This week has been terribly emotional. It’s hard to explain so that others can understand. As everyone knows by now, our transplant apartment is being lived in and that is really, really good news. A goal and dream of ours has been met. We have worked hard to reach this goal and I don’t think any of us has had all of this story sink in yet. I long for when it does.
With the process of talking to the caregiver two days ago and then turning over the keys to her this morning, a lot of memories that have been buried for a while rose to the surface. And that hurt! I was thrown back into an ICU unit, figuratively, of course. I saw that damn ventilator. I relived spending hours talking to Jeff, directly into his ear, knowing he could hear but that he couldn’t speak. I relived what seemed like hundreds of trips from work to the hospital, leaving work at 5:00 and leaving the hospital never before 11:00. I remember rubbing those big, old, size 13 feet, trying to keep them warm and, truthfully, just to make my boy happy. I remembered stopping on my way to the hospital to buy Jeff dinner because he was sick of hospital food. I remember talks that we had that hurt to the depths of my soul. And so much more, including watching the monitor over Jeff’s head settle into a “flat line.” He was gone, never to return.
It’s been a tough week. I summed it up this way and it sounds dramatic, but I now believe it’s true. Jeff had to sacrifice his life, and we had to sacrifice him so that other people would have a better chance at living. I’ll never understand God’s ways, but I will accept them. And thank the Good Lord that he gave us a vision that would bring some meaning to loosing our son. Our prayers now are for the double-lung transplant patient that is living in the apartment that he will find rest and comfort, that those new lungs of his will heal completely and that he will go on to live a very fruitful and healthy life. And we pray that his caregiver and wife will sleep well tonight in the comfy bed we have provided, because she has not had a bed to sleep in since May 24th. The transplant journey is not an easy one, and I have been obsessed this week with remembering it.
Only someone who has walked this journey will ever understand. Thankfully, we have an extended family, who love Jeff with all of their hearts, and who will listen and try to understand, offering so much love to us. Like I told all of them yesterday, we must leave the past behind us because we are moving forward to a glorious future, serving transplant patients and their care givers. It’s a great direction to be heading.
Love you, Jeff. Your mom misses you more than she can say. But I have the feeling that you know everything that is going on and you’re loving it.