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There are no words.

None.

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.

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16 Comments

  1. I get it. At least, I get it as much as someone who has not had an organ transplant can. I get it as I remember finally seeing and meeting and thanking the man who pulled me out of my burning car and held my broken body until the paramedics came. I am so happy for you to be able to be the rockin' mama to your adorable little boy. You bring a brightness to so many people's lives (in person & virtually). So, I imagine there are lots of us who would like to thank your brotherinlaw, Tim!!! :>

  2. That was great Lizz. So happy for your 1 year anniversary! What a wonderful gift and tribute. Now when I think of Tim I have one more person to add to my list of real life superheroes!

  3. Oh, wow! That is incredible. And yes, so generous of him. And so amazing. You are a blessed family, in many ways. Thank you for sharing this with us all. And happy anniversary!

  4. WOW! You are truly blessed to have a person in your life that is just that good. He didn't have to do it. It's absolutely incredible.

  5. Very well said! Happy year kidney anniversary! We love you so much and are so grateful Tim was able to give you the most amazing gift ever. He holds a very dear place in our hearts, thank you Tim!!

  6. Tim is a true hero and what he gave all of us: YOU is a doube gift! I am just as speechless with the amount of gratitude for what he did.

    Wow wow wow…..thank God for people like Tim and YOU my beautiful friend.

  7. Beautiful post! This was our life also. Being off dialysis is a huge gift! Thank you Tim for donating life and inspiring others to do the same.

  8. Wow, that is incredible! I'm so glad that you have been given that gift of a normal life. Your brother and his family are selfless people, and I'm sure they see your gratitude.

  9. I had the priviledge of hanging with my best friend after she'd given her father a kidney… what a cool chick. Seriously, a gift like that… is just the most remarkable thing EVER!

    Congrats on reaching a year of being totally YOU again… and thanks for sharing this part of your story (and Tim's!!!!) What a huge milestone!

  10. Congratulations on your one year transplant anniversary, and for telling us about your brother in law. Im so grateful to him for the joy and quality of life he has helped give to you. <3

  11. Lizz,
    My wife recently celebrated her 4 year anniversary of her 2nd kidney transplant after waiting 9 years. I (and she) can totally relate.
    Congratulations!

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