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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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Turn of the Table

I just came across this picture of Christi, hanging out in her bedroom. Ironically, note the date - exactly one year before her death. Didn't she look so beautiful that night? Oh, I miss you Christi Thomas!!

Although I am not one who believes in good or bad luck at all, I can’t help but feel that there has been a turn of the table in recent days. My professional news today is nothing short of miraculous, in my opinion. Soon after school started this year, I learned of a merit based scholarship open to all female, full time doc students at Ohio State with at least 3.75 GPAs, who had completed the majority of their coursework and were nearing completing of their degrees. While I knew the competition at OSU would be fierce and that I would not just be competing against other Ph.D. students in Education, but all doctoral programs, I went ahead and completed my application process and mailed it off. I remember telling Shayne, "I just wish I went to a smaller school because how in the world can I ever get selected from Ohio State – the largest university in the world?!" While there is no money involved at the local level, the national winner receives $10,000 - payable to their university - to complete their research. I knew I wouldn’t have a chance at the national level, but I really wanted to receive the nod from Columbus, so I applied.

Much to my surprise and shock, a few weeks ago I received word from an OSU Professor notifying me that they were interested in meeting me and learning more about me and my research for a possible nomination from their chapter for the national award. I was shell-shocked. When I learned that they wanted to meet me at their next meeting, which was on the same night I was already on campus and just 45 minutes after my class, I could not believe that was anything other than divine intervention involved because there would not have been another time in my schedule to make it! Praise God!

I was told to prepare a 20 minute presentation and that would be followed with 10 minutes of questioning on my research and work. There would be 12-20 professional women to present in front of. Of course I was terrified, but felt I needed (and really wanted) to do this.

I knew I wasn’t smart enough to receive a scholar award, but if I could feel that Christi – the smart one - was with me I’d feel much more confident. Therefore, I got out a few select things of hers that I have been “saving”. (Special items she really liked and items that once used will forever be gone.) Before I walked in, I put on Christi's favorite lip gloss and popped one of her little candy mints (now stale of course) kept a special teddy bear shaped tin, in my mouth. A little angel she drew was tucked into a pocket of my suit. I started to “talk” to her just before I walked in to present; however, then I was choked up with tears so I turned to my father instead and asked him to help me relax and to encourage the ladies to be bias, like he always was about me, and to vote for me. Thankfully, the ladies were incredible sweet and my presentation could not have gone any better. I definitely felt like that special little angel was in the room with me and gently encouraging me to do well.

Later that night, when I called my mom and Joe to share of the incredible news, I told them that it couldn’t have gone any better and with my recent run of good luck, I was tempted to go and buy a lottery ticket. I finally decided to pull over and buy a high-calorie, chocolate milkshake instead to celebrate, so I did! I also called to check on Lori at the Toledo Hospital and was so saddened to learn she had a fever and was back on oxygen. Our prayers continue for Lori and her family.

My deepest thanks and appreciation to the Columbus PEO chapter (Philanthropic Educational Organization) for selecting me – the teacher and Ph.D. student in the College of Education - as their nominee this year!! I will soon be completing the national application process and crossing my fingers about the $10,000 award to be announced in May. Hopefully, Christi and our Father will stay with me and continue to provide guidance and wisdom.

P.E.O. (philanthropic educational organization) has almost a quarter of a million members in chapters. The P.E.O. Sisterhood is passionate about its mission: promoting educational opportunities for women. P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women and to educate women through scholarships and other means. http://www.peointernational.org/ (Or click on the “red” at the top of today’s entry.)

13 Comments:

At 15/11/07 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOOHOO!!

Congratulations Angela. You've definately had your share of the bad so it's about time you get the good!!!

Tracey

 
At 15/11/07 8:30 AM, Blogger Olivia said...

I am so, so, so, so, sooooooo happy for you, Angela. No one deserves it more!

CONGRATS!

Olivia

 
At 15/11/07 8:46 AM, Blogger HeatherB said...

Congratulations ANGELA!! No one I know deserves this more!!

My prayers will be with you as you continue your studies and that you will indeed win the National Award.

I'm glad you had some special things of Christi's with you to help you feel close to her.

Lots and lots of love and prayers,
Heather

P.S. Chocolate Milkshake is my favorite celebration too! :)

 
At 15/11/07 11:35 AM, Blogger Sheila Ferrell said...

