Our Little Dancer
Christi started her weekly ballet lessons at the age of four. This photo was taken one afternoon. After returning home from her lessons, she wanted to show me a new position she learned. Here it is! Wow! (wink) Treasured memories! Finding these pictures was wonderful. This is how I want to remember Christi, as a seemingly "healthy" little blond, happy to do and try anything. Never did I imagine the horrors going on in her precious little body. This is my favorite time period of her life, a time when we were clueless about cancer. I long for those great times!
Before Christi's very first dance recital pictures, this little brunette sweetie's mom and I took the girls to the beauty school in town to have their hair prepared and their nails painted. Christi wasn't sure what to make of all of that fuss, she had just turned five, but I do remember she liked it. Interestingly noteworthy, the little friend beside her is now one of my students. She is a delight. While picking Shayla up from dance one night this week, I poked my head in to watch her and another one of my students dance for a bit. They are awesome!
Then as I glanced around the room, I immediately saw the other girls in Christi's class - so grown up, dancing marvelously and I had to take off as tears came out of nowhere. I just wanted to see Christi back with her class practicing again like she loved to do each week she could. She adored her dance classmates and teachers. They are wonderful people. I watch those girls come to class each week and I'm ok, but something about seeing them in action dancing, and dancing at a whole new level, just hit me hard.
These pictures make me want to remind any interested Senior at Dance Unlimited that we will be sponsoring, for the third year now, a $1,000 Christi Thomas Memorial Scholarship. We will present it in June. I'll soon be sharing all of the scholarship information for this year. We have the selection committee of five individuals in place, but we have a bit more work to do before making this year's announcement public. We thank all who have been involved and who have generously given to the Christi Thomas Memorial Fund, allowing us to keep her memory alive and to help other young men and women.
STITCHES AND NEE NEE UPDATE: Yesterday we were blessed with another snow day due to temperatures well below zero. (I say "blessed" now, but I can only imagine what I'll be saying in June when we're making them up - hee hee!) Shayla did some scrapbooking while I sat on the other side of the table working on "stuff" for my dissertation. (It's going incredibly well. I actually ended up with OVER 90 willing NBCTs out of the 673 letters of invitation. That is a great percentage in terms of research solicitation. My advisor is equally ecstatic.) Now I'm in the midst of the purposeful selection process this weekend, working closely with my Advisor, to determine the 10 National Board Certified Teachers and the five alternates. This is all based upon predetermined criteria I set and wrote about in my chapter three. This whole process has been tremendously exciting! I'm in "discovery mode" and cannot wait to see what I will find. My Advisor recently wrote, "Angela is doing groundbreaking research that has never been done before. Knowing Angela as I do, substantial articles will be published following the competition of her research."
We also went to visit with Nee Nee yesterday. When we arrived at the facility, she was in therapy. The therapist was so sweet, she allowed Shayla to be involved helping Nee Nee. It was absolutely precious. Due to their many postings about not taking pictures at the center, I wasn't able to capture those great images. They were wonderful and I hope they never leave my mind. Nee Nee is doing great and should be "out of there" soon with her brand new hip -and with a TON of pictures Shayla has made for her over the weeks and decorated her room with. May God continue to heal and bless Grandma Nee Nee.
This morning Shayla's stitches were removed. She was quite apprehensive, but did great! Yesterday I bought the anti-scarring cream and I'm certain she'll be fine. I think she actually enjoyed all of the special attention she got at school as many asked her about her accident on the playground. What a hoot!