The Thankingest Thanksgiving of All


Through pure coincidence someone shared this on Facebook last night. When I saw it, I burst into tears because it is just so perfect, as you will see when you discover what made this the best Thanksgiving ever in the history of Thanksgiving.

Through pure coincidence someone shared this on Facebook last night. When I saw it, I burst into tears because it is just so perfect, as you will see when you discover what made this the best Thanksgiving ever in the history of Thanksgiving.

Like most Americans, I celebrated Thanksgiving with wonderful food and the company of people I love. I spent the day with my best friend and her family and called and chatted with my family. I was sitting at the table watching my friend’s mother-in-law putting some of my warm brussels sprouts salad on her plate when I felt a wave of gratitude wash over me – gratitude for having such good friends and the pleasure of such good food and such plenty.


I was thinking of my conversation with my sister whom I had called earlier to wish a Happy Thanksgiving. She was feeling out-of-sorts and with good reason. The neutropenia that is a side effect of chemo makes her too susceptible to infection so she could not spend the day with her children and grandchildren. She can’t even eat fresh fruits and vegetables or have flowers in her house for fear of bacteria, but you know what, she is alive. The cancer is gone, she is out of the hospital after 46 long days of fighting off infections from her immune system collapse, so I am grateful. She is, too, though not feeling it in the moment.


So I was feeling grateful already and I enjoyed my day. But then, late last night when I got home, I checked my messages and found out that this Thanksgiving Day will be forever the best Thanksgiving Day. I have a good friend whose young daughter has struggled her entire life with heart disease. She could not play sports in school, she could not be a cheerleader. So much of the lighthearted pleasures of childhood were off limits for fear of putting too much strain on her frail heart. I used to go with her on her cardiology appointments because her doctor, while the best at pediatric heart surgery, was a bit of an asshole and unlike her shy and too polite mother, I can handle assholes. With one thing and another, she never got the transplant she needed so desperately. Just a few weeks ago, she collapsed and her heart stopped beating. They struggled to get it to start again and feared there may have been irreparable damage from lack of oxygen while her heart was stopped. She was in a coma and not expected to live through the night. I cried and raged and cried some more. When she came out of the coma, I did not really get my hopes up even though they put her back on the transplant list.


But yesterday, on Thanksgiving, some family unknown to all of us suffered a tragic loss and because they were forward-thinking, loving and giving people, they donated their child’s heart and so yesterday, this wonderful little girl I have watched grow up to a beautiful young woman got a new heart and it is beating strong and properly and for the first time in her life, she is feeling the power and energy of a healthy heart’s blood thrumming through her veins. And so today, has also been a day full of tears, but they are happy ones. And I am thankful, so very thankful.

None of us hope to be like that family that gave my friend’s daughter a new lease on life, but life (and death) happens and unexpected tragedies can mar our lives. There is one thing that can redeem some of that pain – allowing those losses to save other lives. If you have not already, become an organ donor today.

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this post has 21 plurk responses, click here to plurk page[+][-]
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Daemon MadI used to be a registered bone marrow donor (and wasn't that a delightful bit of testing!), but alas, my habits these days likely exclude
Daemon Madme from eligibility, same as they do from donating whole blood.
Still have the organ donor endorsement, though- I'm guessing they'll check
Daemon Madmedical records first in that case, though, and know not to harvest my kidneys or lungs if I ever manage to die, since both were damaged
Daemon Madwhen I was supposed to die.
Daemon Mad(At least, I assume my kidneys were damaged, since I was going into kidney failure at one point, due to the blood issues)
(((Cajsa)))Yes, I have been removed from the donor program, so I donated my body to the medical school so students can learn how to cut things up, etc.
Faeryfox(Beth)I'm figuring even if nothing in my body is useful for donating to someone else, maybe they can use some of it for research.... I can't even give blood anymore >.< But I'm a donor.
(((Cajsa)))Kidney failure as well.
Daemon MadCajsaLilliehook: Weren't you also on warfarin (aka, "Coumadin), as well?
(((Cajsa)))thank goodness, I can't have oranges so the only citrus I can have is grapefruit. tHey can't take that away from me too.
(((Cajsa)))Faerycat: signing up to donate for research is a different process. Go to the school you want to give it to, they will have info on their web site.
Daemon MadCajsaLilliehook: Ah, I'm thinking of someone else, then.
OH! I know what it is- you're the other person who knows the wonders of ritual
Daemon Maddebridement
(((Cajsa)))With OHSU, they will even cremate and spread the ashes in the Pacific Ocean. Though I have read "In the Slick of the Cricket" so I have no romantic delusions about that.
(((Cajsa)))yes, debridement -such small and simple syllables to contain so much pain
Daemon MadCajsaLilliehook: Seriously. It sounds so innocuous...
Faeryfox(Beth)CajsaLilliehook: Oh, thanks.
Faeryfox(Beth)Though, is there some way to say 'if suitable for another human, go here first?'
nimilalways been a donor since i got my ID for the first time when i turned 18.
(((Cajsa)))Faerycat: I don't know, I am sure there is

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