Life

Have I been worthy?

I’ve always kept journals.

When technology wasn’t what it is today, I wrote in small notebooks.

Once in a while I like to read what I’ve written so many years behind and bring the people or the things that were happening to me during that moment up to date.

One of those special events in my life, are by the far most “birthdays”.

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I love birthdays, it’s like celebrating New Year’s Day all over again.

It’s not about if you’re fat, skinny, bald, or what ever pains you, related with how you look (don’t get me wrong everyone wants to feel and look great), however I like to think it’s a bit more than that.

Today not only my family, but those who know us celebrate my husband’s birthday with great joy.  More so because he almost didn’t make it past his late twenties.

He had a failing liver and was diagnosed with cirrhosis when he was twenty-five. However, that’s another story to tell.

The point is with each birthday we not only celebrate his new year, but the blessing of life.

Health, love, friendship and life, “mis amigos” are things many of us take for granted.

He has worried over the years  and an ever present question has nagged him  with each coming birthday,

“Have I been worthy?”

Most of the time, I don’t even answer right away because I know part of his question is rhetorical and my opinion would be that,  “Absolutely, he has been more than worthy.”

However, I’ve always thought,

“Worthy of what?”

Well, it seems he’s been asking me all these years, if he has been worthy of living.

Going back to my life records (Journals),

I’ve lived times where I would have wanted to kill him,

others where I have loved him all over again,

others where I was more than grateful to have him in my life as he cared for me when I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis,

others where I have seen him as a loving parent, treasuring each moment along the way,

others becoming a caring son for an ailing father taking it to another level as he  ironed the clothes in which his Dad would be put down to rest, and

now caring for his Mom with everything he’s got in him, what can I say?

All of this couldn’t have happened because he wasn’t suppose to make it to his 28th birthday, and

Today twenty years later, in the warm circle of family and friends he can surely feel that he has been more than worthy to have gotten a second chance at what we call life.

So, you see my dear friends once in a while life throws us a curve ball and we get lucky enough to catch it.

Uncategorized

Overcoming Our Point Zero

This post is dedicated to my husband’s donor, 

who gave him the best gift ever

the gift of a new beginning. 

The day we are born is our starting point in life, it’s our point zero.  Maybe that’s why people usually make such a fuss over their birthdays.  They plan and plan just to decide the best way to celebrate another year of life.  Some of us are such huge fans of our birthdays that we go to extreme measures of extravagance to please ourselves in each and every possible way.  Please, emphasize on the word, ourselves.  But,  do we really think about our lives and what we’ve made out of them?  I would really like to think that birthdays are more about reflecting on who we are, who we’ve become, and who we want to be, and less about shopping  for the perfect gift. It’s the one day of the year that we need to get over ourselves and take a hard look at our lives. Easier said than done, but in the long run, any effort towards self-improvement is beneficial not only for ourselves, but also for those who surround us.

free clip art: http://amorelegnami.it/images/photos/index.php?p=16

After talking about the general concept of birthdays and all the nonsense that usually accompanies it, what I really wanted to share tonight in my blog, was the fact that my husband not only has one birthday, but two.

He doesn’t really fuss about one of them, but makes a great deal about the other.   He was born on a February 28th, (the whole purpose of this one is just seeing plus one on his number line), but reborn again on a June 5th, 1995 when he had the blessing of receiving a new liver.

Every year when this day comes around, he celebrates his second new beginning, or better said,  his second point zero!  Not many people have the opportunity of a second chance not in, but at  life itself.  All the rest of us have just one shot at it.  We are born, live the best we can and one day pass away.  Some don’t even make it through childhood, others make it up to a late onset in life, how short or long a life you get to live is and always will be a mystery.  Coming back to Carlos after being diagnosed with end stage liver disease apparently his number line would only reach 27, but miracles do happen and after a few bumps in the road, he was ready to receive his second chance that special day. This year, he reached number 47 on the number line we call life.

With every sunrise we experience a new beginning.

He doesn’t relinquish too much on himself, but in what he is and has been to others.  We have no words or actions to show how grateful we are to his donor’s family for giving him the best present ever, his new life.  Not only does he celebrate his own, but also rejoices in the fact that his donor gave him the best present ever, the gift of life.  As I waited that night, I had the opportunity to talk to the husband of the woman who received his pancreas and kidneys and they sure were grateful as well.  Not to mention that I saw his heart and lungs ushered quickly to a waiting helicopter that would take them to Georgia, and last but not least his precious liver that was generously given to my beloved husband.

When you face this kind of experience you really have no other option that to set  high standards for yourself. That can become a hard pill to swallow, yet he embraced it with fierceness.  Only striving to want to know that he has made a difference for others through his passage in life, that with each sunrise he continues to be worthy, and that when his parting day finally arrives,  he can gaze into the eyes of his children and be able to see that he HAS BEEN WORTHY.

Eighteen years have passed in a blink of an eye, and it seems like yesterday that I waited for precisely around eighteen hours to receive the great news that he had made it through surgery and was recovering in the ICU of Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida.  Yet, I can say that I have had the blessing of witnessing how a young man became an outstanding human being who at least in my eyes has become worthy of the incredibly valuable gift  that a complete stranger bestowed on him so many years ago.