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, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Despite trying to be so brave, the holidays still always get to me. I know it has been three years since Christi's passing; however, holidays are still quite challenging to put it in positive terms. For us, holidays are about family and tradition and when one of your family members isn't able to be contacted, it makes my heart so heavy. Therefore, we used one of the two free sets of airline tickets we received last December when we took two bump from two oversold flights coming home from California and booked a trip to NYC so that we could pretend it isn't really Thanksgiving. We actually got on an earlier flight and were in our hotel room around 10AM on Wednesday. Denial is far from perfect, but it has really helped me by not being at home WITHOUT Christi. She was so awesome! I miss her so much!

After we met up with Olivia late Wednesday morning, we took the subway down to the NYC Tenement Museum - one of the most unique and intriguing museums I've ever visited. I had no idea it was even in existence. Then it was off for a late lunch at the famous Katz Deli while we were in the Lower East Side.

With Olivia, we were blessed to spend the day with her, viewing the balloons at the "Balloon Blow Up" around Central Park West - lots of helium and volunteers. Amazing!

Shayla spotted her friend from preschool outside of her school where we were to pick her up. She waved madly trying to get Veronica's attention. I still think it's so odd while in NYC we were trying to find a preschool for Shayla to attend. The social worker and child life specialists weren't coming up with anything close at all. One day, while Shayne took Shayla to a museum, they ran into this little girl and her dad. They lived TWO small streets away and told us about her preschool which was directly along the route we walked from the Ronald House to the hospital. Shayla started immediately and these girls were inseparable. Through telephone, email and texts they still keep in touch.

These two gals always seem to pick right up where they left off, incredible! (Of course sending Shayla to that preschool was nearly the same amount as my part-time teacher salary and Shayne was unemployed at that point in our life - 2003 - but now I believe it all worked out ok and was totally worth every penny!)

After we picked Veronica up from school it was back to the "Balloon Blowup". We were surprised the balloons were all inflated in a very tight area on just two streets.

Shayla enjoyed visiting Times Square with Veronica and playing with her back in our hotel suite before her dad came to our hotel to pick her up.

Olivia and I took Shayla to see "Mary Poppins" while Shayne met up with a buddy who lost his child to neuroblastoma too. Mary Poppins was spectacular, really amazing! Our prayers are with Shayne's friend, struggling terribly with so much in his life. We do know most families don't come out like we did after the loss of a child.

Much to our surprise, they changed the parade route this year and it went right by our hotel. We had a free four night stay due to credit card points so I thought we'd have the worst room in this gorgeous hotel due to the fact rooms are $999 and the place is sold out. I think Christi played a role because we ended up with a view of the parade route from our room. Temperatures were great yesterday for the parade (in the 50s) but to open our room window and to listen and watch the parade from the comfort of our 10th floor room - wow! It was an incredible experience! Shayne said, "I don't deserve this, but I'll take it," which summed up my thoughts as well. It was glorious! In 2004 we were able to take the girls to this amazing parade. This was MUCH BETTER than standing along the streets.

Shayla really enjoyed our incredible view!

A visit to Central Park isn't complete for Shayla unless it includes a trip to the Balto Statue! It was one of the many things that choked me up yesterday as I kept thinking, "Maybe coming to THIS city wasn't the best of ideas." We cherish so many memories of Christi here. I am soooooooooo thankful I have them - and that I had her at all; sometimes it just hurts.
We took Shayla's ice skates and spent a couple of hours at the skating rink in Central Park. Much to our delight the weather was incredible (55 degrees and sunny for the most part). It was a great way for the three of us to spend Thanksgiving day.
We spent many hours wandering around Central Park on Thanksgiving Day. We picked up some deli food for lunch/dinner back at our hotel and Shayla was ready to head back out - not me. I wanted to work on a paper I'm writing so they headed out. Pretty soon I received a text, "We're in West Side Story". I couldn't believe it - they went to see a Broadway show. Shayne said as soon as they got out of the hotel a lady was in front of the theatre holding up two tickets. Shayne said, "How much? I only have $25 on me." Because he thought he'd just walk around with Shayla for a little bit and come back to the hotel room, he only had $25 in his wallet. They were flashing the lights for the show to start so she said, "I'll take it," and they all went in to see "West Side Story" together. Amazing! After the show, Shayne brought Shay up to the room and then he went out and brought me back some NY cheesecake - wow! I don't deserve this man!

I know how very, very blessed I am! I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving together!

7 Comments:

At 27/11/09 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty and rawness. You have truly represented Christi's legacy of joy and love even in unimaginable suffering. Your new job, Shayla thriving in a new school, Shayne's athletic pursuits, and your wide network of interests and friends, are all such an inspiration. Your family is like a bountiful forest to me. Christi is the light through the trees, the heart of the forest, and never, ever absent. You continue to flourish, and provide so many others with shade of your wisdom, the fruit of your friendship, and the strength of your bonds. Christi, we miss you! And we work hard to live up to your standard of living busy and laughing often!

 
At 27/11/09 7:16 PM, Blogger Tara said...

Glad you were able to enjoy Thanksgiving - your way. We just celebrated our second Thanksgiving without our beautiful boy and we did the same thing....avoided the holiday in our way. Denial is probably not right, but I've already decided to book tickets to 'somewhere' during Christmas time. My own way of coping.. :-) God's Blessings and enjoy your weekend.

Tara Carrico
New Sharon, IA
www.caringbridge.org/ia/jacecarrico

 
At 27/11/09 10:23 PM, Blogger HeatherB said...

Sounds like you had a great time in NYC! I'm so glad Shayla was able to meet up with her special friend. I too adore my NYC friends and miss them very much!

Hope you are enjoying the rest of your weekend!

Lots and lots of love,
Heather

 
At 28/11/09 6:41 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

Hi Angie, I sorry but this has nothing to do about your posted just wanted to talk to you…..I don’t know how you and Shane stayed at the hospital like you did…….my 12 day old grandson had open heart surgery yesterday……this all started not even one week ago so we have only been at the hospital since last Monday……I have to tell you my mind did wonder to you more than once…..I have been reading your blog since before you lost your Christi………just had to stop in and say how strong the both of you were……and my how now I now how poor Shayla was flopped around….my two granddaughters have been drugged from pillar to post and like I said it’s only been less than ONE week….just wanted to drop this little note to let the both of you know how strong you were!

 
At 28/11/09 12:37 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

I had the most amazing time with you that day! Thank you so much!!!

Love you!
Olivia

 
At 29/11/09 8:55 PM, Blogger Lisa D :) said...

Angela you amaze me! You are an inspiration -- always making the best of a horrible circumstance. Of course you will always miss Christi, whether it's been 3 years or 30 years since she's gone -- but I give you so much credit for continuing to make not only new family memories, but FANTASIC and WONDERFUL and FUN family memories for Shayla.
You and Shayne TOTALLY ROCK as parents. Heck, you totally rock as PEOPLE!!!

 
At 29/11/09 10:18 PM, Anonymous Chris in Brighotn, MI said...

Are the rooms seriously $999 per night? Wow...I've been trying to convince Jim that a weekend trip to NYC would be fun sometime and I knew hotel rooms were expensive, but never dreamed they were THAT high!

 

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