Congrats Angela!! That is amazing but yet, you have worked so hard to achieve their support.
The picture of Christi did not come through, will you please try to upload it again? Thanks a bunch!!

 
At 15/11/07 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Angela,

Just wishing you my heartiest CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Am so glad that you are being recognised for the amazing individual that you are. You sound like the kind of teacher that every child should have. I know your extra special guardian angel (and your loving dad) will be standing alongside all of your earth-inhabiting supporters willing you on & encouraging you to believe in yourself as much as we all do - you are one amazing lady Mrs Thomas!!

Oh how I wish Christi's latest photograph had shown up (even Firefox doesn't always help!!??) & am hoping that one day it may appear as some others have done. I never, ever tire of seeing photographs of 'our angel'. She continues to inspire me and doubtlessly thousands of others in ways that perhaps you can only imagine... I hope you know how grateful we all are to you for sharing her with us and how proud we all are to consider you all friends (if ever you would like a trip to the English Lake District, you would be very welcome guests her ....)

I wanted you to know too that you are very much in my thoughts at the moment as your birthday approaches. It is so, so hard - I know that from my own experience of losing much loved people. These days cannot ever be the same but I know that Angel Christi and her new angel friends will be looking forward to celebrating with you so even though it doesn't feel the same for you - you have to have fun so the angels can share it with you!!

Like many others, I am sending all of my spare love & prayers to your friend Lori & her family. When I read about her in your writing, I am always very struck by how much her personality, attitude to life & zest for learning shines through - just like you and Christi. I know that she is very special to you and your family & I wish her every piece of strength that she needs for whatever lies ahead for her. My thoughts to you also Angela as I know how it can feel to be close to someone going through this ... (I bet she loved the evening you spent with her - the best decorated room and IV pole that hospital has ever seen!)
It was great to hear that Shayla is doing so well, it's so obvious that she is growing into an amazing young lady with her own identity - one that has been & continues to be touched by her big sister & her amazing family. You are right to be very proud of her.

Anyway, I've rambled enough - you all know that I continuously sending you my love, prayers & strength each and every day.

With my very best wishes to you , Shayne, Shayla and of course our special Angel Christi.

Nicky (England) xxxx

 
At 15/11/07 1:59 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

We all miss Christi so much!

 
At 15/11/07 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Congratulations!!! It is about time things start looking up for you & your family. With all the hardships you have faced the past 5+ years you are due for some great news!!!

I will say prayers for the National board to choose you too!!!

Lisa
Saginaw, MI

 
At 15/11/07 5:33 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

Like......WOW! Go, go go, Angela! As always, my thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with you!

God Bless-Kim

 
At 15/11/07 5:56 PM, Anonymous Jessica said...

Dear Angela,

I've been reading your blog for almost 2 years and both your personal and professional accomplishments never cease to amaze me! The strength and love displayed by your family inspires me each and every day. I hope I can one day be as wonderful a mother and teacher (I'm currently getting my degree/credentials in Special Education) as you, with children as amazing as Christi and Shayla. God bless!

Jessica

 
At 15/11/07 8:53 PM, Blogger Wilson said...

My dearest friend was President of our local P.E.O. She pestered me to join, but I was always too busy with my other charitable works.

Sadly, Carol's cancer relapsed. We chose to spend more time enjoying each day together and less focusing on PEO and other good works. She earned her wings September 16, 2007. I am sure she would have been thrilled to know such a dedicated, passionate educator as you has received the honor of your local P.E.O. She would have been honored to meet you!

Best wishes on the national competition. It would take a very amazing person to beat you in the competition!

 
At 15/11/07 10:06 PM, Anonymous nancy said...

Oh Angela, that is absolutely wonderful news. I too do not believe in good luck or bad....believe God just has a plan for all of us and sometimes things don't happen the way WE want them to. As I have said before Christi was brilliant but she also came from "good stock". Think you and Shayne are both very blessed with not only brains but common sense. Will continue to pray for your dear friend Lori and her family.

 
At 15/11/07 10:25 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Congratulations, what a wonderful honor for you! You deserve it.

 
At 15/11/07 10:46 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

I will be praying for you. You have been through hell and deserve some light at the end if this storm you have endured. You, yourself need this miracle and I pray that you get it.I am sure no matter what happens Shayne, Shayla, and Christi are so proud.

Love- Kimberly

 

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