Emily M. DeArdo

writer

Amazing Grace

essays, transplantEmily DeArdoComment

Amazing grace.

That's really all that can be said about eleven extra years on the planet. 

That's more than 4,000 extra days. 

That's sort of staggering, if you think about it. 4,000 days. 

Extravagant grace. 

Extravagant gift

Some people, post-transplant, talk about bucket lists. About climbing Machu Picchu or going around the world and seeing the great sights. And I've done some traveling, post-transplant. I've done some things that I never thought I'd do, and met people I never thought I'd meet. 

But the most delightful things are the small things. 

Getting to see my godson graduate from high school. 

Holding a four year old on my lap during a fireworks display. 

Sharing root beer floats with friends. 

Deeply diving into God's life in me, deepening His life within me and my relationship with Him. 

Feeling the ocean waves wash over my bare feet. 

Of course, all of this is only possible because Suzanne was an organ donor. When she died 11 years ago, her family decided to honor her wishes and donate her organs. And since she died due to a brain aneurysm, her organs were in great shape. She saved a lot of lives that day, including mine. 

If you're not an organ donor, please be one. 
If you are, tell your family that you are one. 

Some people, when faced with health issues or other problems, wonder "why God has done this to them." And I've never thought that way. I'm not a saint. But I've never wondered why all of this happened to me. 

God gives everyone their cross--and it's a cross that fits them. This is the one that fits me.  My salvation only comes this way. And if I can drag a few more people to heaven with me, then that suits me just fine. :) 

I'm writing this in a coffee shop on a sunny summer day. It's a totally ordinary day in July. But it's a day that I never would've had, without Suzanne's generosity, and without the incredible skill and dedication of a whole team of medical people. 

Eleven years later, their skill, and their work, still live on.

I am so thankful for them. I'm thankful for Suzanne, of course, and her family. And even on the bad days, I am so thankful for every moment of ordinary joy. 

Amazing grace.