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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Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Imagination Celebration & The End of "Christi's Bears"

After working on it for months, her project was finished last week and ready for the annual "Imagination Celebration". Being new to the school district and to the HEIGHTS program, we had no idea what to expect. We had a great night as we learned about new things and ate a wonderful Italian meal at the fundraiser dinner too. Shay had a blast! (She even ended up staying overnight at one of her HEIGHTS's friends' home who goes to a different elementary school.)

Throughout the evening, adults mingled around to the students' projects where the students stood ready to answer questions. All of the projects were interesting and the 3rd to 6th grade kids - absolutely amazing!

Shay's project board shares her survey results and current trends of "tweens".

Showing grandma Nee Nee her new hair cut

CHRISTI: While ridding ourselves of Christi's remaining possessions in January, when we were getting Shayla's new room ready and my new office completed, we did not know what to do with the many stuffed animals Christi had received throughout her treatment years. (How many stuffed bears does one need to keep to remember her?) Shayla wore her clothes, the rest of her books were donated to the library for their annual sale, her toys went to a resale shop, things were given to young relatives to play with, items were placed in plastic tubs in the basement, etc., etc, etc.; however, the question remained, "What do we do with these stuffed animals?" They were in such great shape; we did not want to just throw them away. Christi really loved them all!

I shared my concern with my friend, who is a newspaper reporter and she suggested I contact the police department. I did and I heard nothing back. I can't believe the tears I had over the bears, but it really bothered me (Shayne too).

Then, one day about a month ago, I ran into an old family friend from my childhood who is a police officer. (One of those amazing men I vividly remember wearing dress blues and standing at full attention during Christi's funeral procession.) I hadn't seen him for years. I told him about our dilemma and he said he too thought some officers would put some animals in their trunks to give children when dealing with tough situations. (And I'm sure those police officers see a lot of hurting children in their work.)

So time went on and just this week, Shayne said, "Are you going to take in the stuffed animals?" I said, "Oh, it's going to kill me to go to the police station, but somehow I will get them to our old friend." He said, "OK, I'm putting them in the back of the van so we don't have to keep seeing them. It's killing me." Ironically enough, Shayne ended up taking the van to the Imagination Celebration last night and who was there - our police officer friend. CRAZY! We decided to pass them off right then and there to be done with it. When the two guys came back into the school and informed us they were parked within a couple of cars of each other, I knew - AS I FELT THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE SITUATION - Christi was spinning her magic over all of us.

Those (practically brand new) Build a Bear bears and other really nice ones will go to hurting children and will hopefully give them the same comfort she received from those bears in beautiful condition. God is good! I can't believe it all worked out so well and with all of the really ironic things regarding the timing of it all. I can only feel Christi's soul was directly involved. Thank you, dear Lord! Please bless and protect all of the hurting children.

Dearest Christi, I love you so much! I'm so sorry you are not here with us - you would have LOVED last night's imagination celebration. I continue to tell myself you are in a much better place. You are where I want to be and I will continue to live my life in a way that will get me to you and to Father one day!! All my love and big misses, Mom


At 10/4/10 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so generous - think of all the children you will provide a moment of comfort for through the spirit of Christi.

Shayla's project looks very professional!


At 11/4/10 4:10 AM, Blogger Amy said...

What a wonderful gift to hurting children in your community!
Beautiful photos - I am in awe of the one with Christi surrounded by all the balloons and stuffed animals!
Shayla, fantastic job on your display board!
Many blessings from your cyber-friends to the north...

At 11/4/10 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad that this worked out the way it did Angela. Indeed, it is as if Christi definitely was orchestrating it! Awesome!

Shayla did a great job on her project board! Congrats Shay!

At 12/4/10 4:47 PM, Blogger snekcip said...

This had CHRISTI written all over it! Continually praying for your beautiful family.

At 16/4/10 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One, among many, of the things I've tried to learn from your family, is how to deal with grief. Grief can be totally debilitating and generate apathy, cynicism, addictions, and depression. The gifts that you've provided through your foundation, your donation of these bears, and the example of your own lives, are precious beyond measure to countless people, most of whom will never even meet you (like myself). You so accurately put it, when you articulated that you do not need possessions to remember and love your daughter. Christi was all about giving, and no doubt is truly pleased with the choice you made, to bring smiles to the faces of children in need, through the gift of her bears. Thank you for continuing to post, and to show me how to live in grief, in joy, in appreciation, and in gratitude.


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