Seven is such a lovely number.
Seven years of sharing organs for these two.
Seven years of side-hugs where a kidney brushes up to within 5cm of the spot that used to be its home. It’s not all bad for that kidney either. It gets to do things like cartwheel, somersault, skateboard, pogo stick, backflip and unicycle again. It used to do those things, in its younger years. In its other body. That bod doesn’t tend to move in those circles anymore, so if I had to guess, I’d say Tim’s old kidney is as happy with its new lease of life in Jesse’s body as Jesse is with it.
As I was pondering this Kidneyversary, I pulled out the drawing the transplant surgeon did of Tim’s old kidney recycled in Jesse in his “operation notes”. It’s a beautiful drawing. I have these grand plans to make a piece of art out of it but so far it sits in the filing cabinet undisturbed. I noticed for the first time Dr Lorenzo had added his cell number to the drawing. So sitting there, full of gratitude, I spontaneously texted him.
“This day 7 years ago your fine hands were used to grant us a miracle. Our family is remembering you today with gratitude. … So often you don’t get to see what happens. What you do matters. How you do it matters. And the kindness you showed as you explained complex things to fragile, fearful parents remains as an example still. Thank you.”
A second later, he responded.
“It’s words of encouragement like yours that keep us going through difficult times. Thank you. Can’t tell you how timely and inspiring your message has been.”
I don’t share it to puff myself up. I share it because we all have this power. To encourage with a timely word of affirmation. I’m not great at saying thank you. It’s a failing. It gets pushed to the bottom of the “to-do” list because somehow, wrongly, I see it as a “bonus”. I am so happy I pushed ‘send’ on Saturday. When I received his response, chastened, I pushed a few more “sends”.
His German Nephrologist responded almost immediately too. “Wow, what a kind and generous note. Congratulations. I feel humbled and blessed. Thank you so much. I hope that one day we can celebrate Jesse’s success together.”
There’s a lot – a LOT – of people who have loved and prayed us through in ways that matter more than medicine. When I hear how you pray for Jesse, love us, egg us on, it so moves me. Thank you to all of you. Thank you for calling, popping in, sending notes, sharing his needs at your church, praying in your closet, thank you for loving us. It’s a tricky thing to make yourself and your needs known …. when I can be so dark and messy and my family’s needs, in relation to many throughout the world, minimal.
You have been so gracious with my tangled webs. So kind to Jesse. On this seventh anniversary, just so grateful to you all.