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 www.ChristiThomas.com 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, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

My First Mother's Day! (1998) Christi was born in 1997 the day after Mother's Day - Monday, May 12, 1997.

Check out this oldie! Happy Mother's Day to my dear mom! (Yes, she made the lovely blue velvet dresses my older sister and I are wearing!) I am so blessed!Isn't this old picture from the 1970s a riot?!! My father took it as we stood in front of the Christmas tree. I miss my dad so much! Those were the "good old days" - now Tina and I can joke, "I wonder how long we had to stand there smiling waiting for dad to focus that old camera?!!!" hee hee!

We were trying really, really hard to forget that today was Mother’s Day. Shayne got us up well before sunrise (and when it was just 37 degrees, brrr). We loaded up the van and drove an hour to register him for his first duathalon in two years. (Exercise has been such a positive way for Shayne to cope. I’m so glad he’s back into his training and competitions.) Aunt Marty & Uncle Jeff met us there and helped Shayla and I cheer Shayne on. Shayne did a fabulous job – his personal best record time, and he finished this run – bike – run (again) competition 124th out of 240 entrants. Yay, Shayne! I know of many others who have turned to terrible vices to “help” them cope so I’m very thankful that Shayne continues to take a healthy approach to stress.


We then took lunch to my mother and Paw Paw Joe and visited with Shayne’s mom and grandma at dinner time. Both of our mothers gave us quite a scare. We had purchased Christi’s fingerprint charm for our mothers. Neither mom was able to find it after they opened the velvet pouch from the jewelry store. Our hearts fell as they were very expensive, but finally they found the charm deep down in the pocket. Whew! (It was just really odd that that same thing happened with both of our moms! I can't help but think Christi would have thought it was hilarious!) I think they loved the fingerprint charms and hopefully they’ll feel close to Christi when they wear them. I certainly do with mine! Shayne tells me I need to capture Shayla’s fingerprints in case anything bad happens to her too and I know he’s right so I’ll be doing that this week.

Shayla is THE BIGGEST sweetheart! Very early this morning she had me unwrap her gift for me - a lovely flowering plant she grew at school. She planted it for me in the wee hours before we took off. Tonight, when I went up to read her bedtime story I found a song she wrote for me on my pillow - exactly what Christi would sometimes do. It was precious!

On Saturday evening we were all three snuggled together in bed very early, due to exhaustion and knowing we had to get up so early. It was completely quiet for ten minutes or so. A little while later we heard Shayla say, "Christi would have really loved to have that cake today for her real birthday cake!" (Without a doubt, it was the most lovely cake I've ever seen! Thank you to Amanda W. and to the Tiffin Bake Shop! It was so impressive! In this picture, Alice, Shayne and Shayla help light the candles.) Then we talked about the lovely event for about an hour. I'm so grateful to have another child here on earth, and one as loving and compassionate as Miss Shayla! Thank you, dear Lord!In this picture, Shayla created a game for all of us to play. Tossing the ball and earning points was the first step. Go, Mommy!!

A friend sent me the following and it really hit home so I’ll share it
here:


Mother's Day! The words conjure a picture of a loving mother surrounded by her children and loving family, receiving flowers, gifts, and mushy cards from her progeny, celebrating the sacrifice and love of motherhood. This Mother's Day the above scenario will take place again, all over the country. It will be a wonderful day for so many, a chance to say Thank You Mom for always being there for me, for loving me even during times when I wasn't so lovable.

As we go about our daily activities interacting with others, we'll hear the inevitable Happy Mother's Day greetings, from friends and even strangers, the cashier at the supermarket. This innocuous greeting, a kind pleasantry for many, is like a knife to the heart for the Other Mothers.

Who are the Other Mothers? We are the ones who won't be celebrating this Mother's Day in sync with the rest of the country. We are the ones who people tend to shy away from, especially on holidays and most especially on this one day set aside to celebrate us! Who are we? We are the mothers of a deceased child.

