First Angel Birthday
Happy 1st Angel Birthday, Christi
Written Sunday: Events of recent days have distracted me greatly - as has a middle of the night emergency room trip we took with Shayla Saturday night (Sept. 29th) after we saw a lump in her abdomin and she was screaming in pain. Thankfully, hours later, it turned out to be a gas bubble and they found just a urinary track infection - praise God! It was horrible to relieve our fears of "cancer" with Shayla too. And the ER doc was exactly the same one in the ER with Christi that horrible night (Sept. 2002). Funny: He told us Shayla's Xrays didn't show anything; "However, I blew it and didn't see anything on Christi's either. You should call her doctor on Monday.")
Written last Thursday, the 27th:
Hopefully, the “blogger monster” (as one sweet supporter wrote about the problem) won’t eat the photos and the pictures will show up. I didn’t want any worry about my lack of posts, so I thought I’d let you know we are “ok”!! Unfortunatelly, we’ve had something huge and surprising happen yesterday, but Christi's journey reminds us of what's important in life, and what's not.
I know I should not write about all of the sweet things people have done because I will most likely accidentally overlook something, but here goes:
On Tuesday, September 18th, Christi’s “Our Little Lemonade Girl” plaque was placed at Heidelberg in front of the little tree that was dedicated to her honor in front of the Education Building at Heidelberg last year. We had anxiously been awaiting it’s arrival and when I saw a picture of it, it was the oddest feeling, but I LOVED it. Shayne couldn’t look at it for days, but he too had a gentle smile when he first saw the picture of it in place and gentle rolling tears to go along with it.
Very thoughtful donations were contributed to the Christi Thomas Memorial Fund in her honor last week. Thank you! It has been very important to us to be able to continue Christi's actions of helping others. Offering the scholarships and doing other good deeds with her fund has given us tremendous comfort.
(PHOTO: It was beautiful to see some of Christi's school friends attend the lemonade stand and have lunch. So sweet!) Heidelberg College’s Lemonade Stand, held in Christi’s memory, raised around $600 for pediatric cancer research.
Our friends' (from Philly) daughter is making her Confirmation this year. She wrote in her sweet little handwriting: Our teacher said we should choose a Saint's name and I have chosen Christi for my name. I chose Christi becuase she was an amazing igirl and it is a very pretty name. I am glad me and Christi became friends becuase I learned a lot from her. She taught people how to be kind, to help others and how to enjoy every day of your life. It will be nice to have Chrisi as a part of my name too beucase I'll think of her for my whole life. She'll be helping me from heaven all the time.
Two Seneca East friends, from Christi's class, wrote and shared how Christi influenced their lives, how she was like a sister to them and how she will forever be their friend. One wrote, "Christi was one of my friends and still is. I miss her jokes in class....Keep smiling, loving and laughing. She is watching you."
From “Hariett” (at COSI):
I wanted to let you know we had a lemonade stand here at COSI today. We called it the Christi Thomas Memorial Lemonade Stand. I didn't figure we'd make much since we're in the middle of our shutdown and not a lot of people are in the building, but we made about $160 from the team and about that much from a few Madlab friends. Here's a picture of our stand and of the awesome poster Jenn made. Several people wore yellow in support. Here's a funny story that you'd appreciate, and I'm sure gave Christi a great big giggle looking down on us. Jenn and I went to light a candle at lunch and there was a group of women sitting in the pews as we walked in. They were having some kind of meeting. So we're praying and lighting our candles and crying like idiots when the group gets up to take a tour of the church. Just as we start to sob and hug each other, this group of women decide that it would be a good time to examine something on the wall right above us. So Jenn and I start giggling to ourselves and whispering about how they're showing each other the newest addition to the cathedral: Grieving Women in Yellow. (Sadly, we learned Traci’s grandpa joined Christi in Heaven on Thurs., Sept. 20th. We know Christi is rejoicing to have another grandpa in Heaven!!)
