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.
Thankfulness to my father who informed me about this website, this web site is really awesome.
Yes….there is a mssg there for the crisis people too…u cant go on and on negatively despite how bad things might be…it really isn’t good for u either!! And, even if u had a small issue like an ingrown toenail no one can handle hearing about it all nite…not even the best people!!
So, my mssg (and I would love for u to carry forward in ur talks) is: To friends: be a friend when its not convenient, even if u need to limit ur time to just calling on ur way home to say u care and just chat even about ur day and theirs. To crisis people: be cognizant that most are trying to stay happy and they also have issues, they might not be as big as urs, but give them air time too.
GIve and take, but don’t forget the “give”.
I think its important to tell the story of being a friend to the less fortunate. Not everyone has such a great story to tell as u do. U seem to get a ton of support, even from those u didn’t know. I don’t think most have ur experience.
Ive talked to several, and they had most people leave them vs. help in their crisis. 95% of my friends left me in my crisis, even tho I went thru big pains to hide all my symptoms and appear “normal” – and also not talk about bad stuff all nite (no one needs that!!) But, even doing all that, they were gone, b/c we live in a selfish world where people say…”my life is great…too bad urs isn’t….I sure don’t want to know about it b/c that might make my life less fun”.
Less fun….I wonder how they forgot all the things friends have done for them (incl me) when their life wasn’t fun and mine was….like one friend that I drove around for a year when he had an issue, or another friend in CA that I used my vaca time and flew out from MI to see her during her low. All were gone in a heartbeat when my issue came.
U sure see an ugly side to life in crisis…and a v selfish world.
U need support to truly get well …I think the mind/body really work together….so be a friend when its not convenient!! And, esp if someone has helped u!!
Yes, some can’t handle it and do desert their friends, my “Amesty” post was about that. I am part of a few transplant support groups with several hundred people. Fortunately most have had people and communities rally around them. There are some very sad stories of broken families and people who are, apart from our group, alone.
It’s been amazing to see those people who are alone have others in our support group step in and visit, provide help and give rides.
People who are active part of church communities have gotten support too. That’s cool. It’s how it’s supposed to work.
One thing Ive noticed is that some people are hard to help because they just seem to wallow and are tough to be around. Others are easy to support because of their attitude.