Okay, so now that I've had a little time to decompress after yesterday, I've come to a really somewhat startling conclusion:
Yesterday might have been one of the best days of my life.
Um, yeah, you read that right. And no, don't worry, I'm not suffering from post-traumatic stress delusion over here. Believe me, I never expected that I would ever write those words about a day filled with hospitals, blood draws, IVs, super stylish "gowns," and well, frankly, disappointment. I never thought that I would ever call spending 9 hours NPO being prepped for surgery a good time. And, to be honest, it really wasn't a "good time" in the traditional sense of the term, but I have since come to understand that it was a very "good time" in terms of learning a very valuable lesson.
Okay, let me explain.
A couple of my favorite CF transplant bloggers have recently been inspiring me with their words of wisdom about trust and acceptance. I'm always so grateful to read those messages because they remind me that even when things don't turn out as we would like them to, they still turn out as they should. And I guess I should preface all this by saying that I do, in fact, believe in the Greater Plan -- that God has a purpose for us, that we are all connected as part of creation, and that (as Sara so wonderfully reminded me) "the universe is unfolding as it should." But I'm also the first to admit that believing in that concept in the abstract is often a whole lot simpler than believing and actually trusting and rejoicing in that concept on a daily basis, especially when, well...shit happens.
Yesterday, though, the abstract became real for me in a way I don't think I could have ever anticipated, and in retrospect it seems like the best blessing I could have ever asked for.
I felt firsthand how one family's loss can, through their grace and generosity, become a miracle of hope for another family. I sat in a hospital room with my sister as we both shed tears for the family that was offering us a second chance -- that without even knowing us was willing to share the greatest gift we could even imagine -- and doing so unconditionally, without asking anything in return. And honestly, it was pretty indescribable to actually feel that miracle -- to know suddenly (rather than simply to think) that hope and life really can be born out of grief and death.
And then, later, the other side of that coin became equally real to me when I learned that my loss would be another family's joy and rebirth. It was just a flash -- a split second spent on a hospital transport gurney in the dimly lit OR holding area -- but I realized that just as I was so willing to accept that another family's loss for my gain was right, I also needed to trust just as fully in the fact that my loss was, in fact, exactly what should have happened. Which is not to say that it was easy, or that I was particularly thrilled when I got the news or when as I watched another man roll off to the OR where my surgery had been scheduled, but I guess it is to say that I was honestly at peace with it even in that very emotional moment. It wasn't "fun" for sure, but it was okay, and more than that -- it was right.
I really, truly believe that -- now more than ever. Just as I really, truly believe that perfect lungs will come for me, and for Beth and Jess and Jen and Rhi and Gina and Katie and Jerry and James and Andrew. I don't know that, of course, but I do think I know now that it will all be exactly as it should be, either way.
Does all this sound too passive for your taste? I promise I don't mean it to be. One thing I have learned through this entire process is that you have to fight and advocate for yourself, and you have to take active, positive steps toward making good things happen. But when things don't turn out exactly as I planned them, even after all my best efforts, I hope that I can also take from this entire experience the understanding that, well, that's okay too.
Tom Petty, by the way, was wrong: it's not so much the waiting as the trusting that is, in my opinion, the hardest part. And also the most beautiful.
- I am a 33-year-old wife, sister, daughter, friend, law school graduate, CFer, lifelong student of public service, blog writer, patient, Sagittarius, reader, Top chef fan, double-lung transplant recipient (twice!), and dog owner living in Colorado's beautiful Mile High City. I love all things colorful, funny, inspiring, or needlessly sarcastic. I share my city with about 2,500,000 other remarkable people, share my disease with 70,000 other beautiful souls, share my life with some unbelievable family and friends, and share my apartment with one very handsome guy and one really fat mutt with a kick-butt personality. We make it work.
About This Blog:
This blog is about me, my life, my sometimes craziness, my disease, and my current journey as a double-lung transplant recipient. It's also a celebration of everyone out there with CF (and other chronic illnesses). It's for you, inspired by you, and dedicated to you -- the community that keeps me writing, living, and breathing.
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