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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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Graduation Day

Getting ready to leave for graduation on Sunday morning I said to Shayne, "This is really happening. I am so lucky." He responded, "Luck had nothing to do with it. You worked hard, made many sacrifices and stuck with the strategic decisions you made to get you there." I thought, "Awwww..I love this guy!" (And yes, I had many good reasons to quit along the way, but thank the Lord, I did not!) Later I received a graduation card from a friend that backed up Shayne's words. It said, "God blessed you with a good mind, and He placed some opportunity in your way, but all that hard work - that was all you." My graduation day was simply magical. I really cannot describe it in any other way. To be able to spend time with our close family and friends at the luncheon was awesome! To be hooded by my sweet University Advisor who did not even need to attend graduation to hood me at all, but who did - I'm so blessed. (And we are currently working together on two projects so that is way cool in my little rookie world!) I know it was a long day for my family/friends, it was a long day for me, but they are THE GREATEST! I may not be lucky, but I am tremendously blessed! (And because I love my family so much, I will not even post the pictures I've received via cell phone during the ceremony of them NAPPING during my graduation ceremony - was it really that boring?! The texts and pics I received from my family were so funny. They are awesome.) Regarding the ceremony: I didn't expect it to be as emotional as it was but as soon as I walked in, made it to a place where I could safely turn to look up to find my family (and to hear them yelling and Shayla ringing a cow bell even though they were three layers up and I could barely see them - even with my 20/15 laser vision surgery eyes) tears started pouring out of my eyes and didn't want to stop. I could only think of the many sacrifice they put up with while I was often tied to my computer, my books, my students and traveling to and from classes. I may not be lucky, but I'm definitely very fortunate and very blessed! I'll share some pictures soon. Aunt Marty shared hers with me and when my mom returns (all too soon, so sad) back to Florida I think she'll send hers my way so I can share. I understand Joe took a bunch for me. And Joe - what a gem....the day before I left my special pillow I have to sleep with due to my neck "issue", on the airplane. Mom and Joe flew in about six hours after Shay and I did. Joe went back to the airport TWICE and he was able to track down my pillow for me. (Had it wrapped up in a present which was totally hilarious, but thank God for Joe!) In Savannah mom said to someone in our group, "Joe's going back to Ohio in December - only because Angela asked him to. He wouldn't go to Ohio in December for any other reason, but when Ang said she wanted him to attend her graduation, he couldn't book his flight fast enough to be there for her." I love that awesome dad too! The little video clips show me arriving in the Shot and also receiving my diploma from Dr. Gee, president of the Ohio State University. Before he awarded diplomas he assured us, "This will be the last line you will ever have to stand in at OSU." Ahhhhhhhhh! God is good! I was so glad Dr. Fresch was there to hood me, I hugged her and held her hand as far as I could hold it up the ramp to the stage where we separated. She blew me a kiss and I felt so proud walking across that stage. I wore two angel pins on my gown - one for my deceased father and the other for Christi. I "spoke" with them many times during my long drives to and from class and they helped get me through tough times during the six year journey.


At 15/12/09 4:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Angela!! I am SO proud of you. Whoever said God blessed you with a great mind is SO right. You deserved such an amazing graduation, and I'm glad you got it.... even if you didn't get to walk in the field like you wanted to. ;)

Wishing you and yours a fabulous Christmas!

At 15/12/09 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It must be such an inspiration to Shayla, and to your past students, to see you achieve so much. It's always an incredible feat when someone earns the laborious intellectual milestone of a PhD, but it's especially incredible that you have done so despite the enormous grief of the loss of Christi. How you transformed your pain into meaning will be a lesson for many, all around the world. What an amazing person you are, Dr. Angela Thomas.

At 16/12/09 3:54 AM, Blogger Manda Panda said...


You are truly awesome! Many congratulations and you sound like you had a fantastic day.

Hugs and kisses. I hope we meet one day.

Amanda xx

At 16/12/09 5:58 AM, Blogger Lisa D :) said...

I have tears in my eyes reading this post. You have worked so hard these last years and it has paid off so wonderfully for you. I can't think of anyone more deserving.

Congratulations on your achieving Ph.D. Angela. Wow. This. is. huge.

At 16/12/09 9:40 AM, Anonymous Susy M. said...

You deserve that and so much more. You have 2 angels looking after you. God Bless you all.

At 16/12/09 9:53 AM, Blogger Leah said...

Congrats! :-D

At 16/12/09 11:33 AM, Blogger snekcip said...

That is awesome!! CONGRATULATIONS ANGELA!! I'm so happy for you and I'm MORE than sure that Christi was there sharing in your celebration!

At 16/12/09 1:18 PM, Anonymous Amber said...

Congratulations Angela! you really are amazing :) x x

At 16/12/09 3:18 PM, Blogger Leah said...

Hi Angela,
My name is Leah. I've been reading your blog for a while now and have been meaning to write you. A few months ago I was looking at youtube videos and came across a one of Christi. At the end of the video her website was given so I went to it. After reading the front page I was hooked. I wanted to learn more about your precious Christi. This might be hard to believe, but over several months I read EVERY one of your journal and blog entries. It helped me understand the life of a cancer patient. I'm very sorry for your loss. I lost my mom 2 years ago. I heard this saying not too long after she died. "You never get over it, you just learn to live with it." I believe this is so true. One of my favorite things that Christi said was that she didn't think she was that brave, she thought the people that gave blood were brave. I'm so glad I was guided to Christi's website. I know she has touched people all over the world. I feel like I know your family. Shayla is so pretty. I will continue to read your blog. Congrats on getting your PH.D!!!

At 16/12/09 3:59 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Angela, you are AMAZING! CONGRATS!!!!

At 28/12/09 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't visited in sometime and I want to congratulate you in achieving your dream! Your family has grown so much (in the most positive way)! Again, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
Elizabeth S.


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