Family Day: Change of Plans

It has been a little over two months since my good friend Angela Faddis passed away. Daily we still hear stories of the affect that Angela has had on so many. She exemplifies what I hope to do in my own life, which is to get myself to Heaven and bring everyone else with me! Angela wasn’t perfect, but she was convicted to live for Heaven. She was truly a normal wife and mother just trying to be holy in the midst of this world. I think that is what makes her story so simple, yet so exceptional.

I thought I would share with you a few touching moments since her passing.

Two days after her funeral, a bunch of Angela’s girlfriends threw her son Gus his third birthday party. Angela revealed to me before she passed exactly what she wanted Gus’s birthday party to be like. She had every detail down-pat, from what the cake should look like to the take away gifts. Her friends and I planned the party in honor of her and to show Chris support. It was an awesome party! If only I could have eight super-moms plan my son’s next birthday party!! She would have loved it! Here are some pictures of the “construction” themed party!

The amazing cake! Designed just as Angela wanted!

The party planning moms sporting jazz-hands!

 

The rough and tough foreman dads!

The construction crew!

 

The happy birthday boy!

People ask me all the time how I am doing with the passing of my dear friend. I am doing well. I feel so blessed to have walked with her to her death. It truly is what has comforted me. I feel her presence all the time and ask for her intercession often! There are times I get weepy, but for the most part I feel a sense of joy and peace since I know she is in Heaven no longer suffering.

After Gus’s birthday, the group of us decided that we needed to stay close and connected especially to Chris, Gus and Gianna. We decided to hold once a month Family Days that we would make a priority to commit to spending time together sharing in friendship and fellowship.

Our first one was this past weekend. When I scheduled it, everyone said they could make it to a park where we could picnic and the children could play. A week later, Chris texted me and said he would be late to Family Day. At first, I was a little upset. We all agreed Family Day would be our priority. Then he explained something beautiful. That day he wanted to run in the Undy 5000 which is a race for a cure for colon cancer. I was touched since I knew running in this race would be a challenge and sacrifice for him since he would have to train and prepare. I secretly texted all the families and asked if we could change Family Day to all of us running with Chris to support him. Everyone agreed that was best.

All eight of the families and more of Chris’s friends including Angela’s brother Andrew arrived at 7:45 a.m. to downtown Phoenix to participate in the race. The children were all bundled up and the adults were in our athletic gear. It felt appropriate to spend our first Family Day honoring our friend and supporting a cause that leaves an ache in our hearts as we know so many others suffer daily as Angela once did.

The racing team called “Angela’s Bums”!

There were lots of smiles, lots of laughs, along with a few temper tantrums which made for an overall great time! Most of us participated in the mile fun-run with the children while a few others ran in the 5K with Chris. Many racers in the Undy 5000 wore the purple themed shorts given at the check-in, but Chris decided to wear Superman shorts. This was not only fitting for his fun sense of humor, but It was also fitting since these past few months have been ones of great challenge but ones he has shown great character and strength through as he tries to raise his children by himself. Our race finished before Chris crossed the finish line, so we went by the sidelines to cheer him on. Before he came through, I saw Angela’s brother pass by the finish which put a smile on my face. Then, I saw Chris’s bright red Superman shorts in the distance and the group of us gathered to scream and cheer him on.

Chris getting ready to cross the finish-line!

As he passed by chills ran down my spine and I became weepy. I looked at the other girls and it was clear we all felt the same way. Our shared tears were the indication that we knew Angela would have been so proud of him. She must have been smiling from Heaven seeing the children laughing and jumping around with their friends, and seeing all of her friends gathering to support her husband.  And, I am sure seeing Chris accomplish something so great made her Heavenly experience even better. It was truly a heartfelt moment. Our first Family Day which entailed this race for a cure will now be a yearly event we all take part in. It will be our reminder to keep praying, financing, and supporting efforts to cure this ugly disease that leaves many without parents, spouses, and siblings. It will also be our reminder of how blessed we are to share in this life together and not take one moment for granted!

PS: Chris wrote about his experience running the race on Face Book on the Support Angela Faddis page for anyone who wants to read more from his perspective.

 

 

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One comment

  1. It was through a dear friend, Candy who lives in Pine that I came to be in touch with, and then to interview Melanie on our Catholic Vitamins Podcast. And through these contacts, I came to know of the ending hours and valiant efforts of Angela… I’ve since followed Chris’ postings and his loving work with the kids. I pray for each and all of you and for Angela’s joy at what she accomplished before she ended her own race. I wonder if Melanie might consider another book about Life After Death? Blessings. dt

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