The last couple of weeks have been quite emotionally exhausting. A woman I love very much passed away on July 29, 2008. This woman was my maternal grandmother. So around this date each year I'm a bit more anxious and depressed as I can't help but think about her last few days on Earth.
My grandmother lived to be 82 years old. At her final time she was living on her own and taking very good care of herself. She might not have been in the best of health, as she always put it she was "fair to middling." In her final days she hadn't been feeling well and was taken to the hospital; one thing after another over a short period of time her body began to fail and she passed. During this time she was surrounded by her most of her children and a couple of grandchildren. It bothers me to this day that I wasn't with her when she died. I was 2 hours away on my way to an appointment. I wasn't made aware of how serious her situation was until the day she passed. This lack of knowledge caused a bit of a riff between me and some of my family, that riff thankfully is gone now.
On and off for years I thought I would like to join the National Marrow Donor Registry Program. Each time there was a drive in my city I was either going away on vacation or scheduled to work an event that I couldn't get out of. However, shortly before July 29, 2008 I was finally able to go to a drive and give my sample. I rarely think about what I did, it was so simple, just a few swabs of my gums and cheeks. I figured if the time came I would gladly see if I could be of further service and if I was still a match I would donate. Last week I believe I had my first dream of my grandmother. She might have been in others because I do sometimes wake up and she is fresh on my mind, but this was a dream I actually remembered her being in. I often joke with my maternal aunt if I had a dream where my grandmother made an appearance I would ask her for some lottery numbers. My grandmother was quite lucky when it came to hitting the street numbers. But alas I didn't ask her for any lottery numbers, nor did I wake up with any special numbers on my mind. *kicks dirt*
Better yet I awoke from that dream extremely happy. Unfortunately, I don't recall the specifics, I just know she wanted me to run an errand and I was excited to do it. Cut to a few hours later and I receive a call from National Marrow Donor Program stating it appears I was a match for a gentleman and they would like to know if I could provide a sample to see if that was still the case. I go through a simple phone medical history screening to see if I qualify to even provide a sample, I get some paperwork to sign, and I'm given the labs information where I'm to go and give my new sample. I have no clue if I'm still a viable candidate, but I'm happy to see. Regardless, of how this all turns out I just find it interesting that four years ago around this time I joined the registry, loss someone truly dear to me and was absolutely devastated because of it. And now four years later around the exact same time I am seeing if I am viable candidate to donate my bone marrow to and happy about the time I did have with my grandmother. I'm celebrating life!
I encourage you to let those you love know you love them, celebrate their life. Celebrate your life. And please join the registry, the process is simple and more importantly you can save someone's life.