Time passes so quickly and life continues its head long journey through our hours, days and years. It will be five years soon since Rachel's fatal accident. Yet her presence and life continues to be at the very core of all we do.
Today I received a call from the organ bank, in the years since Rachel's death, we had not heard anything about the recipients of her organs. For those who may be reading my blog for the first time, Rachel was an organ donor, a choice she had made long before her death. But after all this time of wondering if all was well, we finally were given a 'thumbs up' that her gift of life had made a difference.
Three individuals received organs on that fateful day and today I learned that they are all doing well, that they have been able to return to their active lives and have met with no complications since the transplant. Recently our family initiated contact with the recipients in the hopes of at least hearing how they were doing. The letter we wrote was forwarded to each recipient, giving them a brief synopsis of what Rachel was all about, and how we truly hoped her gift had greatly improved their lives.
The news was wonderful indeed, and I was truly grateful that Rachel's ultimate gift had made a difference in their lives. I listened, took some notes, and as I was thanking our liaison at the NEOB, I could feel the emotion welling up. I hoped she couldn't hear it in my voice, but another second longer and I would no longer be able to hold it back. No sooner had I placed the receiver back in its cradle, when the tears broke free. Tears of joy, tears of longing, tears as a result of knowing that my daughter still lives on. That Rachel still manages to make other peoples lives better.
She had a gift for making you feel special, as if you were all that mattered to her at that moment, and her ultimate gift, is no different. She may not have always done things by 'the book' as they say, but her love of life and her acceptance of others, was a constant in her life. If you were someone she cared about, it was all about you! This is her moment, her chance to shine, and she is doing so with a brilliance that far outshines the sun. She is doing what Rachel does best, giving completely of herself.
The tears do not seem to want to stop, they keep coming to the surface, occasionally making their way down my cheeks. Yet, I am so happy, I just want to shout, I want to let the world know she lives on; not only in our hearts, but in the very lives of others. It is a feeling that is so hard to explain, it is life and love, it ebbs and flows like the tide, happiness and sadness all wrapped up in my emotions. I feel as giddy as a school girl, I really never expected to react this way to just knowing that everyone was okay. That life can come from adversity, that there is hope even when all seems lost, and that a ray of sunshine could be so comforting, warming me to the core of my being.
The funny part of all this, is I don't even know their names and we may never know if they so wish it to be; but the blessing I was granted today, is so much more than I ever expected or anticipated. I can't believe that I can't stop crying, its as if I have been allowed to spend a little more time with Rachel. It feels like life just gave me another chance. Of course, we still hold on to the hope that we will someday have the opportunity to meet one or all of the recipients, and be given the chance to fully share Rachel with them. But whatever the future holds in store, they are always in our prayers, and our petition is always for their continued good health and a renewed fullness of life.
Thank you for today, thank you for letting me know Rachel is still very much alive! in so many ways. What a truly wonderful feeling. I had seen and heard the joy in other donor families, as they talked about having had the opportunity to meet the recipient, and how it had made such an impact in their own lives, and now I think I know why! This is a WOW moment, it is LIFE, it is so unbelievable! I am laughing, crying, smiling and every other emotion in between. It is as if I have just witnessed a birth, and experienced all the pain and happiness that goes with it.
Blessings! and until we meet again.