Three years ago this morning we got The Call: Drop everything, pack your bags, and COME. Babygirl has a match and she's first in line. We got The Call. Another kidney family got The Call. A patient awaiting heart transplant got The Call. Someone, maybe two, who needed lungs got The Call. Someone, maybe the other kidney recipient, maybe yet another person got a pancreas. Someone got The Call for a liver. Two corneas, numerous tendons, bones for grafting: All set aside for use in days immediately to follow. For those who received the heart, liver and lungs, death was inevitable and imminent without The Call.
But before we received OUR call, there was another appalling, heart stopping call: "Sir, Ma'am, your son Jorge has been gravely injured and we need you to come to the hospital as soon as possible." Tragedy happened, hope was abandoned, and choices faced. And to my everlasting gratitude Jorge's parents chose to make him an organ donor.
They haven't answered the last couple of letters that I've sent. That's okay - I suspect it is much harder than they imagined hearing about how others are living when their son is not - but I will send a brief update to let them know that Babygirl is treating his kidney well.
I have nowhere to go to lay flowers for Jorge except for the altar of our church, where this past Sunday a large bouquet bloomed in his memory, and in honor of his family. It will bloom on my mantle for the next couple of weeks, and I'll remember.
A friend, who suffered the loss of her own son, posted this link about what to say to a mother in the face of such a loss, and I think it is one of the best pieces I've seen: The Most Powerful Thing You Can Say To Another Mom.