We may have other children, children whom we absolutely love and adore and would give our life for. That is a given. Because we mourn our deceased child, that does not diminish the love that we have for our other child or children. However, on Mother's Day the heartbreak of the loss of that child is more acutely felt, although we feel this heartbreak every day. From the time we lift our head off the pillow in
the morning, until we lay it down again at night, no matter what activity is going on around us, our minds and hearts are consumed with thoughts of our child who is no longer with us.

So on this Mother's Day while everyone is celebrating the joys of motherhood, whether you're already a mother or about to become one, you may take a moment to ponder the Other Mothers. The Other Mothers who will be smiling on the outside while trying to quell the raging volcano of grief that is erupting on the inside as we fight with all of our being to prevent it from spewing forth and demoralizing everyone around us. We don't want that. We don’t want to deny other mothers their well-deserved day of recognition. We also do not want you to join our ranks. What we do want is to have our child acknowledged, and remembered. We want them remembered for the kind, caring, loving children that they were, not for the disease that ravaged their minds and bodies.


And this sweet poem from another cancer mom:

Mothers -

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's alright honey, Mommy's here."

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes. And for the mothers who lost their baby in that precious 9 months that they will never get to watch grow on earth but one day will be reunited with in Heaven!

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand) mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat. For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

This is for all the step-mothers who raised another woman's child or children, and gave their time, attention, and love... sometimes totally unappreciated!

For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14-year-olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby? The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home? Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation... And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all.

5 Comments:

At 14/5/07 8:55 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Angela, I am so glad you were able to have a nice Mother's Day surrounded by those you love. I am sure Christi was thinking of you most especially on your day and no doubt telling all in Heaven what a wonderful mother she has! Your daughters are richly blessed to have you.

Shayla, your plant sounds lovely and I am so impressed that you got up early to plant it! Not to mention the poem-- what talent and such a nice surprise-- you're a true gem.

Shayne, congrats on those great race results. I am hoping they'll motivate me when I get up at 5am to go jogging tomorrow morning.

Thinking of you all and sending much love,
Olivia

 
At 14/5/07 9:04 PM, Blogger Tawny said...

What an adorable picture of mommy and baby Christi's first Mother's Day! You have such great pictures of your amazing memories with your sweet Christi. I can't even imagine how hard yesterday was but I'm glad Shayla was able to make you smile with her precious gift and poem. Angel Christi and Shayla are certainly two of a kind but they had a great mommy as their influence! (Daddy too!) *Stay Strong!*

Those are two very precious poems, thank you for sharing those with us. Happy Mother's Day to ALL types of Mother's out there, ones with children here on earth and angels in heaven.

 
At 14/5/07 10:46 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh, Angela, these Mother's Day stories made me cry. I'll share mine with you:

My fiance and I drove six hours Friday night to be with our mothers for the weekend, and I started to feel sick about halfway there. Even though I spent the weekend with the flu, and then a miserable six-hour drive back home on Sunday, I am thankful that I was able to be with my mother, especially as we are both missing her mom this year. If Christi is taking care of God's creatures, Grandma is overseeing his potluck, and I'm sure all of our loved ones in Heaven gathered around to look down on us this weekend.

I haven't read your blog since the beginning of the New Year (about the time that Grandma died), but I'm glad to see that you are all doing as well as you can be. Stay strong, pray together often, and know that you are in the hearts of countless "strangers."

Love and prayers,
Jenna in California

 
At 15/5/07 9:20 AM, Anonymous trine said...

Really like the poem and the text. Thank you for sharing this.Always in my thoughts.

 
At 15/5/07 8:50 PM, Blogger HeatherB said...

I was thinking of you all day long on Mother's Day- wondering how you were coping, and saying prayers for you.

I'm glad Shayne was able to compete in the duathalon! Now that is something I admire and could never do.

Those two poems moved me to tears.

I love the pictures of Shayla, she's growing so big and so beautiful and what a sweetie pie! Give her a hug from me!

Lots of love and tons of prayers,
Heather

 

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