“Homecoming unites the past and the present.” ~ Author Unknown
I almost forgot that today was an important date in regards to my transplant journey.
Eleven years ago today, on Friday, May 25, 2007, I was released from the Cleveland Clinic and came home with Benny Keith Ward’s heart beating inside my chest. I remember the day well. The fast and furious final physical and occupational therapy assessments, the final discharge instructions from my fabulous Post Transplant nursing team …. Carin and Dave …… a recap of the rules, the do’s and don’ts ……. and the 65 mile ride sitting in the backseat of a 2001 Buick, in which I thought the driver was intentionally attempting to hit every pothole on the interstate (I had forgotten that winter had just recently ended and there were still potholes EVERYWHERE – just like today). Once on front of the house I can remember the first two sets of 4 steps until I was safely in the house ……. and a bit later I cam remember the 5+ minute journey it took to get up 13 stairs to the second floor, with a death grip on the handrail.
I can also vividly remember the fears racing through my mind ….. the emotions that made me shake and at times cry uncontrollably ……… the questions in my mind ….. this is my NEW life …….. CAN I DO THIS? DO I DESERVE THIS GIFT? WHY ME?
I also had literally disappeared off the planet for 28 days …… and I started a very slow process of reaching out to friends and coworkers.
And later in the evening, thoughts of my donor and donor family were firmly fixed in my thoughts ……. and in my first prayers since arriving home.
Obviously I did embrace the gift I was given and have NEVER forgotten all of the people who made it happen ……. the many, many wonderful people that saved me and cared for me at Cleveland Clinic, my family and friends and the cards and prayers from 100’s of people ….. and God WAS listening and soon Benny Keith Ward would be a HUGE part of my life …… the HERO that would keep me alive.
Dear Lord, I am FOREVER THANKFUL!