Believe it or not when preparing for transplant one of the biggest things we worried about was the amount of help we would need. Help during the wait, help during the surgery, help during recovery…. food, laundry, housing, finances, the dog, travel, taking care of our house, paying our bills, covering work loss- the list was long since we had no idea what to expect. In some ways that made our 2 day wait amazing – we didn’t have too much time to worry – but this also meant it was all hands on deck in a fast way!
As you all know we did not do a whole lot of planning (and have provided some recommendations if you have more time to plan than we did), so when the call came we had to scramble to pack, find dog care, and get Baltimore ready. This meant we called our emergency back-ups for Quinlan, had to ask family and friends to run errands, prep our clothes, get us food, prepare our lodging etc – and since everything was so last minute and urgent, it was a lot more barking of orders versus enlisting the right person to help with each specific job.
So we were trying to think of a way to both show appreciation and celebrate the gift of life made possible by so many. If a patient and their caregiver are more stressed than usual….. recovery is even harder (which really, it is hard enough if things are going well)… so all this help made a difference. Danny’s 33rd birthday was October 20, we love fall, and our house was already party ready from Katy’s shower, so the answer: we threw a fall gathering to celebrate.
Although a little warmer than we had hoped – it was a great day! The funny thing about it? The weekend ended up having a lot of conflicts for friends so the gathering was smaller than expected. BUT those that came were some of those life long friends that we hardly ever see, so we got a chance to really talk with them and appreciate the blessings that make this life so rich: people.
Finally we ended Danny’s birthday with a special gift: a basket of stories. Danny has such an incredible story to share I got him several different books that told stories of survival. How folks took the things that were stacked against them in life and preserved. It is one of our greatest dreams to share our story of survival and hope….so best to start with a little research. The moments of dark can be so isolating….. but learning to lean into faith and hope can be life changing. However it all came down to this first: getting here and I am so happy we got to celebrate!
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!