Boy, after coming off such a great weekend with my Dad's family reunion - so much fun, just tremendous camaraderie there - plus yesterday, talking with all three of my kids some more about the size of that reunion in comparison to my Mom's family reunion which will be the last weekend in July -120 some or more as compared to 25, 30 if we are really lucky and hit a "family attendance" jackpot, I knew today would hold a bit of a let-down for me after all the fun and games and stuff had finally begun to wear off from me.
However, I wasn't prepared at all for the e-mail I received Monday morning from my cousin, Bev - one of the organizers of the reunion just past.
On Saturday, the organizers had a great big get well card for everyone to sign which they planned to give to cousin Tom Hill's wife Karen - our way of trying to wish her all the best when the time would come and she would get a call to report to the hospital in preparation for a really big surgery she needs.
That surgery - a Heart Transplant!
Just last week - two, maybe three days prior to the reunion, Karen received a "beeper" which meant she had been elevated on the transplant list and had to remain within a two hour radius of the hospital -sorry, I don't know which one, only that it is in the Philadelphia area - and ready to go for the transplant.
I know -we've all heard of patients who get on the transplant list and nothing happens for a long, long time. Imagine my surprise then when I opened an e-mail from Bev, one of the organizers, telling all of us within her e-mailing list, that Karen received the call on her beeper this morning at 5 a.m. and had to be at the hospital then by 7 a.m. to begin a battery of tests on her to make sure there was no type of infection or undercurrent going on in her body and also, to ascertain that this heart would be a good match for her.
She and her husband, along with their two sons and cousin Tom's mother, Irene, set off for the hospital only to end up with a transportation problem enroute as their car broke down on the Schuylkill Expressway! They contacted 911 and the police came to take them the rest of the way to the hospital, arriving there only 1 minute late. Meanwhile, a friend of theirs who is an automotive mechanic also happened on them - arriving on the scene just before the police got there - and he drove Tom's mother, Irene, and the two boys to the hospital then.
So all day, I've been on pins and needles - wondering how the tests were going, was the heart going to be a good match for her? Had they completed these things and were they already beginning to do the transplant? So many questions, so many worries there, as you can imagine.
The first things I did though upon hearing this surgery looked very eminent, was to contact the Pastor at our church to have arrangements for Karen's name to be put on our prayer chain. After that, I called my cousin Margaret Anne, explained to her what was going on and she then called the people at her church to have Karen's name placed on their prayer chain. Then I e-mailed family and friends asking all of them to please, please remember Karen especially now as she was facing the fight of her life. And, I received responses from family and friends, coast-to-coast too saying they definitely would put Karen on their church's prayer chains too or remember her in their own thoughts and prayers while she endures this procedure to enable her to "live" her life once again.
Some folks might be a bit surprised to learn that I am that strong in my own faith, that I believe wholeheartedly in the Power of Prayer, but it's true. Yes, indeed I do! When I had each of my surgeries over the past four years, as well as dealing with physical therapy for my back issues, radiation, chemotherapy two round of that in one year, it brought me much comfort knowing so many fellow parishioners were praying for me as well as many members of my immediate and very extended family and lots and lots of friends too!
Is that what brought me through this far? Some may say it has no effect but I think just from the moral support alone, it gives one that much more stamina, a bit more of an edge, a reason to try to get better again. It certainly doesn't hurt anything is also my theory there!
Early this evening, I got a small update on Karen and the tests all went well so at 3 p.m. this afternoon, they took her to the operating to begin the surgery that will give her a new heart.
And, I'm going to put myself out on a limb here tonight now too and ask any of you reading this, if you believe at all in the powers of prayer, to please keep this lady in your thoughts, your prayers, that the surgery will be completed with no complications and that she gets off to a good start on the road to recovery. Every prayer certainly can only help her be returned home to her husband, sons, and the rest of her immediate family as quickly as is possible. And I - along with every single member of my extended family would be extremely thankful for those who would do that for Karen.
Because of the nature of this post, I am not putting in any Bushism today. I'll play "catch-up" on those once things begin to settle down a bit and those who like those naughty little idioms from DUBYA, I think you can understand my reason for making that choice for now.
Thanks to each and everyone of you, my readers, my friends.