Mid-November, I was ready for Christmas movies and Christmas music. I got the Christmas tree up with lights on it. Throughout the remainder of November and December, Hubster & I received a plethora of bad news.
I didn’t finish my Christmas cookies. I didn’t mail out Christmas cards, let alone order them. Our Christmas tree didn’t even have ornaments on it. Most of the Christmas shopping wasn’t done. My classroom was better decorated for the holidays than our home. I even quit after shoveling 1/2 the driveway free from 9″ of snow. I didn’t even take any pictures!!! For the first time in my life, I had unintentionally become a Scrooge/Grinch.
Sunday night, before Christmas, my mom got a phone call from her kidney transplant coordinator. We were hoping this was the miracle for which we’ve prayed for five years. As Hubster and I packed our bags the next morning, another phone call came. After inspecting the kidney, the surgeon rejected the kidney. Even though you try not to get your hopes up when you get a call like this, it is always a disappointment. Especially before Christmas…
On Christmas Eve, Hubster and I received more bad news and all feelings of Christmas joy had almost completely vanished.
The same day, Gift of Life Donor Program posted this Trivia Tuesday question on their FB page: Today, on Christmas Eve, how many Pennsylvanians are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant?
A. 7,854 B. 6,764 C. 5,376 D. 6,198
The correct answer? B: 6,764
Keep reading… it gets better!
Christmas morning didn’t feel like Christmas. As we were getting ready to head to my eldest sister’s house, my parents’ telephone rang. It was the kidney transplant coordinator again. There was another kidney match. Tears immediately poured down my mother and my faces as we were filled with mixed emotions. This! Is! It! I felt like this was the Christmas miracle for which we’ve waited. I was thrilled. I was scared that it might not go through. I was also heartbroken for the family that lost a loved one on Christmas morning. We said many prayers for him and his family.
The rest of the day we were all on edge while we waited for more information from the transplant coordinator. It was almost bedtime and fearing only bad news, we decided to try to get some sleep and see what the night would bring. No sooner than I rested my head down, I heard my parents’ phone ring. I sprung out of bed. Listening for long enough to know we were headed to the hospital. They were giving her BOTH kidneys! That almost never happens! Before my dad was off the phone with the coordinator, Momma was out of the house and already had the car running.
Our family spent Christmas night and Boxing Day in the hospital waiting room on edge. Happiness. Nervousness. Joy. Stress. Relief. Now my mom is at the hospital, focusing on healing.
Thank you to the Gift of Life Donor Program. Thank you to the donor and his incredibly thoughtful gift he has given our family. Thank you to the donor’s family for this gift which you may never truly know the magnitude. Thank you to the amazing surgeon for sharing his gifted hands and spending Christmas Day & Boxing Day flying to harvest the kidneys and back to perform a rare double kidney transplant! Thank you to the doctors, nurses, and technicians who are taking care of my mother and answer all of our questions. Thank you to the hospital receptionists and security guard who answered my sisters’ and my questions. Thank you to our friends, family, and neighbors for the outpouring of kindness, well wishes, and prayers. Thank you to my sisters, for holding my hand this week. Thank you to our dad for being such a great husband to our mom.
This incredible gift wasn’t only given to an amazing woman. It was also given to her family and friends. Her Boy Scouts. Her Girl Scouts. Her students. Her church choir. Her interns. An entire community.
And now, there’s 6,763…