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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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ready or Not, We're Moving On

Some final "treasurers" I removed from Christi's room.

I've loved this since the day I bought it for her. Now I will soon put it in a plastic tub - crazy, but I don't know of any one named CHRISTI who likes ballet. I can't throw it away yet I know ultimately Shay will most likely be stuck doing that one day. I'm so sorry Shayla!

Christi made this little light switch cover out of fabric. We're not certain if it will stay or go - it's up to Shay Shay.

This was the final item I removed from Christi's room. It is a Gund bear given to her on our first trip to Children's Hospital in Columbus that frightening afternoon when we learned she had a tumor. Christi was in horrific pain, and terribly scared. Shayne drove with tears streaming down his face the entire way to Columbus while I sat in the back and tried to comfort five year old Christi in her car seat. She was in great pain. They told us they didn't have a bed for her, the hospital was packed. We were told us to get a hotel room. A sweet lady took this bear off of her desk and gave it to Christi to try to comfort her. Christi loved the very soft bear. That sweet lady somehow got us a room in the hospital and Christi was soon on morphine to help her with the pain. When we came home three weeks later, after her first surgery and first round of chemo, Christi put that bear above her mirror and it stayed there until now. I'm certain the secretary never thought any more about it - but may God bless her for her kindness when we really needed to get Christi out of pain.

Shayla is excited about her new blue/green "tween room"! She did a great job of repainting Christi's beige furniture "ultra white". The wall paper will be removed tomorrow and the aqua and lime paint will go on next. Oh my! We're really doing this. I vividly remember right after Christi's death closing the door and telling myself she was in there reading, playing and talking on the phone with her friends. That helped me. Denial is great; I just wish it were true!

The cat and foot/water bowls Christi drew on this mirror caused some tears during lunch. Shayne asked Shayla, "Should we wash off the cat Christi drew on her bedroom mirror?" (It really is faded.) I suggested we could have someone clean it off for us. Shayla said she wanted to leave it as tears poured down her cheeks perhaps at the thought she should even have to consider such a thing. She also did not want to paint over the labels "socks" "panties", etc. Christi had created with her label machine Alex Scott gave her in Philly when she was eight. I was surprised. When Shayne asked her why not remove them she said, "They're from Christi!" Enough said! That sums it all up for me too!

We will never be able to repay all of the kind people (so many strangers) who showered Christi with love during her four year battle with cancer. I think this is what brought many of my tears yesterday - so much love for one little gal. She was truly worthy of it all too. She was a gem - a rare and precious find. Christi, you are so loved!


At 24/1/10 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Shay hits her teenage years, she'll want a mirror to help her get dressed, do her hair, and put on makeup. But she can still have keep the sweet cat picture. What if you got a new mirror for the vanity - try home depot or craigslist? Take the one Christi painted down, and spray a clear acrylic coat over it. That should prevent some further fading and flaking. You can rehang the old one somewhere in Shayla's room, and even add other Christi photos or drawings with decoupage or spray adhesive. Tada - memory board/mirror - and Shay still has one she can use, too.

At 24/1/10 11:27 AM, Blogger Olivia said...

Angela, it took my dad about 7 years to redo my brother's room. And, when he did, he refused to walk into it and do the remodeling until we had taken everything of his down and put it away. It's so very hard! Thank you so much for sharing Christi with us. She has left so many gifts for all of us. We will never forget her.

Many hugs,

At 24/1/10 1:41 PM, Blogger Holly said...

I am crying today too. What you are doing is soo beyond hard, and yet it is healthy and good for Shayla and for you and Shane. I'm just so heart broken that the whole world was robbed of precious Christi, that you are even having to do this. As one of the many chemoangels who tried to ease the pain in some small way, let me tell you from my heart - Christi gave all of us much more than we ever gave her!

She was AMAZING!!

Love Holly
Katy, TX

At 24/1/10 3:12 PM, Blogger Kat said...

Your precious girl is not forgotten. She inspired me then and inspires me now - to be braver, kinder, smarter - to laugh more and love hard - and how to face adversity with grace and beauty. Since her passing it has been a privilege to watch "little sis" grow up. And what a beautiful, talented, caring young woman she has become!!! Thank you, Angela and Shane, for sharing both your girls with us cyber-friends, total strangers who love and adore your family. May God bless you with sweet and tender memories filled with joy and peace as you enter this next chapter (Tween!) in your life and further away from physically holding your sweet, sweet Christi. I praise God that we can be assured of being reunited with our loved ones for all eternity. I have loved ones I can't wait to hold and love on, and you can be sure that your Christi is someone I'll look up when I get there! Much love to all of you.
Kathy from Richardson, Texas

At 25/1/10 9:20 AM, Blogger pcadent said...

Angela (&Shayne & Shayla too),
Our hearts go out to you. We know EXACTLY what you are going through with the rooms. We just got the courage to do Ryan's room last week (it's been 6 years!) was bittersweet as well, because we are moving Ashley in there too! The OSU wallpaper is now gone and the yellow and white walls will soon be filled with "girly" things! I'm wondering what he'll think of that!? Ashley is excited, so that helps with the sadness...thank goodness for our daughters! What would we do without them!?
We still need to get together sometime!
Take care and good luck!

At 25/1/10 11:07 AM, Blogger Manda Panda said...

