Shayne and I witnessed unbelievable kindness today/tonight hearing so many lovely things about this special little girl. Hearing she was a "Saint" was most moving to us. Touched doesn’t even begin to describe our feelings by the outpouring of love and support. Additionally, we are just speechless by the “Christi Fans” who drove 7, 8, even 10 hours to come and express their sympathy and to tell us the role she took in their lives. We continue to be “numb” like we are going through the motions and that is all. Also, we remain absolutely exhausted and drained.
This morning was difficult as it seemed to be a typical Saturday when Shayne and I would cuddle on the couch and wait for the girls to come down and climb on our laps. Shayla did…….I kept thinking Christi would come bopping down the stairs, joining us on the couch and asking us if she could have cereal for breakfast, but she never did. I think next week it will really hit me as our new life without Christi begins.
VIEWERS DESCRETION NOTICE: I will warn you that at the bottom of this entry are pictures of her in her casket. I think she’s beautiful, but I have always been a bias mother! I’ll add a story here which contains a funny “inside secret” to take up some space but please know what’s listed below. In case you do not want to view it, do not read on.
Tonight the Trauneros informed us that Toledo News 11 will be coming tomorrow, but will be descrete. Additionally, 750 “Memory Booklets” have been distributed. So, since many of you may now have the memory booklets, please take a look at the very last picture – the picture beside the poem Christi wrote about herself. She is cuddling a little kitten in the picture. While the background was cropped out, I hope you smile when you see that picture after hearing this story behind the adventure that night…….
This April Christi was hospitalized with low blood counts and the days seemed to go by slowly. I knew at that point the only thing that could possibly make Christi happy would be to have a kitten to play with. Well, kittens are prohibited on the cancer patients’ floors but Christi’s counts were “decent” and I was willing to risk it to make her smile. Now my sweet partner in crime from Philly will always remain nameless and while we never told the story in case CHOP would learn about it and watch us like a hawk in the future, all bets are off now.
The stage was set for our friend to sneak her aunt’s kitten into the hospital. It was so tiny it actually fit inside her purse. Christi, who believed that rules were meant to be followed and who did not like making exceptions, decided it would be okay this time. (smile) The kitten was coming about 7 PM so at 4PM we did something very unusual for our typical hospital stays. We drew the curtain around her bed, shut our door and posted a big sign on the outside, “PLEASE KNOCK BEFORE ENTERING”. (We thought if the nurses would get in the hang of it hours early they wouldn’t think a thing of it. We thought a knock on the door would give our friend time to scoop up the kitty and hide it somewhere in the room.)
At 7PM our friend arrived with the kitty in her purse. It was probably the cutest thing I ever saw. Christi had so much joy, even though the kitty had loud “meows” which made me jump each time. Since the nurses “left us alone” most of the day we figured we were all set, but what do you know? We had TWO nurse check ups while the kitty was in our room during that hour and a half. Our friend wrapped her up and quickly dashed to the other side of the room pretending to read some of Christi’s books both times the nurse came in and they never knew Christi was having a delightful time with a prohibited kitten. So…….I’ll leave the Columbus Children’s “bubble story” for another time I need to stall!
While it doesn't show up too well in the pictures, Christi is with her: sketch book from the Met Museum of Art in NYC, ballet pointe shoes, Hank the Cowdog Book, COSI and Cedar Point Passes, a baby grand piano music box, a "Buttercup", "Buckeye" and a horse, a cross (which Shayla will keep the matching one of) and she is also wearing her flip flop ring and her baby ring - the ring Grandma Nee Nee gave her at birth, the one she is wearing in so many of her baby pictures and the one she was to wear on a necklace for her wedding. A baby ring should not still fit on your finger when you are put to rest. UGH! I will have the beautiful Jesus necklace she received from her Aunts on her First Holy Communion removed before the casket is closed and put on a longer chain so that I can wear it in her memory. Her friends from school tonight gave her the "Chatty Cathy Club" necklace which she'll take with her and they each have one now too. (Precious) God, please bless and comfort these lovely children!