My throat is tight and tears are burning my eyes.
Facebook memories are flooding me with nostalgia for where I was 4 years ago. The pictures have been happening for days. My last days at dialysis, friends coming to see me there complete with balloons and presents. The selfie I took as I left dialysis for the last time.
Sunday, April 9th 2023, is the 4 year anniversary of my life saving kidney transplant, made possible by my sweet husband, Henry with his one in a billion kidney gift.
The pictures…of that morning in the waiting room…we were second on the docket but they still had us get there so early. And then we sat and waited, stomachs growling as we waited endlessly. We even got to see Young and Restless which comes on at 11 here.
I took a picture of my feet next to my sister’s feet. My bag is on the floor next to me. On top is the cherished unicorn bean bag present that can be heated up to comfort pain.
And then they came and got Henry and I felt so lonely, even with my mom, sister, aunt and cousin waiting with me. We’d all been there so long, there wasn’t anything else to talk about really.
And I was SO hungry.
I heard my name and felt flooded with relief and fear. It was time for me to go.
I remember hoping for some sort of IV which would calm me. But there was Henry in his bed in the pre-op area. Waiting for me. His eyes were calm, taking me in as I went to change and then get in my own bed.
How long do we have to wait now?
Our local paper was doing a story on us and the photographer, Robert, had gotten special permission to be with us to document the whole story. So he was there too…in blue scrubs. That’s him in the pic I took of Henry on his way to his operating room.
And I sit here today, on my little loveseat in our bedroom, snuggled in the “Wake in Cloud” boho blanket and pillows that are like a cloud and I want to cry.
The enormity of our love and transplant overwhelm me. I mean, we live every day of our lives, the boring parts, the fighting parts. And don’t often stop to think that once upon a time I sent a text and got Henry instead of the coworker I was reaching out to.
Other people would just say, “wrong number” and that would be it. Not us. On Monday we’re going to be on the Tamron Hall talk show and the topic is “Daring to be Different.” And we dare.
I was 52 when I sent that text which ended up with 23 year old Henry. And we kept texting back and forth. Who does that? We did! And then the 6th text was when Henry asked me if I was familiar with the Law of Attraction, a question that flooded me with absolute joyful recognition.
And we decided to meet; a mentoring coffee. Which then turned into going to a concert together that night and him tenderly putting his hands on my hips during the show…and I didn’t reject him. I worried about being older than his parents but neither of us let the age-gap stop us!
One in a billion the mathematician told me when I asked him about the odds of us meeting by wrong number text, falling in love in spite of 29 years and that Henry would be a kidney match for me.
And now Henry is being wheeled away from me and I grab a last picture of him.
Still looking for that IV people!!
Henry and I live in a “dare to be different” kind of way. He taught himself coding/software development and now leads the Mobile Apps for Hay House Publishing. I had to retire from Purina to go on dialysis when my first transplant failed after 22 years in 2017. At 57 I felt lost for months without that identity but then decided I would figure out my “what’s next!”
And here I am embarking on the journey to inspire awakening women, illuminating the path to their own one in a billion life. Daring them to be different…different than they’ve always been. Cause what got you here won’t get you there.
We’ve recently moved into the 1974 atrium ranch home I grew up in on 3 acres in the woods. We’re totally embracing the time capsule that it is, complete with shag carpets and so many memories flood me as I sometimes sit with Henry in his office which used to be my room. We love being here because we don’t go many places and don’t take our masks off anywhere in public for fear of me getting Covid. But we LOVE making adventures out of full moons, new coffee shops, concerts or simply taking drives. Oh and the wildlife is pretty cool too.
Please visit my website which has all kinds of information on being a living kidney donor and kidney disease etc. as well as read my blog articles or get my list of my life transforming books.
You don’t need to answer a wrong number text to have a one in a billion life experience. With 8 billion people on the planet and only one of you, you’re living it already!
I still do love and want to thank Henry for answering my text and for his one in a billion kidney!