Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my liver transplant. I thought it was going to be a hugely important day for me. Paul had planned a surprise meal with a few close family and friends, we were going on a celebratory run on the beach and the BBC wanted piccies.
Two days ago, that was the plan, and that's because two days ago, my anniversary felt like a big deal.
There's a fitting line from Baz Luhrmann's Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen) song:
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind
the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday
Just like my liver failure blindsided me just over a year ago, this weekend we were blindsided again. And these 'real troubles' change your focus and your whole perspective of what really matters.
A very different anniversary
Instead of spending the day thinking about myself and my donor, I spent the day seeing first hand the raw, brutal and agonising pain that a death causes. I'm sickeningly ashamed to say, that that was the first moment I realised what my donor's family had been going through a year ago today. That the anniversary of my second chance, was such a monumentally different anniversary for them.
The strength of donor families
And seeing this, I couldn't fathom for a moment, how a family, who's hearts were being ripped out of them, could find the strength to agree to their loved one's organs being harvested. And I am more grateful, and more humble than ever.
Once again I see how easy I had it. I was poorly, but not for long. My mind wasn't even really 'with it' enough to worry about dying. I was looked after so well in hospital by the NHS, and so well out of hospital by my husband. My boss didn't even let me worry about work. And more than anything, I got better. Death is so catastrophically crueler than that, and I will never complain about my transplant again.
Today, if you're going through something awful, I am so sorry.
If today is an average Monday for you, with nothing but the usual stresses, please just take a moment to see all the good in your life, all the love.