Today is St. Patrick’s Day when everyone claims to be a little bit Irish. Kaitlin McKeirnan was more than a little bit Irish and our family embraces all our heritages. Looking at family and seeing where you have come from can be fun and informative. Looking at the past can teach us a great deal, but looking toward the future is even more important.
I said in the last post I would share what some of the recipient families have told us regarding what this benefit means to them. Nearly a year after losing Kaitlin, we received a letter from an older gentleman who thanked us for her gift. Because of her tissue and muscle donation he was able to walk and play with his grandchildren. It seemed appropriate that we would hear from a geriatric when Kaitlin had spent 5 years working with the geriatric population and now she was truly a part of it.
At one benefit, the father of young girl who had received a heart transplant, gave us a bear hug and told us how grateful he was for our family and families like ours. He was sorry for our loss but he knew that because of such loss he had his little girl.
When our family was grieving the loss of Kaitlin, we had the television on but I am not sure we were really watching it. It was an episode of Criminal Minds. It was an older one in which JJ was having to leave the BAU and go to another department and she did not want to leave. She said this:
“This is not what I want, but I’ll take the high road. Maybe it’s because I look at everything as a lesson- or because I don’t want to walk around angry- or maybe it’s because I finally understand there are things we don’t want to happen but have to accept. Things we don’t want to know but have to learn; and people we can’t live without but have to let go.”
Anyone who must let a loved one go will always feel that loss. Time does not heal a wound like that, but we can try to learn to live with that loss. For our family, KB4L is a way to make something good out of something horrible, and give second chances to others. Every recipient we have met has not only been extremely grateful for their gift of life, but assures us they are making the best out of the second chance of life they have been given.
Every day can be a new beginning for all of us. We get to choose what we do with it today, and organ donation assures us that we can still continue to give to others when we are no longer here.
Sign up to be an organ donor. There will be people at the Benefit that can help you with that or go to your local DMV and ask how.
See you April 20th at Failoni’s!!!