The other aspect of my good fortune is that I have a collection of friends and acquaintances and even a daughter who shares this good fortune of being propelled in life by another's life giving organ. What makes my good fortune in this realm is that these people are the most grateful, loving people you can ever meet. How lucky I am to be a part of this community without having to go through what they have had to. That is a challenge and ordeal no one would ever wish for or wish upon another. And yet, they are amazing and they inspire me. I have been able to be their friend, supporter, mother and at times caregiver. This is one of the most crazy and most lovely parts of my life.
I learned about transplanted organs, especially lungs, many years ago when it was first discussed as a possible way to save my daughter's life. She was born with cystic fibrosis, a serious and life shortening genetic disease. My life as her mother was intense with the forever cloud of ever worsening disease and eventual loss. We fought the overwhelming lung infections with all that we had as a family. We were involved in our community of other CF families. There, another way I have had great good fortune. Our CF, CFRI community is filled with committed, intelligent, caring, courageous people. I am so, so proud to be a part of that group.
But finally, despite the war on her lung disease the battles lead to a surrender and a new path, keeping Anna going until new lungs could be found. We knew others whose lives had been saved in this way. They were our inspiration and our hope. We also knew others who never had this opportunity. Their lives took on a different turn and a different meaning. When you or your family member have this hope and then are not able to get a chance at new life through organ transplant there is a feeling of great disappointment and loss. Then one must listen and look very deep to find the meaning of the life that ended too soon. So many have been lost and so many more will again. Everyone has their own story and each family must find the way they cope and learn to gain understanding. They are the most courageous ones.
And for us, me and Peggy, our stories include the chapter of successful organ transplantation. Having survived this ordeal as mother and friend to others before, I got to once again support and watch my dear friend Peggy receive this miracle too, only 8 weeks ago. How strange it seemed when I learned that my good friend needed a new heart. How could I know so many organ recipients? My first impulse was to help her in any way that I could. I had a way to give, because I had been there before, I knew how to do this. One needs to have some way to give back when life saving gifts are so generously bestowed by the universe. I also have my great good fortune of good health and all my original parts so that I could do this, I could help to support my friend.
And, Peggy has done so well, not a glitch, not a hint of rejection. And the gifts that are given to me as a result of watching her are so wonderful. I get to be with my dear Peggy who is just simply, the energy of love. She is so, so happy. She is so, so grateful. I am so, so lucky to have her as my friend. There are many others out there who are waiting for organs, there are many out there who have met an untimely demise that gives them and their family this door through which they can make meaning out of a tragic situation. Many need to be better informed about the gift of transplant and what it can do for people, opening hearts, giving hope and new life. Oh what a great good fortune I have to have witnessed this so many times in this life time..........when it works it is truly a miracle.
And for all of those that I know at this time who are on the edge, who wish for this path, may it be yours as well. I wish I could say as I know they do too, may it be so, but that is not the way it works. It is the unfolding of a life in its true meaning and the mysterious revealing of the individual's true story where the great good fortune relative to their own life resides. We do not get to decide on our ending or if we get the same good fortune as another, we get our own. Each story is unique with mystery, disappointments, loss, gains and most of all with meaning. Meaning is revealed to us all when we look deeply finding it in all circumstances. It is that meaning that is truly the great good fortune for all of us because that is what keeps us going and that is what we can share with others enhancing their experience of life as well.
Here is to you recognizing your great good fortune in every circumstance!
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