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, June 26, 2010

8th Annual Christi Thomas Poker Run

"I don't know why, out of all of the things we donate to for Christi, this one gets me the most." Those were Shayne's words to me, spoken with a tear streaked face, as we crawled back in the truck after watching the motorcycle procession take off on this morning's 8th annual Christi Thomas Poker Run - a fundraiser for her Memorial Fund. I couldn't agree more. I didn't think I'd cry as we were working registration this morning and all was going well, but something about watching 102 riders drive their motorcycles past our family of three, waving them on from the bed of Shayne's truck, made me choke up and cry right along with him. I think out of all of the lessons I've learned from Christi's journey, the one that stands out most in my mind is "God's people are good!" Thanks so much to all who came out for the run today.

Even if you don't have a motorcycle (like us) you are welcome to come out for the dinner this afternoon. The cost is just $5.00 and it will begin around 4:00 at the Tiffin Moose, just north of town on 53, when the riders start coming back in from their five stops. There will also be silent auctions and entertainment.

Shayla had a wonderful week at Ritz Theatre camp. (I believe this was her sixth year.) As always, it was hard to take her each day, without taking Christi. Seeing her friends perform - really weird as we once again wondered how tall Christi would be, what part she might have had, if she would have even wanted to participate as a 13 year old, etc., etc., etc. Last night's performance was great and we are looking forward to watching the show again this afternoon. I'll share pictures another day.

While Shayla was at camp this week, I was able to finish and submit my manuscript "Personal and Powerful Professional Development: National Board Certification". (I submitted it after saying many prayers that my information, gleaned from my dissertation research study, would be able to help others by being accepted in the journal I sent it off to - the one with the 0-10% acceptance rate.) This weekend I'm starting another one, based on my dissertation research again - but yet with a different focus. That deadline is September 1st and the acceptance rate is MUCH better (wink). Well, this publication accepts 11-20% of all submissions submitted. And no, to answer someone's question, I am not permitted to send it to more than one publication at a time. Once I get a "rejection" than I can try a different journal, but it's a big "no no" to send it to more than one place at once - and of course the waiting game to hear about acceptance or rejection is typically 6-12 weeks. (Regardless, I'm finding I'm really LOVING this proecess - perhaps once my first rejections start flowing in I will change my mind, but right now I'm enjoying the writing and the "game" - trying to find the perfect journal for my work, etc., etc.) And oh, yes, of course that grave marker, I need to get to that too, but seriously, my computer is not quite all the way reinstalled and I don't have all of my files up and running yet - including that one. As soon as I do, I'm on it! I WILL do it this summer! I know I can, I know I can, I know I can!

Our continued thoughts go out to Kayla's family. I stopped at the cemetery for her on my way back home this afternoon. As soon as we walked out of her visitation on Wednesday, I "lost it" outside and it was a while before I could even start driving. Shayla held me tight and I told her over and over again how lucky I am to have such a healthy child like her, alive and in my life. God has richly blessed us with her and we don't know what we'd do without her. Kayla's dad told Shayla that Kayla liked going to the fair and see Shayla's horse. They shared how exhausting taking care of their sweetheart has been and now they will be able to focus on their other children like they've really not been able to for so long, due to Kayla's cancer situation. I shared with them the story of how after Christi died I walked into the grocery store and I had absolutely no idea what Shayla liked to eat because I had been solely focused on Christi for so many years. Shayla later told me she had never heard that story before but that it was no problem because she's not a picky eater and she liked everything. It was ok to just let her eat what Christi liked. Sweet Shayla, you are amazing - so compassionate, thoughtful and mature beyond your years. I truly do not deserve you!

Here's wishing you and yours a great weekend!

Thanks to Tiffin's Finest for their help!
Some of the bikes out on today's run! I pray the riders are safe!
Shayne's mom and her brothers and beautiful El!
Conversation before the ride.
Shayla was a big help at registration today!
Incredibly amazing volunteers - THANK YOU!!


At 26/6/10 12:54 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Angela, this brought tears to my eyes. I am thinking of you all and sending many, many hugs your way.

Christi is always on my mind. When I run or read or notice something really beautiful in this world-- a tree or a soft breeze or an unexpected act of kindness. There is so much of Christi everywhere. When I miss my brother so much it hurts, I think of him up in Heaven playing basketball with her or how Christi would have been the one to convince him to take a trip to the library. It eases my pain to know he has another angel looking out for him up there.

My heart broke when I read about your conversation with Kayla's parents-- no family should ever have to go through this. It's all so incredibly unfair.

And as for Shayla. Well, there just aren't enough words in the world to describe how wonderful she is. I love her to pieces. I've learned so much about compassion and generosity from her. (Not to mention Wii dancing!)

Many hugs to all of you. I am thinking of you. I love you.


At 29/6/10 10:23 PM, Blogger Tara said...

I just happened to stop by and I'm glad I did. After Jace passed away, I also can vividly remember going to the grocery store and looking around saying "I know what Jace liked but I have no idea what our daughter even likes to eat." I left the store in tears. I still (after 1 yr and 10 months) struggle at the grocery store. I actually thought I was the only parent that had felt like that and felt awful about it. Thanks for sharing. I now know I'm not alone.
I enjoy your stories and your adventures. Blessings!

At 1/7/10 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Angela, You and your family are so precious!! We saw the beautiful angel you put at Kayla's spot and were so touched. We are just so thankful for all the great "extra" years that we had with Kayla that no doctor said we would get. We are finding that God is sufficient for even this but for months I had begging Him to not make us help Kayla die and that I already knew He would be sufficient but now I am seeing it. Thank you so much for coming up to the funeral home. I know it was very hard to do. I had thought about Christi's visitation many times over the last months and remembered exactly how you and Shane were so strong standing there tirelessly greeting people. We laughed and laughed remembering a comment you had written around Christi's visitation time - you had told Shayla that people were bad at funerals (meaning they just don't know what to say) and Shayla was thinking that people were going to be trashing the funeral home. Thank you for your thoughtfulness!!
Love in Christ,
Kayla's mom


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