Dear Angela,

Christi was in my thoughts yesterday and I have to share this with you. I had an accident and received a very nasty blow to the head that gave me concussion. My own sweet sister was in the emergency room with me last night and took over the decision making as I was unable to. I had a CT scan of my head to check my brain was OK and it was a terrible experience - semi awake but totally 'out of it', being processed in this humming machine and having my precious brain zapped with radiation. Oh my!

I suddenly clearly remembered your words about Christi when she was given radiation treatment to her head before she died and my tears as I lay on the gurney being zapped were for her and her fear, that must have been so much greater than mine.

Bless you as your redecorate Shay's new room. Christi will always be an inspiration to everyone who read about her or knew her personally.

Love and hugs

PS My scan was clear. Much to my sister's amusement the doc told me that 'they looked very carefully at my head with the scan and there is nothing in there!!!!!!'

At 25/1/10 8:38 PM, Anonymous Jenny S. said...

Thomas Team..
I just wanted to say I am very proud of all of you for being able to change the room for Shayla. Im sure it was hard but hopefully know you will be able to walk in that room without so much pain. Instead you can walk in there and think of the good times you had in there instead of looking around at Christi's things and getting sad. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
God Bless.

At 26/1/10 7:51 PM, Blogger Cathy Rezmer said...

Angela ~ packing things away, giving things away, even just moving things from one certain spot to another is still hard. Most of Shane's clothes are still hanging in his closet. I was going to put them away about a year ago to make more room for Adam, but he said to leave them there. Even with dust on his things, they are still "Shane's things". I hope Sunday wasn't too hard. Looking forward to pictures when everything is done.

At 27/1/10 10:06 AM, Anonymous Mary Lou, Ontario Canada said...

Your posting for 'Ready or Not - We're Moving On' couldn't have come at a better time for me. I married my best friend (for the past 15 years) 2 years ago 3 weeks before my 49th birthday. His wife left him back in 1992 for a cousin and their 2 daughters were 9 and 10 at the time. We moved into the family home on the farm. Needless to say I moved into a 'full house'. Every nook and cranny was full with everything from his ex-wife's nursing books to kids school papers and projects. Finally after 2 years I decided it was time to tackle the girl's shared bedroom. They didn't take the change very well and neither did their Dad. Right now it is partially cleaned out. They did start the task on Jan 22nd, and the youngest arrived back on Jan 24th. As her Dad and I were leaving for the evening when she came back for the second load I suggested she come back later when someone was in the house. Naturally, she didn't care for that and nothing more has been moved.
Their Dad and I saw the minister that married us last night, and talked. I was happy to hear her tell me that I have been very patient, and to just clean it up myself.

Its a hard task, considering that girls have such a special relationship with their Dad's. Noboby upon nobody can come into their Dad's life ... except Mom! You would think that after 15 years they would realize that I'm not going anywhere. After all the oldest daughter turned 28 last week. She has been married for 4 years and has a soon-to-be 2 yr old daugher and 3 month old daughter. The youngest will be 27 in May.

I was able to share your courage and strength as you tackle the same thing in your house, but for a very different reason. I was able to compare situations and then suggest to 'Dad' that it should not be so bad for him.

Thanks for your inspiration. You do so well, you communicate with your family members, you have fun and still share grief together.

I strive to be more like you everyday. God Bless!

At 27/1/10 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Thomas-

I was reading through this and thought of you. I hope it is not upsetting, but perhaps encouraging since I know how you feel about the vast injustices of the lack of funding for pediatric cancer research.

"[Senator Sherrd]Brown Honored Alexa Clyde, Urged Federal Investment in Pediatric Cancer Research
After meeting with Alexa Brown’s family, Senator Brown delivered a speech honoring Alexa, an 11 year-old Northwest Ohioan who passed away in August due to brain cancer. Unfortunately, Alexa’s battle with cancer was not an isolated case. In Northwest Ohio, in the area around Clyde, Ohio, 19 other children have been diagnosed with a form of invasive cancer in the last decade. As public health officials try to get to the bottom of the environmental origins of this cancer cluster, Brown and Senator George Voinovich wrote a joint letter urging Congressional colleagues to direct additional funds for pediatric cancer research. In the most recent appropriations bill, Congress allocated $5.1 billion for the National Cancer Institute, of which nearly $200 million is expected to go toward pediatric cancer research."

The full report can be viewed at

At 28/1/10 3:02 PM, Blogger Lisa D :) said...

Such an emotional time for you all! I had tears reading about the bear, and thinking of Christi in all that pain -- how frustrating it must've been as her parents :(
May God continue to hold you, Shayne and Shay in his loving arms, especially on these tough days.

At 31/1/10 9:12 AM, Blogger The Rees Family said...

Angela, I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Julie Rees & I have been following your blog for years. I heard about your family from the Rutter family (Flushing, MI). Sandi and I met before their daughter, Paige, passed away from cancer. My family and I lived in Flushing, MI before moving to NW Ohio with a transfer from General Motors in 12/04. My husband works at GM and I recently started substitute teaching in Napoleon schools since both of our daughters are now in school (Kindergarten and 3rd grade). I wanted to post about 2 things: first, we were at the CMU/BGSU basketball game last night and I spotted you and your family from across the court! My husband and I both went to CMU. Second: I am looking at possibly going back to school to get my teaching certificate/masters. I have a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood with a major in Child Development. I want to attend BGSU. Would you be willing to talk with me or point me in the right direction as to who I should talk with about classes, etc? I would like to start taking classes, slowly, as I'm not ready to work full time for another few years. Would you mind e-mailing me? My e-mail address is: Thank you so much! Julie Rees


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