Yesterday was filled with a lot of laughter, smiles and fun. But deep down, I knew exactly what the day was all about. Some of it, sad. While, for the most part, good.
I'd spent the entire school day in my youngest daughter's Kindergarten class. We carved real pumpkins in "teams". Then we did a ton of different crafts. Including my 'Jack-O-Lantern Jug' that they have an option to use as a candy collection jug for Trick-Or-Treating.
After trying to think of something to do to commemorate the special meaning of October 29th as being the Transplant Anniversary since having my new Cornea placed in, helping me to once more see, and even be able to keep the whole eye that at this time last year was ravaged with infection to the point is nearly impossible to save it, I think I found my way of honoring my Donor, their family and the significance of the day.
I had fun. I smiled. I played with the wonderful children I help every week in the classroom. I even danced with the kids at the Halloween Dance that was put on for them after school. I lived life as I always have. As a survivor of the hurdles I have had to face, and as the mother I was before my sight in the left eye was robbed, thanks to infection and an accident.
As I sit here and think back about the past week, I honestly cannot think of a better way to thank and honor such a gift, or the Donor that gave of themselves. To live my life. Be happy. To be the mother that I was meant to be to my children. To be the wife I have striven to be for my husband for the past eight years of our marriage. To be the friend that I have always been or have to tried to have been to others.
My donor gave me what was robbed of me in a matter of seconds. Even though apparently, the damage was already severely done over the prior months before. But it took just one accidental poke with my own knuckle to complete what the infection set out to do. To take away my sight completely from my left eye.
Almost a month later, my Donor gave me their cornea, thanks to their loving gift at the end of their life, and to sheer luck that one was readily available to fit my needs.
At first, it killed me inside to know that I had to have someone die to let me live my life as I have always known. I had "Survivor's Guilt". Especially when Thanksgiving and Christmas came around. I knew that as I sat down to dinner and opening gifts, another family was sitting around grieving and wishing that their loved one was still here to enjoy life and the holidays with.
Now that the year has come along, and I am pretty much back to normal like before all of this had happened, I no longer try to think about things in a "sad way". I know deep within my heart, my Donor is happy with my getting back on with life and enjoying being a wife and a mother.
They gave me my life back. And for that, I will FOREVER be grateful. To them, and to their family. And I have realized, at least for me personally, the best way to honor them, not just on October 29th, but EVERY single day of the year, is to just live my life to the fullest capacity, smile as much as I can, and know that THEY TO know just how thankful that I am of the gift that they bravely and heroically gave to me.
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