Sunday, April 5, 2009

This comes first

My intent with this 'blog is to tell a story, to write some of the things that are in my head, and get them out to the world in some way. It's a promise I made to myself a long long time ago.

Every story has a beginning and an ending, which is cliche, but true. This story, my story, consists of many beginnings and many endings, intertwining and hinging and meeting and departing, in the complicated ways that lives and people and ideas and events do. But now seems a particularly good beginning, which, of course, begins with an ending.

Sometime in the afternoon or evening of Monday, March 23, 2009, Someone died. They were young, and they were healthy, and they were an organ donor. When they were pronounced dead, their family made the decision to follow through with donation. That is all I know about this person, and it may be all I will ever know. It is all I will tell.

They may know something more or less about me. They may know that on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 I received my "second birthday" in the form of a new liver. They may know that I have needed that liver (or was going to) for at least the last 25 years, that I am 38, and otherwise healthy. If they ever want to know more, I will tell them.

In the hinge that connects my beginning with the others' ending are countless other people and loves, and the wonder that accompanies it all. And even in the short space of 10 days I know that this will primarily be a story about gratitude. The thanks I owe my family, the professionals who do their jobs so well, the community that surrounds me, but also to that family and that Someone.

And in so doing, what was an anonymous donation can - much to my frustration - only be answered by an anonymous thank you. Thank you for giving me a gift and being generous not because you know me and love me, not only because it will help you through what must be the most tremendous time of grief for you, but because.

Thank you for the beginning.

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