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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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Nearing the End

For years, I knew the day when I sat down to write the dedication and acknowledgement pages of my doctoral dissertation I'd be nearing the end of a very long journey. Finally, this week, while at my sister's, I wrote those pages. Even though they brought tears to my cheeks, it was a glorious feeling! It's like I am finally rounding the last curve of a nearly six year journey and making a long time dream come true. I know I have a way to go yet.....Hmmmm..let's see - preparing for and actually PASSING my dissertation defense in September, cough. Regardless, I will wrap most of my work up by Wednesday when I give my (draft) dissertation to BGSU to let them know I have completed all I can complete until fall quarter begins at Ohio State when my committee is back on campus and I can defend my research. Praise be to God; I'm nearly done!I'm really struggling to believe this great news!

Dedication:
To my beloved and cherished daughters, Shayla and Christi Thomas






Dearest Christi,

You taught me far more about life than I could have ever possibly imagined. You are the reason I am completing my dissertation and obtaining a lifetime dream of earning a doctorate degree. Through your battle with cancer you taught me that life is short and one should not put off achieving their dreams; therefore, from the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia, I submitted my application for entry into OSU’s Ph.D. program. Throughout my years of coursework, you were always curious about what I was learning. In the midst of my residency, you earned your angel wings at the tender age of nine. In your honor and memory, I somehow continued my work. With your amazing mind, zany sense of humor, deep and abiding love for others and zest for life, you created memories that will never fade from my mind. You left lasting footprints on my heart. Until I see your beautiful face and hold you in my arms again in a much better place, remember I love you, sweetpea!

Love, Mommy

Dearest Shayla,

Your earliest memories of life are of living in the Ronald McDonald House of New York City where you spent hundreds of nights as a four year old. Your life was put on the backburner for four years while daddy and I cared for your older sister, yet you always understood, never complained, demonstrated great courage and provided us with so much joy and laughter. I believe those early years transformed your life and molded you into the incredibly thoughtful, loving, compassionate and caring person you are. Your life has been filled with so many experiences both good and bad. Your heart is filled with sweetness.

Throughout my doctoral program, you have been my biggest cheerleader and my proudest supporter always encouraging me. “It’s really cool to have a mom who is going to be a professor.” “What do you mean you don’t care if you get your first B? You’ve got to go study, mom!” You understood when I would leave you in the care of others for my studies and were often saddened when I picked you up because of the special attention you received from friends and family. You cannot possibly ever know the enormity of my love and devotion to you and how very proud I am of you, young lady. I am the luckiest mom on earth to be blessed with a daughter as wonderful as you. Thank you for richly blessing my life. I love you so much!

Love, Mom

10 Comments:

At 8/8/09 8:33 AM, Blogger Mum2twopreciousgifts said...

What beautiful words Angela. Thank you for sharing something so special with all of us who follow your journey. You are inspiring.

God Bless all of the Thomas Team.

Good night from Australia.

Michelle

 
At 8/8/09 8:59 AM, Blogger Marlo said...

Congratulations from one who has cheered you on from Oklahoma.

 
At 8/8/09 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both of your daughters are wonderful people--and their mother and father taught them to be so by modeling such compassion, intelligence, and understanding. The fact that both of you always validated your daughters' point of view, prevented either one of them from feeling marginalized or displaced. Shayla knew she was a vital part of the Thomas Team, despite the fact that she was, at times, not physically with the other three members (who had to travel for hospital care or specialized treatments). I remember Shayla cleaning up Christi's hospital room in the last few weeks of her sissy's life. You took the time to explain to her that she need not be your caregiver. She listened, but made her own choice, and you were left with the gift of her note: "help is my job". And she was so secure in her own person that she chose to fly home alone on September 11th to live her own life, care for her bunny, and enjoy the love of her extended community and family. She, as much as her mother, is a Teacher in every way.

 
At 8/8/09 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful Angela! I'm just writing my conclusion right now and I decided to check if you'd posted (procrastination!) - reading your dedication reminds me that it is going to feel great when I eventually get this beast off my chest!

Such sweet words, I'm looking forward to writing mine now! I bet Shayla is proud of you! You have set her such a fine example - I bet that is where she gets all the modesty in her achievements! I'm sure Christi will be smiling down on you on Wednesday.

Irene

 
At 8/8/09 1:17 PM, Blogger HeatherB said...

Congratulations my friend!!! You are amazing!! What an inspiration you are!!

Lots of love,

Heather

 
At 8/8/09 1:25 PM, Blogger Lisa D :) said...

What a beautiful tribute Angela. It brought tears to my eyes. You have surely been on a very long journey, to get to where you are today in your doctoral dissertation, and while it must be bittersweet to be completing this without Christi physically by your side, I have NO doubt that she is proudly looking down on you with such joy at your accomplishments! Very well done Angela!!! p.s. - no worries about the dissertation defense in September, you're going to pass with flying colors!

 
At 8/8/09 8:28 PM, Blogger Linda said...

Angela,

I have tried three times now to read your dedications to your daughters, but I have failed each time. The tears falling from my eyes keep blurring my vision. I'll keep trying. What is clear is the the love, support, and devotion each member of your family has for one another. You are blessed to be the mother of two amazing daughters. They are also blessed to have you as their mother.

 
At 8/8/09 11:30 PM, Blogger Danielle Luc said...

beautiful, angela!!

 
At 9/8/09 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful heartfet words Angela!
Melissa Morley
Saskatoon SK, Canada

 
At 9/8/09 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know how you do it, but you bring me to tears more often with your blogs than anyone or anything! Your words are always so heartfelt and sincere! Thank you for sharing so much with the world!

 

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