No matter how long I live I shall never forget September 18, 1998. It was the culmination of over ten years of anxious waiting and wondering. It was our miracle.
This morning on my way to Bible study I drove the same road for the first 30 miles that we had driven back in 1998. My heart was reminded of the fear, joy, grief and nervous anticipation that the upcoming hours, days,weeks, and years would hold in the coming future.
Eleven years ago today, on September 18th, (also a Friday morning) began just like this one did. I got up and started getting my kids ready to catch the school bus. But on that day in 1998 a simple phone call at around 7:15 rocked our world forever, "We have another potential donor for A and this one looks better."
I wish I could share my entire journal of that story with you. Suffice it to say that I can't give you the ten year background of our journey toward a liver transplant with our son. But today I am remembering so many things about that day. My heart is so grateful to God and to a very special family who today are not celebrating but are, in fact, re-opening the wound of grief that ripped into their lives just hours before hope dawned on us.
I can almost feel the excitement again of knowing that this was it--our only hope and chance for our son to live and be healthy truly for the first time in his young life. And then the despair at knowing that what would change our lives for so much good would be a devastating blow for another set of parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends.
Just a matter of weeks before, the surgeon who would ultimately perform the surgery had consulted with my husband and son while A was hospitalized. Dr. F told A that he certainly could die during this most complicated surgery. Now as we were driving to KU Med Center it was impossible for me to know what my little boy was thinking. It must have been like being marched to the firing squad.
Suffice it to say that we made it through that day thanks to the prayers of hundreds of friends and family around the country. Not to mention the gift of life from a wonderful family and a beautiful young woman. Having since myself been told by a doctor that I would most likely not survive a deadly disease I have a new perspective of that day. (I did survive obviously.) I would have been much more comforting and much less worried about how silly my boy was acting. A is my hero. He braved looking death in the face at 10 years old and did very well with it. Sure, we had some times that were rough but he taught me what being brave in the face of death really meant.
Today I can look into the face of a handsome young man, almost 22 years old, and say I love you while we give each other big hugs. We've both cheated death at one time and can appreciate the preciousness of the simple things.
Thank you Jesus! And thank you S for living strong and in death being unselfish in the most ultimate sense.
Believe in miracles!