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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Friday, August 14, 2009

Was Christi's Sprit There?

Rest in Peace - Aunt Maxine

Last night at the funeral home it was very hard to say our goodbyes to such a wonderful woman. Maxine will be dearly missed and I just can't imagine how her family is going to get along with out her. It will be hard! She was so organized and worked hard and lovingly keeping the rest of them in line, wink. (I had to think, "only Maxine" when I learned about a week ago the kids came home and told her what they picked out for her casket and she sent them back saying that wasn't what she wanted - what a hoot! I'm willing to bet this most organized woman had cookies in the freezer just waiting for her funeral too!) Shayne's Aunt Maxine was a wonderful role model for me of how to be a mother, grandmother and wife.

Both of Shayne's sweet cousins told us separately about what happened with their mom near the very end. I can't quit thinking about it. It was sooooooooo much like I recently read about in that book I shared, "Glimpses of Heaven" written by hospice nurse, Trudy Harris. This is what happened:

Aunt Maxine told her family, "They're coming for me now." Her daughters asked who and she responded, "The girls." Both of his cousins told us they believe she had to be seeing or knowing it was her deceased daughter (Cathy) and Christi - because "Christi would have to be there too. She'd want to be the one to show mom around Heaven." ABSOLUTELY! SHE WOULD! Although I was strong and pretended it didn't get to me, it was incredibly moving and I'm sooooooooooo grateful they both shared that story with us. I loved hearing it twice! That would describe Christi perfectly and sweet Aunt Maxine, who probably didn't want to see the 'Pet Department' first thing, most likely put on a smile and let Christi and Cathy take her there first then off to meet God.

Last week I arrived home on a Thursday night and saw in my mail pile a book from Barnes and Noble. I thought to myself, "Great! Here's that book I ordered." Then I thought, "Hmmmmm. I really don't remember ordering a book recently." I didn't! It was a gift from my sweet friend, Olivia. And what a book it is! I highly recommend you reading it. I've given it to my mom and I think she will really enjoy it too. It's called "Here If You Need Me" and it's a memoir written by Kate Braestrup. It begins with her husband's death and how she holds her family together and takes on a new career. It is very moving (even quite funny at times) and tells a fantastic story of the love in the world in the midst of suffering. I just couldn't put it down. I read it in less than 48 hours. Thanks, Olivia!

Since I've started my new job, Shayla has been staying with her incredible grandma and grandpa. She had a wonderful time baking cookies, playing golf, learning how to drive a tractor, etc., etc. We are so blessed to have them so actively involved in our lives. As I told Shayne's cousins last night at the visitation, I just can't imagine not having my mom in my life and I will continue to pray for them as their mom is no longer here in person.


On campus yesterday I received my faculty id. After I had my picture taken and was handed my card I just stared at it and blinked away tears. The student working said, "Are you ok?" I said, "Absolutely. Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it amazing?" I went on to share, "Twenty-three years ago I was 18, I enrolled as a student, the first person on either side of my family to ever go to college and I didn't know if I could even make it to the second semester, much less actually graduate. Now I'm back........as a professor." She told me that was a great story and I told her I was very blessed to be at a great institution. I went on to explain that I had applied to another university and was scheduled to have an interview with them; however, BGSU came through with a job offer and it was great to contact that other institution and tell them I already took a job. I didn't tell them I took a job at my first choice of universities, the only one I really wanted to be at, but without a doubt, BGSU was my first choice! I am so lucky! (Feeling totally overwhelmed right now, but also very blessed!) Goooooooooo, Falcons! Rest in peace, Aunt Maxine!

9 Comments:

At 14/8/09 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angela,
I haven't been to your site in a while, and was o pleased to learn of your PHD completion and new job. Congratulations!!!!! I don't know how you did that through your greif, job, family..life. You amaze and inspire me!!! Congratulations.

Lydia Leslie

 
At 14/8/09 10:45 AM, Blogger Olivia said...

Angela, you are amazing. Absolutely amazing. BGSU is so lucky to have you!

Oh, I am so glad you liked the book, Angela! It's definitely become one of my favorites too! I was flying through it at first and then made myself slow down so that it would last longer. I even reread it the minute I finished it the first time. :p

Your sweet Aunt Maxine is in my prayers.

Many hugs,
Olivia

 
At 14/8/09 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That story gave me chills! Thank you for sharing! It is so uplifting and comforting. I know Christi came. She was such a Good Will Ambassador for her class, her school, The Red Cross, Alex's Lemonade Stand... the list goes on and on. Remember Dr. Maris telling you, in the final days of Christi's life, that he was receiving inquiries about her from people located all over the world. It's just like the Christi you shared with us, to continue her role as Ambassador. Oh, how I pray that when my time comes, it's her gentle face I see...

 
At 15/8/09 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it gives me great comfort to hear about your aunt maxine and the last moments about the girls coming for her .... i always worry about that and if in deed our loved ones are waiting for us when we pass.... god rest her soul!

 
At 15/8/09 10:25 PM, Anonymous JP said...

Wow I didn't know you were the first person in your family to attend college! You and your family continually inspire me! Praise God for blessing you with such kindness, strength, and intelligence!!

 
At 16/8/09 2:15 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

I read that book too. I am so moved that your family experienced this wonderful gift. What a blessing.

If you felt that "Glimpses of Heaven" was of help you should read "The Wonder of Heaven" by Ron Rhodes. It is a bibical tour of Heaven and really puts persepctive on where your beautiful Christi is. It is amazing.On a side note it was of great comfort to me after I lost my best friend to cancer.

Kimberly

 
At 17/8/09 10:02 AM, Blogger Leah said...

Hope the new job is going well!

I have been following your story for well over two years, but I'm not sure if I ever commented before because it took me this long to figure out how to create a google account. Sad I know. ;-)

I love your beautiful family and think of you all often.

 
At 18/8/09 8:35 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

And I forgot to add in my last comment-- I am sure Christi was there.

Many hugs,
Olivia

 
At 20/8/09 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angela, Shayne, and Shayla,

Thank you so much for the kind words about my mother. I am going to miss her so much. I feel so blessed to have the family that I have. These last few weeks have been very hard on us all but we also have some very good memories. I really feel at peace that Christi was one of them that walk my mom through the gates of heaven. My dad was so happy that there was a big turnout of the Thomas's at the funeral home. He is still talking about it. The poem you sent was awsome. We have enjoyed reading it over and over and how very impressed I was with the return label on the envelope. You go girl.....All you guys are great.

Love,
Terri

 

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