Saturday, May 17, 2008

Notes from the other half...

Life is great. Neal and I are filling our days with so much. Saturday we spent 5 hours learning about the organization Donate Life. The organization is funded by the government, so we will not be hitting everyone up for money! The presentation was very well done and we are hoping to donate our time to the organization. Ryan and Leslie also attended. There were probably 20 people at the meeting. All but one of them were personally touched by organ donation. It was wonderful to hear others stories and to share ours. I of course was the cry baby in our group. I spent a lot of the meeting thinking to myself. The things that constantly loom in my head are:

1) Images of Neal at particular stages of 2007 that continue to give me nightmares. I am hoping that today's meeting provided some type of closure or something that will help me to forget that year. I am afraid the decisions I had to make and the thoughts I had at particular points will haunt me forever. When I have these horrible thoughts I try to twist them around instead of remembering the day for the bad thing that happened, I try to picture the large group of family and friends that were around to support us. I know I need to leave these ghosts in the past, it is just not that easy. Thankfully Neal does not remember much.

2) How can we ever repay Ryan and Leslie? It seems as though every wonderful day we have I am thinking of them. We do not have enough money to buy them what they truly deserve. After introducing myself at today's meeting I thought, wait I want another turn. I want people to know how Ryan and Leslie were there for us not just at the time of the donation, but they helped us get through the difficult times when Neal was in the hospital. I knew whatever I asked they would do in a heartbeat, no questions asked. How much Neal being sick impacted them. How they had their first child, yet were still willing to have Ryan go through a major operation and be laid up on sets. What "gift" is sufficient?

3) Why would you not be an organ donor? You are dead, you do not need your organs. I read a t-shirt once that said "Don't Take Your Organs to Heaven...Heaven Knows We Need Them Here". Sadly we found out only 50% of Ohioans are organ donors and of those only about 1% pass in a way that allows organ donation to occur.

We are happily married (at least I am!) and we are not letting time pass us by. I hope we continue to do this for the rest of our lives. I hope others learn to do this for the rest of their lives. The "NEW" Neal is better than ever! We continue to train for the 5k and are hoping to do more. Lifeline is having a race in July. I am unsure if we will all be in it or not because they need volunteers.

As a side note, after the 5 hour meeting Neal and Stacy played tennis for over an hour and then Neal cut the grass. Afterwards we had Mom, Mike, Stacy and Chris over for dinner. A year ago, Neal could barely walk a lap in the hospital. It truly is a miracle!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Brutus and I

Went to see Lance Armstrong speak and happened to run into Brutus.