Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Anniversary

At 8:45 this evening, it will be two years since we got "The Call" (check the archives--July last year--for more on this). And I can remember it like it happened two minutes ago.

I was so tired. I was actually trying to think of a better excuse than "I'm exhausted" to leave on my boss's voice mail. It was Sunday night and I was taking my pills, sitting on the old indigo couch in our family room. Mom was on the love seat and Dad was sitting against that, watching TV. Bryan and Mel were hanging out--they were on summer vacation. I had about three more pills to take. Mom and Dad had almost dragged me up to Easton that day, where I'd bought a new Coach bag (the only thing good, thus far, about that day) and I'd had a fish sandwich at Fado. Well, I'd tried to have a fish sandwich. I don't remember how well that went but probably not very. Dad had to drop us off and pick us up at every store, because I couldn't walk around the complex. In fact I didn't even really want to be there. But I was.

So it was Sunday night--"the beginning of another week," as they say on Pollyanna. My cell phone was, as usual, sitting on the end table by the remaining pills, mocking me. Not ringing. As usual.

So here I was, considering which pill to take next, and the phone rang.
I had caller ID on my cell, so when I saw Karen's name, I tried to keep my face neutral. But I knew what it was. Even though we were friends, she wasn't going to call on Sunday night just to chat.

And It Was. I had new lungs waiting for me, somewhere in Minnesota. The new lease on life had come. A day like today, struggling through heat, forcing myself to put one foot in front of the other, wouldn't happen again. Well, it would (as we did rehab) but it wouldn't be because my body was disappearing.

It was a long night. We left for Children's around 1 a.m., all of us piled in mom's silver Civic (dad was driving). The sky was cloudless, the stars brilliant. I didn't say a word.

Bryan and Mel slept on the couches in 4AE's multi-purpose room. I slept. The nurses didn't quite know what to do with me. :) Mom and Dad and I listened as Karen and Dr. A came in with updates. Fr. Mark, thanks be to God, came.

At 7 I was taken down to pre-op with my parents. Then I don't remember anything else.

An amazing, incredible day. My gratitude is simply overwhelming. I saw an organ donor plate yesterday that read "THNK YOU". Two words are so inadequate to express what the Gift of Life really means. But it's all we have.

And I have had two years with my family and friends. I have traveled to new cities and seen new things. I've joined new organizations, met new people, seen new babies be born and new marriages take place. I've watched my cousins and my godson grow up. And, of course, I've been reading.

If you're not an organ donor, think about it. Become one. Check out some of the links in the side bar, especially Lifeline's. Because you can save someone's life, and she will thank you forever.

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