Sunday, March 23rd
"The past is HISTORY,
Enjoy life we did this weekend!!! After posting my journal entry very early Saturday morning, Christi woke up. In an effort to allow Shayne and Shayla a wee bit more sleep, Christi and I went downstairs to the kitchen area to make pancakes. She loves helping me cook - especially cracking eggs! I took my cell phone along to call my Grandma while she ate and watched the TV in the dining room.
I'm thankful that I took my cell phone along to call Grandma because after breakfast, Christi and I boarded the elevator to go eight flights up to our room. Suddenly, the elevator stopped and despite my efforts of pushing many buttons and alarms, we were stuck!! Thankful that my cell phone was working and that we just switched my service to include no roam fees and free, unlimited weekend calling, I dialed our room and asked Shayne to contact the front desk to get us out. He joked something like, "Meet us at the circus when you get out." but I knew he'd call someone to help us. Christi and I then sat down on the floor and I said a prayer. She mimicked me, but I could see confusion in her eyes. When I was finished she said, "I didn't know what to pray for." (She thought this incident was funny and I know that children mimic the actions of adults so I wanted to appear to be calm and confident which I wasn't. I had a feeling we'd soon be smashing to the ground.) So together we prayed that we'd get out safely and that we wouldn't miss the circus since we had complimentary tickets and the girls were looking forward to attending.
Again thankful that there was only one five year old stuck with me in the elevator and not a whole elevator full of unattended children, I began to dig deep into my "teacher bag of tricks" to help pass the time. I usually have a real bag full of entertainment items to help us pass the daily wait time Christi experiences at the hospital, but I had nothing. Therefore, we created some very silly songs about being stuck in the elevator.
The staff at Ronald shouted to us that we were stuck in between floors and it was too dangerous for them to attempt to rescue us so they called an elevator operation company. They'd be there in about 30-45 minutes. Glad the professionals were coming, I started dialing telephone numbers that I had memorized. Christi was happy to talk on my cell phone to pass the time and I felt happy knowing she wasn't frightening like I was. At one point I called back up to the room to tell Shayne to make sure the bag was packed for the show and that as soon as we got out I'd rush right in, get my shower and we'd take off for Madison Square Garden. Well, he never imagined that we were both still in our PAJAMAS stuck in the elevator so he found this quite humorous. I explained that we took off at 6:30 AM and there is no one up and about to see us at that hour.
After what I later learned was one hour, we were freed and stepped out into quite a little gathering of people to see us for themselves. (How embarrassing!!) They asked if we were OK. I told them that we were fine, just scared. At the end, when the door was opening and slamming shut and we were still stuck between the floors, Christi said, "Mommy, my heart is beating really fast like I'm running." I had been to see Broadway's AIDA in February (where the lovers are buried alive in an elevator shaped tomb at the end of the musical) so my heart was beating fast thinking about the similarities of that too, but I didn't tell Christi. Once out, they were holding the other elevator open for us. Christi responded, "Thanks, but we'll just take the stairs." as everyone laughed with understanding. So together the two of us held hands and walked up eight flights of stairs.
Despite the peace rally and the 200,000 - 300,000 people down in Times Square we were able to get a taxi and to make it to the circus on time. (Thanks for the treat, Dave K.!!) The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus was an incredible, theatrical experience that far exceeded my wildest dreams. It was amazing and the girls sat wide-eyed and loved every minute. I love seeing them so happy.
After the circus, the girls wanted to walk to Central Park. (Over 20 blocks and with one stroller, but we did! The girls took turns riding up on Shayne's shoulders.) We stumbled into the peace rally. The rally was parading down the street and we were walking facing them on the side walks covered with police officers. Christi could read the signs, but she didn't say anything about it. We continue to pray for our brave men and woman around the world and for comfort and strength for their families. We're thankful for the great freedom we have here in America.
With surgery two and a half days away, we decided to splurge on a horse drawn carriage ride through Central Park. It was dreamlike!! The guide also showed us many areas of Central Park that we've yet to explore. What fabulous memories were created during that half hour trip. (And little Shayla is STILL pretending to be "Patty" our horse!) Next we took the girls for a merry-go-round ride and then went to meet Aunt Marty and Mom.
Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Mom and my Godmother arrived!! They met us in Central Park. There's nothing like being around your Mom and aunt to make everything feel better. While we didn't do much talking (It's way too hard for me to talk about all of this.) just being in their presence was awesome for me. Christi had been wanting to "stay overnight at Grandma's" for so long so she did - it was just in Grandma's hotel room instead of her house. Christi was in all of her glory with all of their adult attention.
Sunday was "girls day" so we loaded up and walked down to Rockefeller Center. We went to church at St. Pat's and lit candles there for Christi as well. Next, we took Shayla to the Pokemon Center and then Christi to Toys R Us. We also saw the Support our Troops demonstration of 700 people in Times Square. How great to see so many beautiful red, white and blue flags flapping in the breeze. We took the subway to the park. Shayne met up with us at Central Park where the girls had a great time playing with the other children. Then we went back to the hotel where Marty and Mom cooked some excellent food for dinner. Yum Yum!! Thanks, Mom and Aunt Marty!! Christi again wanted to stay overnight so she did.
I'm extremely anxious about tomorrow's test results and meeting with the surgical team; however, deep down I feel that she will have made some progress and we'll perhaps repeat that round of chemo or perhaps she'll be clean and we'll go right into transplant. Thanks for all of your prayers! I know your divine intervention has made a difference in all of that! Thank you!!
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Shayne & Angela Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org