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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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Trying Week

(PIC: After Sunday's recital we rushed to her 4H meeting. She is in green here demonstrating what she's learning about in her "Theater Project Book".)I knew this week would be a killer as I was scheduled to receive my first Candidacy Exam question on Monday morning. There will be four this summer. I negotiated the content with each of my four Professors serving on my doc committee, but I will not know the exact question (actually like 4-5 questions within one) until they arrive via email. I will then have ten days to write to each question (a 20-30 page response and references). At the end of the summer is a two hour oral defense and at the time I will find out if I'm a Ph.D. Candidate, or not. I knew the pressure this summer would be enormous, but I also told myself it's an opportunity, a culminating event, to showcase what I've learned in all of my coursework. Quite frankly, I'm scared to death and I was grateful that Shayla was scheduled to be at Ritz Theatre camp all week so I could solely focus on my writing.

(Another 4-H pic)Little did I realize that the emotions of this week would hit me so hard. While it is not true, it seems like I've spent more time crying and sleeping this week than writing. Even though I did it last year, taking Shayla to Ritz Camp (something Christi loved so much) and not Christi has been an absolute killer! I thought my next big challenge would be June 19th, but this one came out of no where and caught me off guard! One day while waiting to pick up Shayla and Donna after camp, one of the directors was talking to a parent in the lobby. She was stating how someone in NYC gave a scholarship so another child could attend. She never once mentioned Christi and the reason sweet Arabella did that; she never mentioned the scholarship Shayne and I gave in Christi's memory; I was heartbroken as I just sat there in a daze. I know she doesn't know who I am and most likely didn't see me sitting there, but I just sat there and was so hurt. Most likely just because it's been a horrendous week.

(I thought in case "Swiffer" died it'd be a good idea to have a 4H project back up so she could still take part in the fair. Therefore, in this picture she's telling her 4H Club about her Theater Project.)Shayla has commented many times, "How did Christi come home and memorize everyone's lines in the play?" It's hard just to memorize mine! Shayla has had an incredible week. I am so thankful for that. I've been out to the cemetery countless times this week.

(PIC: Shay with Grandma Nee Nee) Last year Shayla wanted to be the dog. Only one child in her class got to be the dog, the rest were mice. While Shayla came to love being a mouse, she always remembered she wanted to be a dog more. Well, they are doing "The Wiz" this year (a spinoff from "The Wizard of Oz"). She thought maybe she could be Toto, until I told her I was certain that would go to the older students. Well, much to my shock and surprise, she came home the first night TOTALLY EXCITED (Think Shayla on Red Bull) jumping into my arms telling me, "I'm Toto!" (She's called "Macho" in this play.) Although she's missed some of the fun activities with her class this week because she's had to be on stage practicing so much, she said she is fine with that and she loves her part so much. I cannot wait until this weekend to see her, even if it will be a killer not to be there waiting for Christi to come on stage too.

(PIC: Shay with Grandma Nonee. Check out those CHOCOLATE roses grandma brought her. So cute! Shayla loved them. Yum!) Well, time to count my blessings, say my prayers and get back to my writing!


At 12/6/08 7:47 AM, Blogger Olivia said...


I am so sorry this week has been so difficult. I can't even begin to imagine how painful it was for you to hear the director speaking and no mention of Christi or the scholarship. It was heartbreaking just to read that, I can't even imagine experiencing it. Rest assured that Christi is forever remembered and loved by so very many.

Many, many hugs to you,

At 12/6/08 8:28 AM, Blogger HeatherB said...

Sorry you've had such a hard week Angela.

From my other friends who have had children pass away I know those "suprise days" are almost worse than the ones you are prepared for.

Sending you much love, many prayers and hugs!

Love you guys!


At 12/6/08 3:13 PM, Blogger Nikking said...

My heart goes out to you! I can only imagine the pain you felt listening to that teacher talk about the scholarship. I, too, would have been upset that she left out the most important parts!

Hang in there, Angela!

At 12/6/08 9:32 PM, Blogger Lisa D:) said...

Angela, my heart goes out to you tonight. I've been watching some of the You Tube Christi videos and feeling so sad. I can't even imagine how you must feel as her mother! I didn't even know her and she's made such a huge impression on me.
I admire your determination in your studies and I know God AND Christi are with you through it all. May you feel peace through these difficult times and the love from so many who care. Keeping you, Shane, and Shayla in my prayers, as always...

At 13/6/08 5:17 PM, Blogger Denise said...

Angela, As a former doctoral student who is now a professor who writes comp questions for doctoral students, I PROMISE you that you can do this!!!! Your professors would not have let you get to this point if they didn't know you could do it. Take a deep breath, set a goal, sit down, and write. Then take a break, give yourself a reward, set a new goal, and start all over. Think of all the papers you've written while in graduate've done this a hundred times! Yes it's "high stakes" now, but you can do this!!! Good luck and keep us updated on how you're doing!

At 15/6/08 1:53 AM, Blogger brooke said...

oh angela! what a difficult week for you.. i am so sorry. you will continue to be in my prayers.

and your summer.. ugh. your comps sound so difficult compared to mine.

i wanted to let you know - i just got back from a visit to palestine and israel. while i am a christian, i did pray at other places as well - including the wailing wall. i left a prayer for the thomas team at the wall. i took a picture of the paper before i left it at the wall. i will send it when i get it downloaded.

brooke in logan, ut.

At 18/6/08 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I followed Christi's website and checked up on her daily for almost 3 years. Her story and your family touched my heart. I am a second grade teacher in North Royalton, Ohio and a mother of 3. I am 99% positive I saw you and Shayla at Cedar Point on Monday, June 16th. It was so nice to see you smiling and having fun with Shayla. Was it you?


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