I once had a friend tell me, “You can’t be a wimp and have a heart transplant!” Well, yesterday, I was once again reduced to a teary eyed wimp …. all in honor of MY AMAZING DONOR!
For the past 5 years, including 2014, I have been able to publicly honor my anonymous heart donor during the annual Gift of Life Walk and Run, which is put on by our local “Organ Procurement Organization”, known as Lifebanc. The walk is about our donors and about spreading the word about the miracles of organ donation. It is one of the BEST days of the year.
I have written about the previous walks in each of these years ……
This year was filled with very raw emotions for me personally. There were a few reasons for these heightened emotions, a couple of which I will share here and a some that I won’t for very personal reasons.
If you read back through the 4 previous years worth of my words, it is easy to see that for many organ recipients, it is an emotional day simply because most of us are in TOTAL awe of the person that SAVED our lives, as they sadly and unfortunately came to the end of theirs. This gift that we’ve been given is not a trivial thing. This act, along with our donors and our donor families are on are minds EACH and EVERY day!
One of the reasons that my emotions were at an all time high for this walk is because my 2 grand kiddoa walked with me this year, and were present with me in the “Legacy Garden” where I had a sign placed (see below) once again in honor of my donor and we also had a balloon launch ….. watching the balloons drift toward heaven as you think of that person that saved you is mind numbing. No man wants his grand kiddos cry to see their grand-father cry …… and as hard as I tried, it simply couldn’t be helped as the tears flowed freely …. as I thought of my donor, my hero. Without that amazing donor, I wouldn’t be watching these kids grow.
Another reason for increased emotions was that a number of months we lost a beautiful member of the team of wonderful people who I walk with and her entire family and many of her friends were present. My thoughts of her and her family were with me all day as well. She was a young lady that was simply loved by all that knew here. Her loss to all of us was very profound.
The emotions of the day were draining. Yet, I in retrospect, I have same thoughts of my donor and his/her family each day, often multiple times a day ….. BUT in PRIVATE.
My thanks, gratitude, gratefulness will be never-ending to this person, their family and to God!
You may not feel the emotions in the following pictures, but believe me there were many.