A Village

I have debated how to pick up my story of being fifth in line to donate my uncle a kidney, for a few weeks! I told you that there was a gap in my timeline because the transplant happened!!! It was a success and very exciting for my family. Should I just skip the rest of the decision-making process I went through and  jump into the transplant itself, or should I pick up where I left off? So much goes into the decision to do something of this magnitude, I have decided to pick up where I last left you. The main reason I made this choice was in hopes that if you are considering donating a kidney, you would read my thought process and decide Yes, I can do this! There is so much need out there! As of September 8, 2014 the National Kidney Foundation reports on average, three thousand new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month. Twelve people die each day while waiting for a kidney transplant! Every fourteen minutes, someone is added to the kidney transplant list! There is an anonymous quote I read and loved,  in the back of a booklet by UNOS that says: “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

You may be at a pivotal point in your own decision-making process, if you are considering or will consider donating a kidney! If so, I pray that you will read that quote over and over. You can make a difference! You can make a difference in this crazy world we live in! You can make a difference out of nothing more than love!

I have already told you that once my decision was made through much prayer, my husband and I agreed it was time. Time to tell my aunt and uncle (who would be the recipient of my kidney), time to tell our daughters, time to tell my mother and last, it was time to tell my sisters. I am the oldest of four girls and we are all spoiled! I don’t mean whiny, bratty spoiled! I mean spoiled with love! We know we are loved! That is rare!

Moving a lot and trying to describe my family to new friends, I often just ask, “Have you ever seen the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Well, substitute Irish and Scots heritage for Greek and there you go!” It’s mostly true:)   When I tell you our lives are all entwined with each others, I kid you not! We are somewhat unique in the sense that we represent to some degree, separate generations. I just turned 57 yesterday. My next sister (sister #2) is two years younger than I am. She married before I did, to her high school sweetheart.  At fifteen years old, my third sister (sister #3) was born. At twenty-one years old, my fourth sister (sister #4) was born. Our babies! In my wedding pictures she is eleven months old! I say “our” babies, because we two older girls felt like they were also “our babies”. In my opinion, that entitles us to a little bossiness:)   I have always felt my mom and dad stayed so young, because they always had children around! Three and a half years after my last sister was born, my first daughter was born! However, nine months prior to my daughter’s birth, sister #2 had her first child, also a daughter. Are you confused yet? Basically, my youngest sister #4, my niece, and my oldest daughter are the same age! All were born within a three and a half-year , window of time.

Now, sister #2 and I have grandchildren. Sister #3 and sister #4 have young children very close in age to our grandchildren. When all four sisters, spouses, children, and grandchildren are together (which is often), we seat twenty-four for dinner! When you throw in aunts, uncles, and cousins , well you can see how appropriate it is to say, “It takes a village!”.

Heck, we are a Village!

(Our family photo is thanks to Kyndal Shelton. Since this picture we have added a lovely new bride!)