Tonight I was looking at some pictures from my dad’s recent kidney transplant. It made me remember things I’ve forgotten in the past few months, things I don’t want to forget. So I decided to write the post-transplant update I promised a long time ago to make sure I remember. I’ll alert you now…you may want to grab a cup of coffee, change into PJ’s, or set this aside until you have time to read…because it won’t be short.
First, let me tell you that through all of this, the thing I don’t want to forget is that God has proven that He always knows better and His ways are always wiser. That’s what I’m going to say in a nutshell.
I also don’t want to forget how thankful I felt that week — thankful for God’s kindness to my family, thankful for my dad’s health and life, and thankful for the way the Body of Christ loved and cared for us. It’s an amazing thing to be on the receiving end of so many prayers and demonstrations of kindness and selflessness. I felt rich. That’s the only way I can think of to describe it. Rich in….being cared about, I guess? Anyways, the point is it humbled me and made me extremely grateful. I just didn’t understand why so many people cared. I received texts, and phone calls, blog & Facebook comments from co-workers, family, pastors, and friends of the family telling me ways the Lord was using my dad, telling me they were praying for us, offering encouragement, and asking for updates. I remember feeling in awe of the number of people who seemed to care about this transplant. I mean, I love my dad, so obviously it was important to me. But why would someone who barely even knows my dad be so concerned for this typically-not-life-threatening surgery? All I could come up with was that we know a lot of people who love Christ and love his people, so they loved us and were concerned with what concerned my family that week. It was a precious gift to us. Thank you, to those of you who cared about our cares. It meant more than you will ever know.
Let me take you back to the last week of March…
I arrived at my parent’s house Monday night. My dad was off work by then, so we got the chance to be together that night and the following morning. My dad was sick with a nasty cold, so we honestly didn’t even know if the transplant was going to happen (when you get a transplant, they have to put you on medication to suppress your immune system so your body doesn’t attack the new organ as a foreign object….bad news bears for a cold which is normally just a nuisance, but can be fatal without an immune system.)
The following morning my mom, dad, sister, brother, and nephew all went out to breakfast at one of my dad’s favorite spots — Mimi’s Cafe. It was strange to be together, acting just like a normal family, having a normal breakfast on a normal spring morning all the while knowing that the day was anything but normal. We laughed and joked around and enjoyed each other, but there was an underlying seriousness to our banter.
My parents would leave straight from there to go to Stanford Medical Center. We were about to face the biggest unknown that we as a family had ever faced. We had no way of knowing what was ahead of us; we were totally blind. My dad might get sent home because of the cold. The donor might change his mind at the last second. Things could go horribly awry and my dad might not come out of surgery at all. His body might reject the kidney. He could be totally debilitated after surgery. His recovery might have been slow, and painful, and burdensome for my mom.
It’s strange to think back to that because, clearly, I know how it all turned out now. But I had no way of knowing how it would all go then. I just had to keep trusting that, even though I was blind, God was in control. He would do what was best for my family and me no matter what came our way in the next few days and weeks.
Welp, it’s past my bed time. So that’s all I’ve got for tonight. Tune in next time for more of the story.