All I could think about yesterday morning was how tired I was, how it wasn't fair that I had to go to sleep at 10pm while everyone stayed up partying in my backyard. How I had to cut the margaritas short and stick to beer, and how I had to get up at 5am and go do a donor. So all the way into the city on my drive I grumbled and complained to myself. I had visions of being an OB nurse, wouldn't it be nice to see new life instead of death? Maybe easier to do a 12 hour shift and come home with no meetings or calls or complaints. I thought about how the people I work with right now are sorely lacking in a lot of things (thats a whole nother post) and I wouldn't miss some of them. Hmmm maybe a starbucks girl, a bartender? Anyway I looked at it, I was in for a busy 24 hours and I was miserable about it... until.
Until I got to the hospital. I was introduced to this family and I did a complete 360, I was so moved, so awed by their courageousness, their generosity and their spirit in the light of such tragedy. Here I was feeling sorry for myself and this family had every reason to be angry at everyone, at god, at whomever for having their loved one taken from them so early and suddenly. She was so young, had a teenage daughter and wonderful husband, 6 brothers and sisters, a huge family. And not ONE of them was angry, everyone was smiling and excited that they were helping other people live on. At that point I knew that maybe this might be God's way of saying " your not quitting yet, your going to keep doing this job". Because after I met them, I think I could have worked 48 hrs non stop. In my 4 years at this job, I have yet to meet a family like this one, and they have left a lasting mark on me. I think they might have just given me the gas to go another 4 years doing this job.
Later as I stood in the room with all 25+ of them and told them where their loved one's organs would be going, I cried as I looked around at their faces, the smiles and the excitement was so obvious. I think I have cried off and on with most donors but never like this. I cried because their love and spirit filled that room and I was so overwhelmed by that love and hope that they had. I told them I had never been so honored to work my tail off for 18 hrs for anyone. In the end her lungs, kidneys, liver and pancreas saved 5 people and her family can't wait to meet them.
This famiy stayed with me long after I left last night, even when my pager went off at midnight and I drove again into the city trying hard not to fall asleep, and again at 5am. Not once did I grumble or complain, knowing that this was all part of the process, that I had forever made a difference in a families life by doing what I did. As hard as it seems sometimes, as much as I disagree with political issues in the workplace, the policies, the co-workers, the gossip, etc, I will always have what I love and do best.