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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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Dance, Dance, Dance!

(PIC: Shay Shay, 3rd from left.) Last night was dress rehearsal for this weekend’s recital. Tonight we will award the 2nd annual Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarship, always bittersweet. I’ve written my speech and hopefully this time I won’t cry, but I’m not thinking that is likely. These events are still quite emotional. All week at practice, I kept thinking I should be taking TWO daughters, not just one.

(PIC: Shayla at the Walleye Fest a couple of weeks ago) Shayla and I enjoyed our first day of summer vacation yesterday. We played “restaurant” for lunch, did silent reading together (She’s finishing “Swindle” while I’m reading journal articles for my exams.), read “Dogsong”, our latest shared novel, did many loads of laundry and hung out the sheets on the clothesline, ran the sweeper, dusted and then although I won’t receive my first (of four) exam questions until Monday morning, I have negotiated enough of it with that one Professor to start working on my 20-30 page response, so I wrote for a couple of hours too while Shayla alternated between playing inside and outside (temps in the 90s yesterday). I wondered how Christi would have spent her day. Regardless, it was so nice to finally have a day at home together!

As I had a meeting in Columbus, Jennifer met us at the Ritz and took care of Shayla for the evening. Much to our shock, Shayla was able to direct Jennifer back to our home while Shayne waited at a restaurant to bring home pizza. (I had to give specific instructions that Shayla was NOT to eat in her dance costume! Sometimes, I just don’t trust my husband – hee hee. OK, seriously, when the girls were little I don't remember where we were, but I had to run and do something and when I came back, Shayne's face was white as he said, "I am so sorry, Angela. I just didn't think about it." I looked at the girls; they had stained orange hands and faces and smears on their white pants. He bought them Cheetos! It was "ergh!" at the time, but now I laugh - just didn't want to have a repeat with pizza on a light pink ballet costume last night!). I still shake my head that Shayla knew the way home from town! I also couldn't believe it when she told me, "Guess what I found in my ballet shoe at the Ritz when I went to change my costume!" It was a little angel keepsake, like an angel in a marble. I don't know how it got there, but I said, "Christi was with you!" Shayla said, "Yep!" VERY COOL!

Thursday evening was a rough one for Shayla. After dance practice at the theatre, she was to have her first “Mounted Meeting” for her 4-H horse club. She was so excited!! Unfortunately, I received a call during the day that Skeeter lost his shoes and couldn’t be transported to the fairgrounds for practice. To make matters worse, at the fairgrounds, we learned that it was our fault Skeeter was sore. Skeeter only wears shoes on his front hoofs. Thursday, most likely due to the mud, the shoes were pulled off. When Shayne and Shayla went out to ride him on Thursday, they didn’t realize he didn’t have his shoes on and they rode him for a couple of hours (ouch). The owner told me it’d be like walking barefoot. They didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary at all, but when the owner checked on him Friday morning, he wasn’t doing well. She told me he was lame and my heart just fell. She told Shayne he was ok and that they could ride him Saturday morning after he had new shoes. Shayla felt terrible that she didn’t realize he didn’t have his shoes, especially since she picked his hoofs before and after her workout. During the meeting, she stood way off to the side by herself watching her fellow club members work their horses in the arena. Later she told me, “It was like torture watching all of the other girls trot their horses in the circle. I hope Skeeter will be ok.” She will go to work and to love on Skeeter later today. The fair will be here before we know it!

Early tonight, before the recital, we’ll gather at a restaurant for Shayla to cheer on Big Brown as he hopefully wins the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. Sweet Traci and Nicole, from COSI, will be joining us. Shayla needs a little competition so this English teacher will be cheering for the horse with literature ties, even though I believe Big Brown will win. We are richly blessed to have good friends come to Shayla’s recital tonight and tomorrow!
Thanks to Jennifer to snapping photos for me last night!! I told her before I took off for Columbus, “You cannot take enough pictures.”


At 7/6/08 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

Oh I wish I could be at Shayla's recitial, she looks beautiful up on stage!

Poor Skeeter - I hope he makes a speedy recovery. You can tell Shayla we've all had situations like this with our animals, I know she takes very good care of him. I'm sorry she had to feel left out at the meeting.

Angela - I've sent you several emails but I'm having trouble with my service (can recieve but outgoing is sketchy when I'm sending new mail). Will you please write me and let me know if you've been getting them?


At 7/6/08 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shayla has changed so much since Christi's death; she hardly looks like the same little girl, sleeping on her father's lap by her sister's bedside in the hospital. She is becoming a mature, sensitive, insightful person. Christi would've been so different by now; just as Shayla has grown so much, Christi would be a pre-teen, or a "tween" by now.

The death of a child, no matter how fully their life is lived, is so devastating because of all of the potential lost. We are left wondering about everything: prom dresses, wedding dresses... never, ever a funeral dress. That first moment we hold our little one, and all of our dreams flood every second, never do we imagine the nightmare of outliving our child.

This year we've lost so many children to neuroblastoma, each one of them so cherished and special. It's very hard to imagine how they'd have changed in one year, two. When you lose a child, you lose your dreams and your soul grows dimmer, no matter how hard you try to stay bright.

Christi no doubt would've grown into quite an individual. Who knows what trials and tribulations, blessings and joys her tween years would've brought.

Each of us will fight even harder to save the lives of the children who, even now, are being threatened by disease, famine, war, domestic violence. We love you Christi. We will always dream and imagine for you and work to make the world a better place for all children.

At 7/6/08 9:56 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Wow, Shayla, you are so talented!! I hope you had a great recital!



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