Wednesday, June 17, 2009
"I'll be sad later..."
I have had a humbling couple of days. My heart is heavy but also very full of gratitude. Yesterday was my 4 year checkup for my kidney transplant. I was pretty anxious about this appointment because I was going to have to make some decisions about my medical care and I am not good at this. I am, however, really good at doing exactly what they tell me to do - but this was not a decision they could make for me. I get down to Georgetown after 2 hours of driving and am feeling frustrated with my crying baby. Who blames him though, right?!?! I rush up to the Transplant unit and sit down. By then, Brady has calmed down and is flirting with anyone who will look his way. Across from me, was a smiley woman holding a very sick looking baby who was obviously hooked up to dialysis. At that moment, I felt so ashamed. Ashamed for being so ungrateful for my health, ashamed for being frustrated with Brady for crying and ashamed for not thanking Heavenly Father everyday for such a healthy happy boy. She looked at Brady and he laughed and so we began talking. She asked me how old he was and I told her he was five months. I asked her how old little Clay was and she said 4 months. She then paused and looked at me and told me to not be so sad for her. She told me she's okay and she knew Clay would be okay too. Little baby Clay is waiting for a kidney transplant. The only problem is, he can only receive a transplant from another baby so he is facing, possibly, a very long wait. I had visible tears in my eyes and said I was so sorry. She said, "Why? One of you is obviously not well or you wouldn't be here." I told her how I was there for my four year check up from my own transplant that I received from my mother. This made her cry. She said she would give anything to give her baby a kidney but she would have to wait until he was at least 5 years old. But then she said something that will change me forever. She said, "I'll be sad later. I am going to enjoy every second of his life and just live, come what may." At that very moment, the nurse called little Clay back for his appointment and we parted ways. I felt to grateful that I got to meet her. The thing is, everybody is suffering from something. It could be mental, physical, financial, etc but we all have our burdens. We also all have a choice about how we will handle these things and I think my new friend has hit the nail on the head. I'll be sad later - today I will live! Fast forward to today. I was feeding Brady and turned on my tv to pick a show from our DVR. There was a recorded Oprah from yesterday that I remembered I really wanted to watch. Oprah was featuring children who were considered miracle children and during the commercial for this upcoming episode, I saw two little girls that I recognized from a book written by their mother that my mom just finished reviewing. Anyway, I turn it on and am amazed at the stories I am hearing about. I am feeling so uplifted. I am snuggling my baby and feeling so blessed and grateful and humbled. The last story was one of a little baby named Eliot who was born with Trisomy 18. His parents found out at 30 weeks gestation that he had it and and because babies born with it don't usually live past infancy so they started writing him letters and taking pictures to put together in a video diary. They played it today on Oprah and it made me so sad and happy at the same time. The 99 days this boy lived, he was loved so much and he really did LIVE! After the video, Oprah, through tears, interviewed Eliot's parents. The mom basically said the same thing as Clay's mom. She said she decided when she was 30 weeks pregnant that she was going to love this baby and live each day independent from the next. She was going to treat Eliot as if he would live forever and celebrate his life. She said there would be time to be sad later. Once again, I am bawling my eyes out as I realize that two days straight I hear this advice and realize that this is a life lesson for me. Some people who know what I have been through say, "You've been through so much. How are you so happy?" or "I could never have gotten through what you have." But, we all have things - hard things. I would rather have a kidney transplant than watch my baby suffer through it. Clay's mom doesn't see it that way. She just loves and lives. And that is what I am going to do from now on. Come what may, I'll be sad later, but today, I will live!