The RE-BIRTHDAY party for organ transplant recipients was sponsored by The Transplant Recipient International Organization (TRIO) on 6 May. Denise and I celebrated with some incredible people. We shared a table with a young man and his kidney donor. He had switched job locations and soon afterwards, became ill. His kidneys failed. One of his new co-workers donated one of her kidneys. What a marvelous gift she gave. She gave him a new life. She is awesome. Each person at the re-birthday party was given the opportunity to tell a little about themselves. There were folks who received kidneys, hearts, livers and lungs. It is so amazing to be in a room filled with people who, were it for not for organ transplantation, would be dead. Their stories told of their courageous journeys and how their families overcame the horrible fear that impending death deals out to those who approach him so closely.
When it was my turn to speak, I told them about our son, Jeremy’s, organ donation. And how magically heart warming it was to listen to Jeremy’s heart beating inside Robert’s chest. I was starting to choke up, and I noticed that I brought nearly everyone to tears. Now that I think back on that event, I wonder why I felt good making everyone cry. ;-) It is because they share my grief and thus lighten my load a little. I am not alone in my grief and seeing the transplant recipients so happy and so alive brightens the silver lining around the dark cloud of Jeremy’s death. Each day brings its gifts and opportunities for noticing them. I try to stay awake to those opportunities to receive the gifts that life brings to me.