My tears fell with her very first words. "I am the mother of your donor."
For the last year, I've prayed for, thought about, sent thoughts, prayers and hope for healing to these people, but today they became real. He had a name. He was 28 years old with a fiance, parents, a brother, two sisters and a myriad of friends and family who were crushed by his death. He loved music, playing instruments, making jokes, serving others and being with the people he loved. He had a motorcycle nick-named "black nasty". He camped, sang and laughed with people who were left behind to figure out how to go on without him. I have a little piece of his mortal remains, living and working inside my body. It gives me a chance at a future I never would have had without it. A future which belongs to me now and feels emptier to his loved ones. I can laugh and love and teach my children because I'll live long enough to impact their lives. A gift that belongs to me now, and one his family must do without.
A pancreas transplant is not considered a life saving procedure, a cure, or even the end of a diabetic's health problems. For me...this pancreas was all of those things and more.
His gift to me was weddings, graduations, grandchildren, and anniversaries that I will celebrate and he never will.
My mother doesn't have to bury one of her children. My husband doesn't have to find a way to be both mom and dad. My kids don't have to learn about the finality that comes with death or the faith it takes to lose someone and wait for the resurrection. His parents, siblings and fiance must learn those painful lessons.
I don't know if he wanted to make this kind of sacrifice for me, but because he did, we are forever bonded. A huge part of me wished I'd known his heart and soul instead of just his organ. A part of my heart grieves for his family and can't imagine how I could accept such a gift from a loving generous being, like him. Perhaps its better that he and I will meet after this life so I can thank him properly. I'm certain I couldn't have asked or thanked him before the fateful night which changed both our lives.
I pray my friend, that my life will be a fulfillment of your hopes, dreams, and desires, as a way to thank you for your gift. I hope someday to wrap my arms around you and let you feel the depth of my gratitude. I hope your family and friends are as proud of the life you've given me as they were proud of you.
A parent should never bury a child. Yet, your family worked through this horrible ordeal and still thought of my life, my future and my family. "Greater love hath no man."
Thank you Colby. May God bless you and all those you love.