Sunday, March 04, 2007

What is Sacrifice?

Dr. SOB and I have an agreement for weekends that generally works out well for both of us. Only one of us gets up with Sam at his initial rousing, and we alternate days. This way, one of us gets to sleep in and the other gets a little quality 'alone' time with the boy. Usually we play it by ear as to which one of us gets up on which day. Friday night SOB worked late, so I got up with Sam yesterday morning. As I tucked into bed last night, I was soothed by the thoughts of the lazy Sunday morning that awaited me.

Around 5am, I heard 'beep beep beep' and my sleepy ease was shattered. I listened with eyes closed as SOB made some phone calls. He got dressed in the dark, thinking I'd managed to stay asleep. Finally he tiptoed over to me.

'Heart transplant,' he whispered. 'Going to be a long day. Sorry.' A kiss and he's off.

I kicked at the blankets, sprawling out over my newly emptied bed, feeling wronged. Today was my day to relax. I need to return some things to the mall. I wanted to go work out. Fuck, I just wanted to have a little time to read my book. And now? Well, everything is ruined. I might as well try and get back to sleep before Sam wakes up in an hour.

But I couldn't. Sleep wasn't coming. As I laid there, I began to think about all the other people who lives were altered in some way at 5am today.

Like the person who decided to donate their organs. Or the family who decided to donate their loved one's organs.

Like the man or woman who has been waiting for a new heart, who can now finally start hoping and praying for a speedy recovery instead.

Like the surgical team, who bears the responsibility of restoring the life of one person while honoring the life of another.

In the midst of all this, I realized that I was the least affected and probably most insignificant of all of the people wrapped into this little story. My loss, loss of time and freedom, is infinitesimal by comparison.

Luckily, I do seem to have gained a little perspective. And while that's small compared to a new heart, it's something.

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super des said...

Well if you were a horrible bitch like me, you'd remember that most heart transplants only extend the patient's life about 6 years.

Luckily for all of us, you're not a horrible bitch like me.

Mrs. Chicken said...

How lovely. It is so easy to forget these things, isn't it?

When we were told my dad's last surgery was a failure and he had less than a year to live, we sat in a small private room and listened to the noise of the hospital. My husband later remarked that he could hear people laughing and how awful it was to hear.

How many times, he asked, did he laugh while other's worlds were changing so dreadfully?

This post reminded me of that.

I think you are a special woman, to realize that same thing.