May 28th

My birthday means something different to me this year than it ever has before, and it has nothing to do with me turning 30. On this day last year, a young, anonymous (to me) man in his twenties passed away on my 29th birthday…and his family gave his liver to my dad. 

My dad was prepped for the transplant at UCLA Medical Center on May 28th, and the surgery took place in the wee hours of the morning on the 29th. I flew out the next day in an absolute frenzy, and arrived to this:

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It went on to become one of the most challenging, yet cherished, weeks of our lives…

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So it’s strange now, you know, because every May 28th–while I celebrate my life–I am acutely aware of another family that is mourning a death, and my birthday wish is that they could somehow witness the new beginning that was born out of their loss. 

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I am grateful today for many things, but especially for organ donors and their families; for the liver team at UCLA Medical Center; and for my dad, Greg, who had the courage to go through with the transplant, and the tenacity to fight through a long 12-month recovery so that he could spend more days like this…

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“The Lord gives both death and life; he brings some down to the grave, but raises others up.”

~ 1 Samuel 2:6


 

© 2017  Kristen Lunceford