Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 494


Oct. 10, 2014

 Day 494


A beautiful day outdoors and inside my heart.  I've had a nasty sinus headache all day today, but it's still ok.  This came in today's mail via the Iowa Donor Network:


Dear Donor Family,

We are writing to thank you for the kind and generous gift of tissue donation from your loved one.  We are aware it was a difficult decision to make and are truly sorry for your loss.  Your decision to donate has and will make an impact on our 12 year old son's life.  Our son was diagnosed with rapidly progressing scoliosis at the end of the school year.  The hopes for a "normal" summer of swimming, playing, riding bkies, and playing tackle football came to a halt.  Spinal fusion and rod placement was performed only three weeks after we realized that something was "not right" with our son's back.  His recovery from surgery went extremely well.


Your donation made our son's surgery a success.  He will be limited in activities for about 6  months and has been able to return to school.  Our son is a smart, loving child who hopes to become a pilot someday.  He is an A honor student and loves anything about airplanes.


Interestingly. we were not aware that he was receiving donor tissue during surgery.  We found this out upon discharge from the hospital when they handed us the donor "thank you" card.  Immediately, we felt a sense of gratitude that words cannot express.  Our family will never forget the sacrifice that you had to make.  We are grateful for the gift you gave our child and to our family.  Every time we look at his scar, we will remember the sacrifice that was made.



The Recipient Family


The didn't provide a name or address so I'll never be able to write back like I could one of the corneal recipients.  But I will forever treasure this letter.  As I wrote on Facebook, Paul had a number of active sons, too.  I know he'd be delighted to know that his body, no longer needed, is able to help another family's son.


I don't know about referring to it as a "sacrifice," though.  It's not like Paul needed his body parts anymore.  The only difficult part about the whole process was answering the myriad of questions from the donor facility within that first hour or so after Paul's death.


The way they harvest skin, I was told, is that, with Paul, anyway, they took some from his legs and torso, I believe.  They then treat it with some sort of chemicals and it "grows."  Modern medicine is SO cool sometimes.


So, anyway, I'm smiling today.  And Readers - sign up to donate your organs.  There's no reason not to, not when there is such a need.  Paul looked perfectly fine in his casket and there was no way for anyone to tell that he was divested of his eyes, some veins and skin.   And if he hadn't looked fine and we'd had to have a closed casket as a result - that would have been ok, too, since the greater good would have been done.


Speaking of Paul...I got his grave decorated this week.  When Sam and I were at Hobby Lobby last week we picked out some things.  I threw in a few Halloween decorations, too, since Paul especially enjoyed the holiday.  I'll take those down after the 31st and leave the fall decorations.  I have a friend whose husband died and she told me that every year she places creepy hands and other things around his site because he loved Halloween, too.  I can't quite bring myself to do that.  Honestly, I'm more queasy about Halloween since Paul's death than I ever was before.  I guess once you bury someone death isn't such a light matter anymore.


Sam found a little skeleton he wanted to put on the grave, but I just couldn't quite stomach the idea.  All I could think about was Paul decomposing into a skeletal state.  I have no idea where that process is right now.  I have a feeling he's still pretty intact, actually.  But I nixed the skeleton.  Then Sam found some foam spiders so we went with those instead.


I just received word tonight that my uncle died.  My cousin facebooked me about it.  I'm kind of surprised because he was quite a bit younger than his parents (my grandparents) were when they died.  I guess heredity isn't everything.  I'd like to make it to the funeral, if possible, for my cousins' sakes,  but I'm not sure.  This next week is going to be awfully busy.  The funeral may not even be in the state, anyway.  He hasn't lived here for decades.  I don't know why the news makes me feel sad.  I had no relationship with man at all, other than to know he was my uncle.  But just the same, there is part of me that feels bad.  I suspect some of it is because I'm awfully tired right now.  But also, I'm more sensitive to the subject of death since Paul died.  Anytime anyone goes, it's kind of like rubbing up against those sensitive nerve endings.


David swapped out the storm door screen for the glass door we use for cold weather.  I was SO impressed by this!  I didn't ask him to do it, but he just took it upon himself and did the job just fine.  He's growing up.


Lizzie, on the other hand...I had one morning this week where I had to get out of the house pretty early for an appointment.  I was not real happy when I got up at 6:30 to get Ben fed and off to school to discover the girls curled up together on the couch, playing the ipad!  I shooed them back to bed but it wasn't too much later I heard a crash from their room.  Still, I wasn't overly concerned, until Lizzie came downstairs and let me know her bedroom floor was full of glass now.  She had decided to turn off the fan from her bunk bed, using the pull strings on the contraption. This decision spelled the end for the glass light globe.   The night before she has asked if she got too cold if it was ok if she turned off the fan.  I told her, "sure," thinking she would simply flip the light switch.  No, that would not be illogical - or as much fun.  It's much better to balance precariously on a bed and try-y-y to reach a 5" string dangling underneath rotating blades. 

"Well, I did it before!" was her sputtering response when I asked why on earth she thought this was a good and smart decision.  Argh...


This week Paul's brother, Michael, shot himself in the leg by accident when a handgun misfired (?) or something.  I'm not sure of all the details.  Will called him and got the details after we learned about the accident on Facebook.  He's going to be fine, but he did break his lower leg and had to have surgery to implant some rods and plates.  Paul would have had such a field day teasing him about this!  Those boys grew up handling firearms from the time they were little guys and so for him to have this accident is really surprising since they are (were) all so skilled at handling them.  But anyway, I was mentioning to Ben that his uncle had been shot by accident.  Ben looked at me and asked, "Well, when is his funeral?"  I guess I wasn't clear enough when telling him the story.  Poor kid. He's so accepting of death now.


David had a really, really sore leg, himself (not as sore as Michaels, though, I'm sure) after playing flag football Monday night. I think he said it came into contact with another player's face. It gradually began to feel better over the next couple of days.  David expressed disappointment at that and commented that he wished he had torn a ligament or something just so he could brag about playing "really rough football!"  Oh, brother...


Sunday I was driving the Littles to a birthday party when they wanted to know how babies are made.  Why do they want to know about these kind of things when I'm driving?  Or ever?  I gave them my kid-friendly version of the facts of life, but that's not good enough for my scientific, logical, left-brained nearly 7 year old.  From there,  the discussion rapidly moved into  the arena of kissing, since I may or may not have led them to believe that prolonged bouts of that lead to babies.  Lizzie and Sam wanted to know if it's ok to kiss before marriage.  We were talking about that for awhile.  Then Sam said in his very decisive manner, "Well, when I get a girlfriend someday, I'm just going to have certain times I kiss her.  I'm going to need some privacy for that, Mom."  I'll try to  remember that.


It's after 11 and I am so, so tired.  I was awake a little bit after 6 this morning with a nasty sinus headache.  I got so tired that I actually fell asleep for about a half hour before supper - unheard of.  I do NOT take naps during the week.  I can't.  I've tried, but it doesn't work.  But it was enough to give me enough oomph to make it this late.  David has a friend staying for a couple of days and Will is home.  We all went to Pleasantville's homecoming game.  They did well - 48 to 6.  Tomorrow is the church's fall festival, which ought to be fun. 


It will be Sunday and I'll hit the ground running for another week of life.  My different life.  My busy life.  My good life.




No comments:

Post a Comment