Christi don't be greedy," as she took half of one cookie and put it over on my deceased father's plaque, next to Christi's. I didn't have the heart to tell Shayla that my father really didn't like sweets and he'd want Christi to enjoy cookies.....cookies & milk - what turned out to be her final food. We also played with a little game left for Christi and that made us smile as did the blue flowers we knew Christi's friend, Sarah, left.) I cannot believe the kindness we saw displayed out there today. Christi was deserving; we are not. Thank you to the kind angels on earth for stopping out at the cemetery and visiting with Christi. I have many things to share which I will do so when I am stronger.

Today, while visiting with my mom and Joe, I also shared with her the scrapbook Christi started when she was five years old and first diagnosed. Her words and her pictures are both so innocent and yet so powerful and terrifying of how she must have been feeling during those first days of experiencing hospital life. It makes me realize how well she adjusted and perhaps why she always liked to do things for the little kids at the hospitals to make them feel better. I'll also upload those scrapbook pages soon - and hope the "Blogger Monster" won't eat them! (He's been wicked recently, smile.)

Tonight, we mustered up the courage and went to Heidelberg College to see the Education Department's lasting memorial to Christi for the first time. There was great anxiety surrounding our trip as we weren't certain how we'd react when we saw the plaque/stone under the tree they lovingly dedicated to her last October. Well, since the tears have been flowing so much in recent days, there was no need to stop them tonight. It is absolutely gorgeous and the sweetest thing. As I finally made myself leave and get back into the van I said to Shayne, "There could be no greater gift. That is absolutely unbelievable." He couldn't agree more. We ended our evening by going to a campus restaurant, Christi loved so much, "Rock Creek Cafe" and enjoying pizza. Our mood lightened up while in there surrounded by the college students. Shayne made the funniest joke, which of course I reprimanded him for - it's my job - but this is what he said, "I always worried about Christi going to college and getting stoned." After he explained it to Shayla she absolutely roared with laughter too saying, "She did! She did! She went to college and got stoned!"

Finally, my deepest thanks to our Texas friends - the Bakers. This incredible drawing (Yes, drawing, it is not a photo) posted here, as well as a precious one of Shayla I'll share soon, was sent to us last week from our friends. They hired a very talented artist and I simply wept with joy when I saw it. It looks just like her - the way I want to remember her forever with that precious, innocent smile and those gorgeous blue eyes - pain free and happy. Fly, Christi, Fly!

18 Comments:

At 24/9/07 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! The drawing is so life-like. I was going to comment on the photo being absolutely gorgeous showing her bright smile...but now I am flabbergasted that it is a drawing. Christi had to have been guiding the artist's hand in that drawing! :-)

Many prayers & thoughts have been sent your way the past year, but especially the past week. I have not met you personally, but am thankful Christi & your family have come into my life. I am a bit more thankful for the things I have & try not to be so "selfish" in my expectations for my family. We never know what God has planned for us, so we now try to live each day to the fullest.
God Bless & thanks again for sharing your family with us.
Lisa
Saginaw, MI

 
At 24/9/07 8:17 AM, Blogger HeatherB said...

Thinking of you and praying for you sweet friends.

The plaque is so thoughtful and kind. And that picture is gorgeous.

May God grant you peace and strength during these most difficult days.

I love you all dearly.

With Love and Prayers,
Heather

 
At 24/9/07 10:17 AM, Blogger lisa said...

I was moved to tears by the plaque, too! I am looking forward to seeing it in person. Christi was such a blessing upon Heidelberg! I wish I could have been there to meet her!
How sweet of Shayla to "share" Christi's cookies! That made me smile, and also reminded me of the great strength that all three of you share, you're all an inspiration!
I'm so happy to have found your blog again, and have subscribed this time!
Have a blessed week!
~lisa

 
At 24/9/07 12:14 PM, Blogger Susan said...

You all have been heavy on my heart these past days. I can't even begin to imagine how yesterday was. Please know that your Christi has taught me so much about living and loving and mothering and just to never take anything in life for granted! I can't wait to meet her in heaven! My aunt died of neuroblastoma in 1949 and I sometimes wonder if all the angels in heaven who suffered from that welcome each other and show each other the ropes! Praying always for God's strength and comfort to help you!
Susan Simpson

 
At 24/9/07 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful drawing of Christi! Such a special young lady she will always be!!!

PS I can't wait to see Shayla's I know hers will be equally beautiful!

Dawn

 
At 24/9/07 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about you alot this week Angela. The drawing of Christi is absolutely stunning. You can see her personality shining out through her eyes. Beautiful, beautiful girl, inside and out.

Tracey

 
At 24/9/07 3:30 PM, Blogger Jennifer (Kids Cancer Crusade) said...

...That is the most amazing drawing I have ever seen. It looks JUST like Christi. I can't wait to see the one of Shayla too.

I imagine yesterday could have possibly been even harder than the 19th. I was thinking of you all day.

Lots of love!!

 
At 24/9/07 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have been thinking of you and your family. Anniversaries come and go, but I know that every day is hard when you are missing someone you love so much. You are not forgotten in my prayers.

Irene

 
At 24/9/07 4:04 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Haha I love Shayla's comment!! The memorial is simply gorgeous!

 
At 24/9/07 4:46 PM, Anonymous Lydia Leslie said...

Angela, Shayne and Shayla,
I cannot believe it has been a year since Christi went to heaven. I know it has been a hard journey for all of you. We never stop thinking about you all. Many prayers.

 
At 24/9/07 6:29 PM, Blogger Just Me said...

Haven't been able to keep you, your family, or little miss Christi off my mind for days now...

Ashley

 
At 25/9/07 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all made it through the first anniversary. The drawing is exquisite...how wonderful to receive such a lifelike representation of her:)

Thank you for posting the Celebration of Life Program.

Today I read an article on home funerals, and in it, the author quoted that time did not make the loss easier to bear, action did.

By your actions and good works, I pray you and the rest of your family are feeling a lessening of the grief and an increase in joyous memories.

 
At 25/9/07 10:14 PM, Blogger Aimee Jackson said...

That drawing is really incredible. It is so very beautiful. It seems like Christi's spirit just shines through it. Christi's stone is also wonderful. Just more proof of how many lives she touched. Hugs to you all.

 
At 26/9/07 5:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i tried to view christi's website and it came up as a matteress website i wasnt sure if u had cancelled her website but it was just a bit strange to be able to get on it yesterday and not today and when searching for her website through google it comes up with her information but i different site.

kind regards

all the way from australia

 
At 26/9/07 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i recently commented on how i wasnt able to get onto christi's site but have since tried again and now able to without a matteress site coming up. sorry to bother you

kind regards!!!

 
At 26/9/07 12:44 PM, Anonymous Beth L said...

I just came from our little Katia's website where I saw a prayer request for identical twin girls, born July 4, 2007, who have both been diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. The first person I thought of was Christi. I thought if you didn't already know of these two beautiful babies, I would point you in their direstion- they are waliking in your shoes x2 and I know could use your help along the way. Remembering your sweet Christi always. Here is their website:
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/dunntwins

 
At 26/9/07 8:25 PM, Anonymous nancy said...

What an absolutely beautiful picture of a beautiful girl. I read faithfully every day and want so much to leave a note but usually am too emotional to know what to say. It still amazes me that one so young made such an impression on so many people all over the world. She was soooooo special but then as I have said before, she came from exceptional parents. Continuing to pray for all of you.

 
At 27/9/07 7:30 PM, Anonymous Brooke said...

I just cant imagine your pain.

 

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