Thanksgiving – acceptance, enjoyment – kidney donor program

This was the first year I didn’t cook and the first year without my children or family on Thanksgiving Day, at least for the dinner.  Life really is about our personal attitude… typically I would be “it’s ok, and I’m fine” however, in reality I would be a little depressed thinking about spending a holiday without my children.  Instead I had a wonderful day!

It’s been a big year of  awakening and moving forward for me. So many tears, great friends and deep contemplation. I hope I can stay in this state of appreciation for the rest of my life.  I had expected that I would donate my kidney to help my brother then go through a six week recovery period and finally get back to work. To my surprise when the healing began it was much more than physical– it was my soul that was healing.

Overall I consistently find myself in a state of appreciation and I practice this daily, life feels like it flows and I don’t worry about the day to day issues as I had before. I feel more complete and more open in giving of myself in this world. I feel happy, lite and very grateful.  I am blessed with wonderful friends and family that I love.

Happy Thanksgiving! Wendy

Sad news and reflection – Kidney donor program

I called my Mom today to tell her about our friend Yael we met at the family home who’s boyfriend’s son died.  Amir was 27 years old– battling cystic fibrosis and  awaiting a match for a double lung-liver (possibly kidney) transplant at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. He had lost his twin brother from the same disease just two years earlier.   Read more: The Jewish Chronicle – Give a helping hand

I am so sad for his family it’s hard to understand this kind of loss! A young person with so much ahead of him and for a father who has lost his only two children.

Our lives are consumed daily with chores, money worries, cleaning, doing homework and caring for those we love. It’s hard to imagine that for some all of that can change so quickly. Where life becomes still and present– a Our son Kyle - 1984normal day is being surrounded by hope, life and fear. Where a smile and a home cooked meal can make a huge difference in feeling normal.

At the family house we often cooked together in a huge kitchen filled with families coming in from a day of visiting their loved ones in the hospital. Everyone was so kind and so supportive. Time can move very slowly where each moment becomes a gift of hope or a sense of despair

As a young Mother at the age of 24, I was wondering if my newly born son Kyle was going to live– for three weeks we visited our son daily at the hospital in hopes that we could bring him home and start our new life. That didn’t happen for us. I remember the last time I walked out of the hospital on January 23 without my son.  I felt so completely empty– I could feel my body collapsing at the door and not wanting to take the final step out of the hospital.  I wondered if I would ever move forward in my life with this loss. Of course we did… we grew stronger, we grew wiser and we choose how this will affect us in life.

I am grateful I was able to have the experience of donating my kidney and meeting all of the families at UPMC.  My heart goes out to Amir’s family and all the other families waiting for organs.

May we each be kind and giving to one another.