There are no words.
Not enough to express the gratitude.
Because one year ago today, I was given the most amazing gift.
The gift of life. Again.
My brother-in-law, Tim, underwent a surgery he totally didn't need and gave me a kidney.
He gave me my life back.
Gave Jamie his wife back, and Max his mommy back.
For 365 days, I haven't had to spend my sleepless nights tethered to a machine to keep me alive.
For 52 weeks, I haven't had to keep track of high or low sodium, phosphorus or protein foods.
For 1 year, I have been back to normal*
*Definition of normal is open to interpretation
I've tried to explain the level of gratitude I feel to others, but am not sure that I can ever adequately express it. Perhaps an adoptive mom getting to thank a birth mother? How about hugging the hero who pulls you out of a burning building? The doctors who saved Max's life in the NICU came close, but even then, it's what they do, it's their calling. Tim is a FedEx guy. I'm pretty sure thay “general anesthesia, getting sliced open and your insides removed, followed by weeks of painful recovery” aren't in his usual job description.
My own mind can't grasp the gratitude I feel, so it's hard for me to explain it to others.
I try, and then I end up like this. Trying and failing. I can't even quantify the difference his gift has made. I know it's the same analogy I always use, but it's the best way to explain it. You know that Claratin commerical? It's all foggy and desaturated at the beginning, but you don't really notice it until they peel off the haze and the colors come back to normal.
What was my life on dialysis. I just got used to functioning at about 85%… even my best days, I'd feel fine, but fine still wasn't 100%. Now that I'm back, and able to take care of myself and my family to my fullest, my life is better, in every way.
So thank you, Tim, for giving so literally of yourself.
And Lori, Danielle and Marissa, for supporting your husband and daddy as he went through this for me.
There's a special place in heaven for people like you, and I love you always.