To the Family Who Gave Mom a Heart

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Not many people get to write this kind of thank you. Honestly, I am still a little shocked that I do. You’d think I would be prepared for something like this, considering I’ve had my entire life to think through the magnitude of this situation.

The truth is, I forget. When I look at her, I don’t think about the fact that on the inside of her ribcage lies an organ which used to give life to someone else.

She’s just normal. She’s just Mom.

I forget that she’s Mom because of your gift. And your gift was so much more than a gift. To you, it was a loss. Thirty years ago, you lost someone special—a son, grandson, friend, maybe even a husband, father or brother.

I’m sure you still think of him, wonder what kind of life he would have lived beyond his short time. I wonder what he was like.

Thirty years ago.

Mom’s heart was severely damaged by medicine she was prescribed while pregnant. She was 19 and expecting twins. The damage wasn’t evident until after my sister and I were born. Within a couple weeks, she was given only a slim chance of survival. At a time when heart transplants were a fairly new option, things didn’t look promising.

It wasn’t a promising time for you either. And although I didn’t know him, I grieve for you.

That is what makes this a hard thank you.

I have so many to thank. I thank God first for giving each of us life. I thank the medical professionals who have the knowledge and desire to work miracles.

More than anything, I thank YOU. 
Thank you for sharing him with us. Thank you for letting go of him, even though I’m certain you didn’t want to.

Thank you for letting me experience life with the person who was there to take me to kindergarten, who put on my makeup for my first middle school dance, who taught me how to do laundry before I went to college, who watched me walk down the aisle.

Thank you for giving me Mom, who now gets to hold five grandbabies.

Thank you for giving them Nana.

I’m so sorry for your loss, but in the midst of that horrible situation, you gave us an invaluable gift.

I want you to know that his life and death were not in vain. I want you to know that he is one of our greatest blessings.

I want you to know that his heart is still beating.

 

 

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Photo credit Cara Hill Photography, Dexter MO
Photo (above) credit Cara Hill Photography, Dexter MO

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This letter and other stories can be found at trustforlife.org.

To register to be an organ donor, check with your local clerk’s office. In Kentucky, you can also register online at donatelifeky.org.

Please share to spread awareness about organ donation.

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10 Comments

  1. This true life story is so awesome. And i am so happy to say I know all of them personally, they are a great family.

  2. Kristin, a beautifully written, heartfelt thank you that captures the depth of your appreciation for the gift of life that was given to your Mom and your family as well as your extended family. We are all grateful. Very special.

  3. What a beautiful and heartfelt thank you. I thought it was your Mom after I read the first few sentences. I hope more people realize that they are giving the gift of life when they sign up for organ donation.

  4. Beautiful note! I’m sure you are great at your profession. Close friend of Alice’s and remember it all well.

  5. Kristin,

    I work for Donate Life KY and also am originally a Western Kentucky girl (Trigg)! Thanks so much for telling your story, it’s absolutely beautiful. Keep up the good work for the mission!

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