Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Gift

I doubt that God has the time or patience to read blogs. He has so many other things to do that we never think about. So today at church, I’ll tell him directly what I’m about to say here and what I’ve been saying since Thursday night. I only write this so others will know how grateful I am for His Valentine to our family.

On Friday, February 13th, my beautiful little sister, Scrabblebuff was given the gift of renewed life by an unknown organ donor. After a long flight from Seattle to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC, she received a new kidney in a late night transplant operation which lasted into the early morning hours of Valentine's Day.

Although some tried, none of our family members were able to serve as live donors of the needed kidney for various reasons. I guess that just goes to prove what Scrabblebuff has been saying all along -that she’s a unique lady, the only one of her kind in the family. Now, through the generosity of a stranger, she’ll go on beating me at Scrabble for years to come. This is such a happy occasion for us.

As we watch my sister begin a new chapter in her life, I simply want to say thank you;

To God who listened to our prayers,

To the family members who offered so generously to give her a kidney,

To the friends of long standing and those we know only through on-line connections who have prayed for these many months that a kidney would be found,

To those who stepped forward at the drop of a hat and provided the means to get her and her husband to Walter Reed.

To my niece who has efficiently, lovingly, and generously gone without sleep to make travel arrangements for her Mom and keep us all apprised of the situation as it has been happening.

To my nephews who have jockeyed their confusing schedules to help keep the needs of the family met.

Most of all, thank you to the Unknown Lady who signed an organ donor card which on Friday gave my sister and presumably others such precious gifts. To her family I want to say we will never forget and we are so sorry for your loss. I’m sure our Mom has welcomed this wonderful soul to her special place in heaven. After all, they form a special pair since both have given Scrabblebuff life.

My little sister is an extraordinary gal. She raised four great kids who each had health challenges of their own including one who will need his Mom’s care for all of his life. They have grown into fine adults who are holding down the fort back in Washington state while Mom and Dad are in DC. She did this while serving as a family advocate and volunteer coordinator for a busy health department where she helped other families stay together and receive the services they needed. And at the same time she was an Army wife for 20 years who welcomed lonely soldiers into her home and made them feel part of a family.

This next few months will be a struggle, emotionally, logistically and es
pecially financially for my sister’s family but with God’s grace, and Scrabblebuff’s determination to win, they will get through it.

At her request, I’ve been very low key about her situation for over a year. Today however, I think she won’t mind if I tell her story and make a request of my own. Please, if you have not done so before, consider signing your donor card and even looking into becoming a live donor by clicking here. Someone’s sister, mom, daughter, wife, brother, Dad, husband or son will thank you.

See ya down the road,


spiritualastronomer said...

I'm so glad everything turned out well! Beautiful blog.


Dave said...

Your sister was very lucky to get a kidney transplant. Over half of the 100,000 Americans on the national waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 6,000 of their neighbors die every year as a result.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't prepared to share the gift of life should go to the back of the transplant waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

Old Newsie said...

Yarntangler - A wonderful tribute to your sister and my daughter - and to think it was a double event - a Valentine Gift and a happening on National Organ Donors Day! I too, urge everyone to sign an organ donor pledge -my has been on my driver's license for years- just hope my 85 year-old-parts aren't already worn out. Dad

Connie and Terry said...

I am so glad your sister got the new kidney and I will continue to pray for her health. Your blog post was beautiful, Marcie.


hilly said...

LD and I are so thrilled that scrabblebuff has gotten a new lease on life.. We were getting regular updates from Chalore. She is WONDERFUL. God bless her and the rest of our family. I am sure Scrabblebuff knows how lucky she is to have a loving sister like you, a top notch dad like GF and so many people praying for her to get better soon and back on her feet. We will keep her and all the family in our prayers.. love you, hilly and LD

Jaimie Hall-Bruzenak said...

What a wonderful gift of life your sister received. Let's hope your story spurs others to donate organs too. I'm registered for everything but my whole body - they can have anything else.

My thoughts and prayers are with Scrabblebuff and your extended family.