...today, at this time, I was in a waiting room at St. Louis Children's Hospital, with my family, waiting to receive calls from the OR to update us on Ember's Transplant. I remember the day like it happened yesterday. Everything is permanently etched into my mind. It is hard to imagine that three years ago, she received her gift of life. While it seems like a lifetime has passed since that point, I also realize that it really isn't that long ago. We have SO very much to be thankful for in those short 3 years. She has grown into a beautiful, vivacious, loving little girl. She is happy and healthy and seems to have no worries in the world. Above all else, even if we didn't have those other things, she is still here.
Her donor angel is thought of every day even though we have never had the chance to know his family. We continue to raise her in a fashion that we would hope her donor family would be proud of. We talk with her continually about what it means to have her gift and try to explain what the true meaning of giving is. I have always tried to be the strong one in the entire Transplant situation, but sitting here typing this blog is bringing tears to my eyes. (That means you have to forgive typos! I can't see the screen here!) It's hard not to tear up when I think of everything she has been through in her short little life. She continues to be one of the strongest people I know.
The further out from Transplant you get, the more relaxed you get. This means meds are missed, I don't panic if sanitizing gel isn't attached to my hip at all times, and I chalk certain things up to the old say "Schtuff happens". One thing that hasn't changed is the feeling of gratitude, an over abundance of love, and a realization of how blessed we are. We have our baby when I know many who do not, far too many who do not. We have come SO very far in such a short time. Ember now has a beautiful little sister that she adores and she is no longer allergic to peanuts. She is doing phenomenal in preschool and loves to spend time learning. Reading is one of her favorite things to do, so we thought that we would donate books to Children's this year to commemorate her transplantiversary. Ember approves. :)
It's hard to believe that we went from this:
in those three years!
For those of you still waiting for "The Call", don't give up hope. We are here with you and waiting to welcome you to the other side of transplant. We hope and pray that your will have the perfect gift at the perfect time.
My Mother -In - Law found a poem that I would like to leave with. I think that it absolutely beautiful and says all the right things.
MAY GOD bless all donor families and the precious and loving memory of all donors, for they who give the Gift of Life in so doing demonstrate a deep and very profound understanding of another of God's most perfect gifts to mankind: the Gift of Love.
Without the Gift of Love, the Gift of Life through organ donation could not and would not be possible. May all recipients receive the Gift of Life in the same manner and spirit in which it was given: with love and compassion.
May all recipients continue to privately and publicly display their gratitude for this precious gift, now and forever .
May all recipients share the Life and the Love of this gift, and use it to make meaningful and lasting contributions to society and humanity.
May all recipients live life to the fullest each and every day, and in so doing pay loving tribute to their donors and donor families.
May all recipients do more than merely say thanks, may they be given the strength, courage, wisdom and direction to do thanks through their actions, their deeds and their accomplishments, and by their everyday deportment, at all times showing honour and respect for donors and donor families, who so lovingly and selflessly gave the Gift of Life.
May all recipients seek, find, understand and fulfil the purpose for which they have been so graciously chosen to receive this special gift.
To all donor families and the memory of all donors, God bless you. Thank you, we love you. Thank you for the Gift of Life.