I can’t help but be amazed by the passing of time and how it changes things. Last summer I attended two weddings and left both early. Both were major accomplishments for me since I was just weeks post transplant. Everyone celebrated my presence. Heck, I celebrated my presence!
This summer I am officiating some weddings and photographing others! I am now at the point that when people say, “it’s good to see you” that they don’t mean “I’m happy you’re still alive.” Last night we hung out with friends and, for the first time, transplant was barely even mentioned.
I talked to my friend Suzanne the other night. She’s waiting for a transplant and is at the place I was not too long ago where she feels like a prisoner in her own house. She hates her couch just as much as I hated mine. We laughed about that “green couch” blog post I wrote before my surgery. She said I encourage her by the way I’m living now. I give her hope that she has a future.
I did my best to encourage her to stand strong. But, even though things are going extremely well for me now, my heart ached for her. I went to bed praying that she would not have to wait much longer and that God would hold her just like he held me on the toughest of nights.
I live in two worlds now. I live as a healthy man balancing an increasingly-busy schedule and I live as a member of the transplant community. Some days I want to just move on and forget I ever went through all that I did. I’ve even had friends encourage me to just put it all behind me.
I can’t. I can’t leave my waiting friends behind.
While I was slowly dying, I had people who walked the transplant path before me take the time to call, email or post on my Facebook wall. In a time when I felt like no one around me could possibly understand, I knew they did. They refused to leave me alone. I’m thankful they didn’t.
My God allowed me to walk this path for a reason. My God has chosen to restore me in miraculous ways. I can’t just pretend it never happened. I will stand as a testimony of His faithfulness.
In September I am going to Livermore Falls, Maine to tell my story. The man who booked me asked that I be sure to share how I saw and felt God’s power on my life. I figure that’s why I’m here.
Emotionally, it might be easier to leave Suzanne, Misty, Bob and Kurt behind.
I’ve never been one to take the easier path. I won’t start now.