Memoirs of Carlos's Liver Transplant

Silent Witnesses: How they helped me along the way!

Those who accompanied us were standing quietly inside our church,  just looking forward as the minister asked us to stand together facing our guests as he presented us as a newly formed family. We were joined into the Quintana-Martinez family that day.  For better or for worse we had become a unit, a whole number.

via morgueFile

It was 1988, the year we married.  As  we walked down the aisle as husband and  wife  for the very first time in my life, it wasn’t about me.    The brief moment where we  stood there together,  facing everyone passed, and to be honest it was scary as hell to have that responsibility on my shoulders.

Little  I knew that five years along the road of marriage we would need to stand together facing the challenges Carlos’ illness would bring into our marriage.

“Life is about adapting and moving on.”

We stood  together for some time, but somewhere between his stomach surgery and his constant gastrointestinal bleeding I began to stand alone from time to time. It would have been so easy to just walk away.

It would have been so easy just to say,  “Hey, you know what,  I can’t really help, I have three children to take care of and just can’t deal with this, let his parents take care of it.”.

Nevertheless,  the silent stares of those standing as we were introduced as new family played in my head.   Taking a giant leap of faith I embraced whatever circumstances I had and  moved  on.

1984 Boqueron 2003 (8 years after the transplant)
1984 Boqueron
2003 (8 years after the transplant)

It didn’t matter if longing, sorrow, doubt, or problems were always holding hands with happiness, joy, faith and resolve. Life waiting for a transplant to happen does that to you, bad and good cohabit together like good  old pals.

After all, It was fine if I was the only one standing because he no longer could stand by me!  Life is about adapting and moving on, never dwelling in the past, instead looking with hope towards the future.

Time moved on like it usually does, and hits like “Scream” (Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson), “Always” (Bon Jovi), Waterfalls (TLC), “Have You Ever Loved a Women” (Bryan Adams), and so many others were playing on our radios;  movies like Batman Forever and others were big box office hits during 1995.  The year he finally got his transplant.

We had made it through a two-year wait and finally the moment we had been waiting for arrived.

The year where we stood once again together facing family and friends as we re-owned what being the Quintana-Martinez family meant,  as those same silent observers smiled approvingly of what we had become. A family that would stand by each other no matter WHAT!

A couple that made it through a very difficult time standing tall above it all as a unit.


When Love Doesn’t Make The Cut

Marriage is a dying enterprise these days, it’s so bad we can probably say it’s an archaic and has fallen in disuse. It’s not what it used to be is an understatement!

Young people when faced with solo the idea, rush to break a very loud sound  as they say WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

Marriage has become the appetizer no one wants to eat, the one that is constantly passed around during the party and gets  the  “No, thank”  so many times,  it’s not even  funny.


Probably because those who have engaged in it have broken it so often (Check out the alarming divorce rates.) that people simply have lost their faith in marriage.  This institution no longer is what is used to be (No kidding!).   Maybe in the past people would marry out of love and when the initial gloss of it would wear off,  they had the guts to stick through it.  Nobody said that marriage was or ever has been perfect because it is NOT.  It’s difficult to live through and basically it’s a humongous pain in the butt.  Yet, I wouldn’t change my marriage for nothing in this world.

via morgueFile

I’ve stayed married for 28 and counting.  Even though I’ve given my own children a great example (my husband and myself are still sick in love with each other).  They tremble at the idea of getting married.


Basically because of the level of commitment it requires, or they say.

But enough of the appetizers and let’s move on the main course, when love doesn’t make the cut.  Making the cut is an expression of quality control because it ensures that the product passes all the inspections to become prime quality.  Love nowadays doesn’t make the cut because (at least this is my opinion) it flunks at the quality level.  It doesn’t pass the tests that would make it durable and prime quality.  Those tests are basically the events that go on during our lives.

Each negative event has an impact on how we live as well as on our relationships.  Nobody gets upset when they get a raise, or when they get up for promotion, or when they have money saved in the bank, or when they have enough food in the pantry or refrigerator, or when their bills are paid or when they………..etc. etc. etc. etc. etc…..  Please, feel free to fill in the blanks here, people!

Seeing it from the other side around,  staying in love and married under economic hardship is almost impossible if you don’t work things out.   I’m not really saying anything new because one of the causes for the soaring numbers on divorce is due to economic hardship.

Economic hardship, illness or whatever your negative events a/k/a quality control of your relationship is, is your own business.  Wait!  No it’s not your own business because marriage isn’t about one, but two people, so it’ pertains both of you.   That’s the first step where we go wrong, we go over the bad things alone, we need to do it together (or at least that’s what I do) and believe me some serious shit has happened to us.  Talking things over when the time is right is a key element.  Now please note the disclosure here “when the time is right”.  Some of us out there want to talk to soon, we need to give ourselves a break and then come together to talk.  I hate talking about things right away and my husband has learned to wait.  How can I talk to him about an important issue (changes we have to make or anything related) when I haven’t had time to think about it?  That for starters have helped us.

My husband has carried a picture of our wedding day in his wallet ever since we married.
My husband has carried a picture of our wedding day in his wallet ever since we married.


Also, when times had gotten tough, and our bills have been unpaid basically because we don’t have the money (raising a family of six isn’t easy) due to whatever, we make a plan together and play through it to get to the other side.  My husband always says to me “As long as we’re together we’ll be fine.”.  That has been one of our foundations, all of us have difficult times and it stinks to have to live through them alone, it’s so much better when we have someone to hug and find comfort in.

Recently I heard the craziest reason a person had to end a relationship, the dishes!  So, it can really be anything that can break up a marriage.

Each and every time we have converted one of these bad events into something we have survived through together our marriage has become stronger.

Why do you think people who are married sleep together (and no it’s not about the sex)?  It’s because during that very private time when the day is coming to an end (where you can put your mind to rest, even if it’s for a little while)  you get to go to bed with that one person in the world who chose you and you chose him, who is  unconditional,  and wants to be with you no matter what!  Each and every time this happens,  love has and will make the cut.

In a society where we are in dire need of change, our first step should be towards the family unit and  it can’t survive if our marriages don’t.   So, for those of you who are still married and want to give it a try, find whatever works for you.  Don’t give up  on marriage because nobody said it would be easy!   Love does exist all we need to do is give it a chance, believe,  and maybe it’ll make the cut.