Daily, and sometimes hourly, my thoughts are intermingled with heartfelt thanks and a heavy heart.
I am thankful for all of the meals that have been prepared and the yard work that has been done for us, but feel guilty for receiving this help.
I am so thankful for our insurance coverage for all of these costly appointments and testing, but feel bad about the incredible expenses that this diagnosis brings us.
I am thankful for the extra work that my husband, Dan, and our family so willingly do for me, yet feel negligent that I am not doing these things for them.
I am so thankful for all that my family has done for me these last 41 years since my cancer diagnosis as a child, but feel sadness for all that I have put my family through.
I am thankful for all of the prayers offered for our family, but deep down wonder, “are people tired of praying for me?”
Even during this moment of writing I am honored that you will share in our waiting, but worry that you will feel sorry for me.
Daily, this thankful, yet heavy heart weighs on me.
Since everyday could be the day, we must think accordingly.
When Dan has a meeting out of town, we make simple yet firm plans as to what we will do in the event he needs to leave immediately.
I make my grocery trips quick, as cell phone coverage is minimal in the store.
Our children, my sisters, and my parents give us their weekend schedule in advance should they be gone.
We have alternate phone numbers handy for each of them, so that we can reach any of them at any time of any day.
Our suitcases have been packed for 24 months–re-packed again and again with the changing seasons, and sitting by the front door–still.
We have flight plans ready at both the airports in Grand Rapids where we live, and also in Ypsilanti where our daughter lives, should we be visiting her when the call comes.
Each daily event needs to be thought through in advance with this in mind—can we make it to the airport in time? This may seem extreme, but you must realize that timing means everything.
At any moment we must be able to arrive at the airport within 90 minutes, fly to Cleveland, and prepare to go into surgery within an hour after arriving at the hospital.
The transplanted life giving heart muscle has only four hours, six max, before cells start to die.
The waiting heart is a conflicted heart seeking a balance that allows you to continue to live amidst the wait of each moment, to be on the receiving end while looking forward to the day that you will once again be able to give, and to be forethoughtful, yet not consumed in the planning of each day.