Tuesday, September 11, 2012

can you see it?

 A fellow twin mom, Maureen, came over my house last year in June, only days after Kevin was placed on the transplant list. She congratulated us and very laughingly said that we'd probably see hearts everywhere because we were waiting for one.  I could curse her but I won't because I adore Maureen. It's really quite funny and if I hadn't taken pictures of it all, you might not have believed me....

The first instance I was making sushi at home because once Kevin was transplanted there would be no more sushi for him. Anyway, I looked down at the tuna on my cutting board and giggled. It was in the shape of a heart.

The boys came home from preschool, before Kevin was transplanted, and they drew airplanes in class that day. Quinton points out in a very excited fashion "Kaeden, the window in the airplane looks like a heart!" I gotta tell ya, I had to agree with him. Can you see it? It still hangs in my kitchen to this day. I don't have the "heart" to take it down.

I had a salt craving one night, was in the process of eating an entire bag of Lay's potato chips when I went to eat one.... yes, in the shape of a heart.

October 2011, Kevin's Heartful of Love Walk. My friend Gina finds a leaf.... yes, in the shape of a heart.

Last week, Quinton is drinking milk out of a coffee mug and yells to his brother "Look! The handle on my cup is half of a heart!" Kaeden very excitedly yells back "mine too! We go together!" And if you just started following my blog, this is extra cute because they do go together. They're twins.

Two nights ago. I was annoyed that whoever used the last of the toilet paper in the bathroom didn't refill it. I grab a new roll of toilet paper and you'll never believe it..... I saw a heart. First person I told was Maureen. She laughed and told me I should start a heart blog. Is she crazy? No but I'm not starting another blog. I'll just occasionally post my pictures of hearts here.

Can you see the hearts like we did? I guess if you can't, then, it's really all about perspective. Can you blame us for seeing hearts everywhere? Our lives have revolved around hearts for nearly two years now, both pre and post transplant. And when it all comes down to it, hearts remind me of love. Call me what you will but I believe in following my heart. I believe in love.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Project Thank You

It occurred to me a couple of months after Kevin was transplanted that we never finished writing our letters to our donor family. The reason? A giant tumor showed up for the party and we got sidetracked once again. Right after I volunteered at the Donate Life Rose Bowl Parade float, was when I came up with an idea. The thought that a letter just wasn't enough for our donor family.  I had to do something else.  And so Project Thank You was born.

I sent out an email to over 200 of our closest friends and family members asking them to be a part of Project Thank You. I prefaced the email with "do whatever your heart tells you to do. No one asked us to do this - we came up with the idea on our own." I told them that having recently met other donor families who never heard from the recipients of their loves ones organs, well, it saddened me. If the tables were turned I would want to know that my loved ones organs were with a wonderful family. I asked everyone to either write a thank you letter, draw a picture of a heart, draw any picture saying thank you and to only sign their first name to it. This was purely voluntary. Not all 200 people sent us something  but what we did get was indeed nothing short of amazing.

The letters started pouring into our mailbox. The pictures drawn by nieces, nephews, and even our tiniest of cousins too. It brought tears to my eyes every time I opened an envelope and there was a picture drawn in crayon that read "thank you for saving my Uncle Kevin." Or the very kind words written by a family member telling our donor family things about my little family of four.

Time went by and I'll be honest, the box filled with thank yous is still sitting in our house. I just finished my letter to our donor family and Kevin is still working on his. It was extremely hard, from my perspective, writing this letter. Our donor family choosing to donate life mixed with our new found knowledge of genetic results, well it puts a whole new spin on my gratitude. It's as if my gratitude is magnified even more. You see, our donor family not only saved the love of my life but they've potentially saved the lives of others in our family, our boys included. Having said all of this, I cannot even imagine how my husband will find the words to express his gratitude. If it was this hard for me, I cannot even imagine what it will be like for him. In time I know he will find the right words and this Project Thank You box will be on its way to our donor family.

Below is a picture that Kevin and I did with the boys. It's for our donor family. All of our hand prints....can you see the heart in each one?