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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Are you going to open that?

The miners were the topic of many conversations today.  I woke up to the radio announcer giving a quick update, we talked about it at work, and even later on at a presentation I was part of.  Their well being, and even what they would do first once they were medically cleared to go home, was a major part of the chatter.  

The overall atmosphere surrounding this entire event, was a feel good one, and something that is rare to find in the media at times.  People deep down really want to see others doing okay, being rescued, given another chance.  For the most part, they cheer on individuals who they feel will truly benefit from their support.  

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Rachel was an organ donor and today I was asked to speak to the medical staff at a local hospital.  I am invited occasionally to share Rachel's story, and to let them know what her gift has meant to our family.  At the time of Rachel's death, we told people that she had been a donor and some people were appalled that my husband and I had agreed to allow such a thing to take place, we heard comments like 'I would never do such a thing." and 'How could you donate her organs?' But yet people do selfless acts and deeds every day.  

Just look at the last 36 hours, people stopped everything to be at the site of that mine.  To be there to support everyone present and for their own support as well.  I look at the rescuers who knowing the risks, still agreed to be lowered into the depths in order to save others.  So many selfless acts that together brought about the miracle of the rescue.  

When all the dust settles, we feel a sense of gratitude, a sense of accomplishment and we feel really good about what happened.  The morning after Rachel was pronounced dead, we received a call that she had already helped two individuals and the third person would be receiving their organ later that afternoon.  We felt good knowing she had made a difference in some else's life, giving them a second chance, giving them the gift of life.  It also helped us to know that she would still continue to live on in others.  

I know organ donation is not for everyone, and trust me that is okay.  Some cannot donate for religious reasons, others for personal ones, and I and everyone should always respect the families wishes.  And what works and helps one family, may not be good for another.   Only we know ourselves, what will work and what will not, and you should never allow anyone to make you feel as if what you have done or decided is wrong. 

We need to remember that our loved one lives on in the simple things in our lives.  I sometimes am amazed at how subtle things make me feel as if somehow Rachel is present.  My other daughter will laugh, and I swear she sounds just like the sister.  I will watch my son and spot a mannerism that was very unique to Rachel.  Even my husband and I sometimes find us talking about Rachel when one of us did or said something that triggered a memory.  It is as if they left us each with a special gift of themselves.  

We are all left with a special gift that only our loved one could give us.  If you look around, you will find certain things or mannerisms that remind you a someone that died.  You may notice grandpa's smirk on your child's face, or a unique feature that truly reminds you of your dad.  We all notice certain characteristics in those around us that were the same as a loved one's.  In speaking to a friend, she told me that her sister was acting just like her great grandmother, a woman she had never met, it was as if her sister had somehow picked up certain traits that were unique to the great grandmother. 

The bottom line is we all want to find some way to get through the situation, get out of the darkness and live again.  We want to feel good, we want to be able to laugh and enjoy life, and we can.  Just like those 33 miners will be readjusting to a new outlook on life, so too, do we have to look beyond our tragedy and see that we can grow.  We all have the gifts of love, hope and charity, and these are the gifts that can see us through almost anything.  

Love of course, never fails (true love, unconditional love), it is what warms our hearts and allows us to see beyond the exterior.  Hope is what keeps us going when all else fails, it was what kept those 33 men alive.  Charity helps us to see beyond our own loss, beyond our own misfortune, and look at what we can do for others.  It is charity that allows us to be selfless, and give without reward. 

Like the miners, we must be patient, keep ourselves going, and know that in time we too will be rescued.  In time we will be able to fully live again, and maybe come out all the wiser for our experience.  They helped each other, they kept each other going, and they refused to let go of any hope.  Do not be afraid to reach out to others, they want to help you keep going and will be there for you to hold on to the hope for you, when you can't seem to do so for yourself.  

Allow yourself to begin to feel good, to look at life as a gift, and to find ways to share the gift of you with others.  I like to say that everyday is a gift, and that unless you open it, it can't be shared with others.  Open your gifts, and start sharing them. 

Blessings! and until we meet again.

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