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January 11, 2012

Posted Jan 11 2012 12:28am
It’s been a while since you have heard from me.  As you may know, my mom had been very sick, fighting cancer, so my attentions have been with her and helping her in her last days.  At just after 5:30 on the evening of December 27th, mom succumbed to cancer.
But I am not going to dwell on the sadness, rather I would like to tell you a story about something that happened that really touched my heart in moms last days.

The story actually begins back in October.  I had received an email from the website www.rockscarlove.com .  For those of you who know, you know Rock Scar Love is a fantastic website run by Amy Tippins.  According the websites banner, “Rock Scar Love is inspiring passionate lives through clothing. We celebrate sexy scars, the lessons they teach us and the strength they create.”  But in October, Amy added a hand-made crystal awareness bracelet, made with Swarovski Crystals.

I remember I was sitting with mom when I received this email, so I pulled it up on her iPad so that she could see a better picture of it since I could enlarge the picture on the iPad.  Mom took one look at this bracelet, one word slipped from her lips: “Beautiful!”  I then asked her if she would like a transplant awareness bracelet to commemorate mine and Tommy’s transplant surgery earlier in the year, and she said yes, and asked if I could get it for her for Christmas.

Fast forward to mid-December…moms condition had degraded to the point that we had hospice overseeing her final days, and they had been with her for about a month.  Needless to say, I had lost track of time, of days, of everything.  Suddenly, its December 15th and I am holding moms hand when I realized that I never ordered the bracelet that she had wanted. 

I immediately sent an email to Amy Tippins explaining the situation to her and I asked her if she could help expedite the bracelet so that I could give it to mom for Christmas.  I was asking a lot of Amy, especially just before Christmas, and she could have easily said that it was too difficult to get it to me in time for Christmas.  But she didn’t, rather she and Rock Scar Love came through big time !

Hospice had been telling us most of the week that mom was close to death, so I was hoping to get the bracelet in time.  I received moms bracelet on the 21st.  By this time mom’s condition had continued to deteriorate, she was no longer speaking with the exception of a word or two every now and then.  It was unclear how much mom was understanding what was going on around her.   But something interesting happened when I went to put it on her...now mind you, she is in and out of consciousness, and while still asleep, she lifted her left arm off the bed, sort of as if to tell me "please put it on this hand."  I placed the bracelet on mom’s wrist as she slept, but I still spoke to her and told her what I was doing and what I had put on her wrist.  Sometime later that day mom awoke slightly as I was sitting beside her on her bed.  What happened next was absolutely incredible to me (excuse me for a second here while compose myself…)…

I had not immediate noticed that mom was awake, but then she lifted her wrist towards her face, and with her eyes half open looked at her bracelet, and in the next motion, mom reached out and put her hand on my arm.  It was as if mom was saying thank you and that she liked her new bracelet – at least that is what I want to believe. 

The kidney transplant awareness bracelet looked absolutely gorgeous on mom, and I couldn’t have been happier to have been able to give it to her just days before she passed away.  I owe a huge thank you to Amy Tippins and Rock Scar Love ( www.rockscarlove.com ) for allowing me the opportunity to do this one last thing for mom.  I would actually urge anyone who wants to spread the word transplants, that you visit Rock Scar Love and pick yourself up a t-shirt or two, and even take a look at the awareness bracelet.

This whole situation actually reminded me of a Christmas song by the group NewSong released back in 2000 called “The Christmas Shoes”, and subsequent movie of the same name staring Rob Lowe in 2002.  The chorus of the song goes like this:

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time
You see she's been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

It’s that last line that gets me, and sort of reminds me of my situation with mom.  In a sense, I wanted mom to look beautiful if she met Jesus that night.

As I said, the bracelet was beautiful on her, and she looked stunning when she met Jesus and got to see my Dad and my sister, Linda, who had both previously passed away before her.

I Love You, Mom…Thank you for everything…You Lived a Full Life !!!

If you, or someone you know is interested in learning more about Diabetes or organ donation, please contact: www.diabetes.org , www.joslin.org ,   www.neod.org ; www.donatelifenewengland.org , www.organdonor.gov ; www.unos.org ; www.donatelife.net ; www.organtransplants.org ; or  www.thewaitinglist.org , or, by all means, speak to your own physician, or feel free to send me an email.


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