Wednesday, November 5, 2014

One Year Kidney-versary!

I could write for pages on everything from transplant day.  I thought I would summarize it though and share with you my editorial for this week's paper.  

The way I see it...
Today, November 5th, is Blake’s one year kidney-versary.  I know, it’s crazy!  I can’t stop thinking about the day of his transplant.  The good parts, the scary parts, the part where I felt the most incredible sense of desperation to just see Blake already.
In some aspects, it seems like it was so recently that he got that kidney.  I turned our calendar in our kitchen, which has every month filled with photos throughout our year, to the month of November.  On that page are a bunch of pictures from the kids playing in the leaves on the Sunday before Blake’s transplant that was on Tuesday.  I looked at that last night and couldn’t believe it had already been a year since that day in the leaves.
On the flip side, when we were stuck in five months of hell in a seemingly endless string of hospital stays, infections and complications, then yes, that part seems long ago.
When I think about the fact that a complete stranger was kind enough, brave enough and gracious enough to donate an organ, to give the gift of life, to Blake, I just get teary-eyed.  Who does that?!  An incredibly generous person, with a big heart, who is always looking to help others.

Another thing that seems strange is that we’ve only known Steph and her family for about a year.  After everything we’ve been through, it seems weird that we’ve spent most of our lives not knowing who these people were.  Now, they are such a huge part of the Burdorf family story!
I think the best part of our relationship with Steph is that she knows Blake and Blake knows her.  Those people that give their kidney to a stranger and then go on living life never knowing how things turn out with the recipient?  That is not us.  Steph and I have had numerous conversations about how our families were matched so well.  It’s the coolest thing to get to see Blake and Steph interact and Blake most definitely knows that he has Steph’s kidney.  We tell him that often and if we ask where his kidney is, he points right to it.
We never want to forget the kindess of a stranger.  How do you say thank you?  How do those two little words even come close to encompassing the amount of thankfulness that Steph did what she did? Because of her, our son gets to live a more normal life, a longer life, all because she donated the gift of life, but that’s just the way I see it. 

A few more thoughts:
-It's interesting to listen to Jenna and Brody talk about transplant day.  They remember everybody at school wearing green for Blake and taking a picture with everybody in the gym.
-If you think it doesn't affect everybody, you're so wrong.  The conversation this morning with the two oldest was incredible.  They asked great questions, like how long Blake's kidney would last.  Brody asked if he would be able to donate a kidney of his someday to Blake.  Melted my heart. 
-Ironically, Steph had a planned trip to Nevada TODAY!  So, it worked out that we got to see her and the girls.  It was great to see them and share memories of that time a year ago. :)

We got Blake an Dairy Queen ice cream cake.  He even ate some!  Such a proud boy.  We love you Blakers.  You inspire us with your fight and resilience.  You are our daily reminder of what is important in this life and we can't wait to see what amazing things are in store for you!  


1 comment:

Jill Dillon said...

It's so wonderful to see Blake healthy after following your story for the past year. As a kidney donor myself, I can tell you that seeing Blake healthy is all the thanks Steph needs. I know she was called by God to do this and she was honored to do so! Hugs to you all!