Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Leaving a legacy

It's been a hard week for me. 
The CHD and transplant communities lost a brave boy named Cameron one week ago today, and yesterday was his funeral.  I was there, of course, to say goodbye to this warrior child, and I was amazed at what I saw.  An absolute sea of red (we were asked to wear Cameron's favorite color to the service, and we all were happy to do so) filled that church.  It was heartbreakingly emotional, yet so inspirational.  Cameron touched many lives and will continue to do so through his brave journey.
As we left the church, I got to thinking about the legacy these transplant kids leave. 
Every single day, they defy the odds.  Every heartbeat is one that without the miracle of organ donation would not happen.  So many want their kids to grow up to be President, to make millions of dollars, to invent something no one can live without.  Transplant parents?  We just want our kids to be.  That's it.
Today is Madi's four-year heart transplant anniversary.  I am amazed and grateful every day, but on these special anniversaries, I get to thinking even more.  What do I want for Madi?  My greatest hopes for her are simple.  I never ever want her to think that she is above lending a helping hand to someone in need.  I want her to strike out in the world and do what she loves, whatever that ends up being.  (I am laying my bets on something to do with cars.)  I hope that she does everything with a sense of gratitude for where she is in life, and never takes it for granted.  I want her to appreciate life down to the smallest of things-the miracle of rainbows, the smell of fresh cut grass, the tiniest of ants crawling up the driveway.  I want her to ask questions, to have a thirst for knowledge, and to seek the answers to those questions.  If she decides that being a janitor is exactly what she wants to do with her life, then so be it.  I just want my kids to know that no matter what they do, to do the best they can and leave the rest to fate.  Cliche?  Maybe.  Yet it's exactly what I want for my daughters.
Kids like Cameron, Tru, and Nathan (just three of the heart warriors I know that have recently gone on to Heaven) leave a legacy that cannot be matched.  I hope that when people speak about my girls, they can say the same.  That they are living a legacy that we all would strive to, while doing honor to the brave, incredible warriors that have left this Earth way too soon.

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