September 7, 2013

Life Is a Highway

Life is a highway or so it seems these last 10 days as I have traveled from GA to PA to OH to GA last weekend, then GA to OH again on Thursday to be with MHYH’s cofounder, Judy Bode, and her sweet, sweet family as Judy received her heart-gifted-to-her on Thursday, 9/5 after being listed with UNOS for 42 months and 2 days: WOW!

I received THE call from Judy’s sister, June, early Thursday morning at 3:09am, a call that I will NEVER forget, a call that represented assurance to me that my dear friend had been gifted the opportunity to live, a call that necessarily meant another family was gasping for air as they had lost one-much-loved.

I began packing immediately by throwing all of the clothes from last weekend back into my overnight bag which didn’t take long, then like a good twitter girl would do I checked MHYH’s stream. You see, my family was asleep. You could have heard a pin-drop-kind-of-quiet, a calm, a peace-indescribable, yet I was sitting with HUGE news of great import and needed to share the news with someone.

It goes without saying that I shared the news with my husband, but he’s a man of few words responding, “that’s great news; we’ll talk about your travel plans in the morning.” God bless him, but there was NO way he was going to meet my need to talk at that moment in time.

Lo and behold, Jennifer Warden, an incredible MHYH supporter and kindred friend was awake: insomnia! I immediately DMed her to ask if I could call her to talk. She said “yes” and so I did just that, I called her. She met me in that moment with ears-eager-to-listen and a heart-rejoicing-with-me at the news of a heart-brand-new. INCREDIBLE, can I say it once again, INCREDIBLE!

She listened as I reflected quite a bit about the grace with which Judy awaited a new heart. Judy awaited not once did I ever see her wait and I assure you there is a difference in those two words. To await is to do so with hope of a new heart; to wait, to do so with an attitude of entitlement. We talked about so many aspects of these last 3 and 1/2 years from the friendship-faithful, friendship-fearless that has developed through the years to our vision for MHYH and the sobering reality that Judy would likely be going into the OR in about 12 hours.

Judy’s heart failed because of chest radiation used to treat her Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1970 when she was 10 years old. Life-saving and necessary therapy had evolved into potentially life-ending requiring heart transplantation through the years, a progressive irreversible failure process which can only be stopped by the seating of the heart of another [person].

I also recorded a video of my heart-thoughts that I will upload to Vimeo today.

Thanks, Jennifer, for being WIDE awake and being there for me.

Highly recommend following Jennifer Warden on twitter.

One final thought, I’d like to ask everyone to consider donating $1 dollar in honor of Judy and her new heart to our Indiegogo campaign. If that is not possible, the please share this post with other throughout your networks.

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