From Tasmania: I took 10 pink balloons outside and released them in Christi's honour. Unfortunately, my camera ran out of juice before they were airborne, (Grr!), but I managed to take a few snaps of them whipping around in the wind just prior to release. I wasn't sure if it was going to be windy enough, which would have been very odd given the weather we've had recently, but as soon as I headed up the hill behind our house, a strong breeze picked up and I had to tell Christi to "slow down and be patient!" a couple of times because I almost had them yanked out of my hands before I was ready. I don't know if any will be found, but my hope is at least one person finds their way to her site as a result.
Thank you for being a constant inspiration during this past year. I have learnt more about myself through learning about Christi than I would ever have thought possible, and I'm truly thankful. I pray that you all find the strength to get through this difficult day and that the love of those both near and far continues to sustain and support you through the coming years.
From a sweet supporter (with a GREAT LAST NAME!) She stumbled upon Christi's site a year and a half ago while doing genelogy research. Amazing!
We released balloons this morning at 6 am (9 your time) for dear Christi. 9 pink and one white. I have to say I got chills. We live in the city and the only place I could think of to release them were in the park that is directly in front of our building. The tricky part is that there are many many trees most blocking the way to the sky but there is this one little gap. When I let go of the balloons they headed straight towards this one tree, which we figured might happen. At the very last minute though they did a very graceful spin and went straight up to the sky. I folded 1000 cranes for my wedding (I'm sure you are familiar with the Japanese story of Sadaku) but I saved the 919th that I folded and tied it to the balloons .
From a Sweet Friend and Supporter who also lost her brother to cancer and conducted a book drive in Christi’s memory: (She found a job and put out an email to notify many.) She wrote: “My first day will be Wednesday, September 19th, which couldn't be more apt really, for many reasons.”
From a sweet blogger:
I have followed your journey about two months before Christi's death. You were planning her service while my son was having his second brain surgery. You are a wonderful source of support. I am sending this to you after seeing orbs on pictures taken today at the horse stables. When I started to look at the pictures I noticed orbs. We have never had orbs before. I was thinking that sweet Christi was watching out for my boys as they rode the horses.
Check out this photo: The view from our patio, in Portland. Written in chalk it says, "We miss you Christi! Forever 9"
A Sweet Internet Supporter wrote:
We held a lemonade stand and a not only have we started Christi’s tradition of taking flowers to the teacher on the first day of school, but if I get to heaven before you do, I will make certain to find Christi, to tell her how much you miss her and to care for her until you get to Heaven too.
Finally, on the night of Sept. 19th, I learned that a teacher grant I worked very hard on and submitted this summer, was awarded to me from Time Warner Cable! Thanks to a sweet friend “Christi” who works at CNN Headline News (and one of Christi’s namesakes!) and to Heidelberg College’s Communication’s Department who will also be collaborating with me, my students will learn a great deal about broadcast journalism and will even be creating their own broadcasts with some new technologies and help from those who work in the profession! It brought a big smile to my face on the night of Sept. 19th and Shayne said, "I'm so glad to see you really smile about something."
I also received word that I was elected to The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi - the most selective Honor Society. They wrote, "Congratulations on your high academic success at The Ohio State University! Standards for election to Phi Kappa Phi are extremely high. Membership is by invitation only to Ohio State University's top 10 percent of all graduate students." I will be inducted at a ceremony in November. (Better get inducted before my GPA drops and they change their mind! After these three KILLER classes I'm taking this quarter, I dont' expect to still have a 3.9!! Hee hee!)
Again, I apologize for the delay in updating. When I’m able to share our latest family news, I will do so. (Can you say, “Kick me when I’m down?” No, we will make the best of things, it will turn out just fine and we really appreciate the calls of love and support we've received. As we drove to church Wednesday night two huge and gorgeous rainbows appeared over the church. It was the most amazing and beautiful thing. I told Shayne it was God and Christi letting us know that things would be ok, despite Wednesday's news. The rainbow is God's promise to us.)