Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Tribute and Prospective from the Wife and Caregiver...

On July 28, I will be celebrating my two year anniversary of God's gift of the ultimate mulligan.

My second chance at life. The two year mark is a major milestone for any transplant survivor. It's a sign that you've made it out of the woods (as long as you take care of your self)

I will be posting a number of amazing and touching "back stories" in celebration. I hope you will join me in celebrating God's story! Be inspired and touched as we journey together. Not just through my life, but through some of the people that made it possible!

Julie Julian & Stephanie Lewis
This is a follow up to Chapter 14  titled  Hanging in there ! My wife Stephanie, was my caregiver and always there for me. This post is for the caregivers and wives out there..  It is also a Tribute to my donor FAMILY. The Julians...

Another Second Chance ...God's Story 
-Page 124

"You'll understand that when you go through extreme moments like this, it's worse for the people looking in.

When I was going through it, I was in the eye of the hurricane. It was almost peaceful. Everything around me was completely chaotic. There were tests and trips, emotional highs and lows, but in the middle  it was both agonizing and peaceful.

My sole focus was on getting well. Stephanie shouldered the burden of what I couldn't do. If you are, or have been a caregiver to someone going through a major illness or disease, your support means more to them than they can ever express to you."

You may have read the book and heard the story. You may know about the "Stranger from a Thousand miles away",  BUT YOU HAVE NOT HEARD IT from his WIFE'S prospective!!

Read below how God was working back then, behind the scenes!!  I WAS BLOWN AWAY!!...

Julie Julian (Donor's Wife) wrote:

The months prior to July 28, 2010 seemed to move at a snail's pace. Life moved along as normally as it had been except for a monthly drive to UC Hospital for another test, evaluation or "sample" delivery. One day in early May, Jay got the call from UCH saying he had been be an altruistic kidney donor.

There was nothing other than sheer joy in Jay's voice when he told me the news. It was as if he had won the lottery except he wasn't getting a dime. He was willingly and joyfully giving- taking on the risk of death to save the life of a man he did not know. To this day, I am still amazed by my husband's selflessness.

In the hospital on July 28th at 7:00 am, doctor after doctor came by to shake the hand of a man who was a "hero" in their words.

I kissed Jay, told him I loved him and walked to the waiting room. I waited alone for about an hour before our friend Tony came to wait with me. Around 8:45 am, Jay's doctor entered the waiting room to tell me Jay was out of surgery and doing well AND that his kidney looked great and was on the way to Ohio.

At 8:30 pm that night, I left the hospital and drove the short distance to the hotel I was staying at until Jay was discharged. The moment I got into the hotel room I let go and a rush of emotion took over me. Tears came flooding down my face. Jay was okay. I still had my husband to share life with AND now a wife in Ohio had her husband too.

In the days that followed, I was all about taking care of Jay and getting him home. All Jay kept asking about was the recipient. Was he doing okay? Was the kidney working for him? He didn't complain about his own pain or discomfort at all.

Jay has always been a risk taker. He dreams big and speaks honestly. As a result, he has been criticized and judged by those who saw what they wanted to see. Those of us who are not risk takers think that they are "loose cannons" or don't think before they act.

In reality, Jay's "risks" are fueled by a passionate, adventurous spirit that is moved to action while the rest of us sit and wait for a "sign".

Yet after walking through the fire of criticism and getting burned, Jay quietly and courageously listened to the grace filled, loving voice that said, "I know who you are, what you have done for Me and how much you truly love people, so I want you to do something that most people are not strong enough or willing to do."

There is a saying that our true character is revealed when no one is looking.

On July 28, 2010, I believe that the One who was looking knew all along that He needed a risk taking, selfless and brave "maverick" to step up to the plate and demonstrate love and grace in a powerful way. That is the man of character I am privileged to call my husband.

Jay~ thank you for being passionate about life, speaking honestly when others won't and showing me that when you give generously we always have enough.

I was so blessed when I read this the first time! And I have been every time since! I Hope you were as well..

I would be honored, if you would hit the "Follow" button to keep up with the posts. I would also encourage you to "share" it on your facebook pages.

Rom 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

The walk continues...