Thursday, November 3, 2011
30 Days of Thanks #2--Molly
A month or so ago I was asked to speak at an Organ Donation Symposium at Rice Eccles Stadium to a group of medical professionals. I love any chance I have to talk about Lucy and how proud I am that she donated her organs and saved two lives.
The speaking engagement was two days after I got back from NYC, so I felt a little ill-prepared. But I felt good about what I was going to say, and how to say it.
As as side note, our good friend, Dave Hibbert, was originally going to speak at this event. One of their twin sons aspirated a small piece of pretzel six weeks after Lucy's accident and we love them dearly. DEARLY. They have had quite the experience with their son's (Mason) organ recipients. You can read about it HERE on A Good Grief. Dave had to go out of town for work so I was asked to take his place. I was honored to do so.
When I walked into the room where I was to meet the staff from Intermountain Donor Services, the woman in charge approached me and the first thing she said was, "There is a nurse here who worked with Lucy, she really wants to see you. "
"I think she said her name is Molly."
Oh guys. I hadn't even started my speech and the tears were flowing. FLOWING. Do you remember THIS POST? Remember? Remember my nurse named Molly and her daughter Lucy?
We never exchanged information. I hadn't seen or talked to her in over 3 years since she wheeled me in the hospital bed to hand Lucy over to the organ harvesting team.
And there she was. At this symposium. Tender Mercies, tender mercies, tender mercies.
I saw her walking down the hallway toward me and thought my heart would leap out of my used to be D, now B, chest. We embraced and we could hardly talk. We just kept looking at each other and holding hands and crying. This is what she finally said, (basically, in so many words, if I remember right, and of course I'm semi-paraphrasing, but mostly remember)
" I have thought of you so much since that day. Lucy was, and still is, my only organ donation patient. It is very rare for a "regular" nurse to be in the room when they harvest someone's organs. I want you to know I was very scared when you asked me to be stand in for you. But I stood in the corner of the room. I stood in your place for you. I tried to be strong. It has had such an impact on me. I have had to remind myself over and over that THIS IS NOT MY PAIN, this was not MY Lucy. I have literally felt your pain as if it were my own. I have thought of you and Vic again and again and again. I was so honored to stand for you when you couldn't."
I then told her we have a son named Peter who joined our family 11 months after Lucy left earth.
That's when she looked at me and said, "You are kidding."
"That's my husband's name."
You guys. I don't make this stuff up. And maybe its not a big deal. But to me...to me it is God talking to me. It is God telling me that HE'S GOT THIS. He's got it all taken care of. He knows I'm hard headed and crazy and sends me these small outward signs that say, "I am in control. These people are all connected to you and taking care of you. I love you."
So I changed my talk. And I talked about Molly. (The symposium was for nurses and doctors being trained in organ donation. What to say to patients, how to specialize in the field, etc.) I told them they could only be so lucky as to have their own "Nurse Molly" experience in their entire career.
And after my speech the head of Donor Services asked Molly to come on stage. And we stood next to each other in front of this crowd, crying and hugging and telling these people--"You do make a difference. Never doubt that."
I hope she is reading this. I gave her my contact info but didn't get hers. I hope she knows I'm having a baby on Lucy's birthday. I hope she knows of my gratitude. I hope she knows how thankful I am for the pain she has carried for me. For the physical act of standing in as Lucy's mommy when she gave her kidneys and liver so someone else's life could carry on. I hope she knows what a sacrificial gift that was. I hope she never doubts her worth and what she has given to my soul.
I hope she knows.
I am thankful for Molly. I can't even remember her last name. But I am thankful for Molly. I love her.
*Post edit- They asked me to speak again at the big annual donor ceremony in April. I warned them of the pregnancy hormones (I think...) but am thrilled to speak again.
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