Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Give The Gift Of Life

April is National Donate Life Month.

I know many of you have heard our story of donation, but it is something we feel strongly about.  I had always made it known that I wanted to be an organ donor if anything should happen to me.  I had my license signed and told family my wishes.  I just never imagined it would be a decision I would be making for my 3 year old instead.  No one likes to think about their own death, much less that of their own child, but for us it was the easiest decision of the day.  As soon as I arrived at CMH, a representative from Midwest Transplant Network was there to begin the process of sharing our daughter's life with others.  As she went through the list of what organs and tissues we would be willing to give, marking yes beside each one for us, I paused at the corneas.  Her eyes.  Her beautiful brown eyes.  That one was difficult, but we said yes hoping they would allow someone else to see the world the way she did.  It was soon after the papers were finished that it was shared with us they knew where her liver would be going.  It was going to bring new life to a little two year old boy in the same hospital.  It was a moment of happiness knowing she was going to be helping another child.  It was the next day that we received a phone call telling us Abby's kidneys were able to bring new life to a woman in her 30s.  We had hoped that more organs would be able to be used, but due to the clotting agents and medications, the others were not.  Organ donation has been the bright spots in the tragedy of losing our little girl.  We hope that everyone will think about becoming a donor, a hero, and save lives.   

Here is a link to other families stories on donation

And a link to stories of recipients

Baby Steps

It seems strange to say that there are moments when I feel like I am finally beginning to heal because I honestly did not think it would ever happen.  I never thought I could have times when the tears would dry up and I could just enjoy being a Mom to my other two girls, but I have experienced a few.  I noticed that since Elly had reached age 4 and is approaching age 5, I had started grieving the things I have not gotten to experience with Abby.  It was difficult filling out the Kindergarten papers knowing I never got to send Abrielle, but I kept the tears hidden.  It was hard taking Elly to get her ears pierced knowing that Abby never was able to and with the memories of Mady having hers filling my head.  (Abby kept trying to escape that day while my focus was on her big sister.  She had other things she wanted to go see and do.)  But there were no tears from me.  

We finally let Mady have a slumber party for her birthday again which had not been done since she turned 6 in Kindergarten.  It was her last birthday with her sister here.  This year it was Elly running around trying to be a big girl instead of Abby.  We even did some of the same things ~ roasting marshmallows and making smores in the fire. But there were no tears, just talks about the memories of the last time while we watched all the girls enjoy the night.  

Last weekend was dance recital and this was the first time I made it through the entire day without any tears.  Abby was in my thoughts as I helped Elly prepare for her dances and as I watched all the little girls on stage, but no tears, just memories.

I really hope this is a healing trend and that I can begin to experience more things without the tears.  I know the memories will always be there but hopefully I can squelch the tears a little more often now.