23 October 2014

What Would You Do With Twenty Extra Years Of Life

The first five years after my kidney transplant were tumultuous to say the very least. It felt like there were endless obstacles. I faced several complications and tricky situations because of side effects of all the immunosuppression drugs I was on at the time. In addition, I was attempting to navigate it all with an already overly emotional heart and puberty emotions galore. Fun fact I learned by living it! Did you know an abundance of prednisone (a steroid) can push a young girl right into womanhood? True story. It can also cause diabetes in less than 5% of people who take it. Guess who was one of the lucky less than 5%? Yes, that would be me. Luckily, as my dose of prednisone was decreased, the diabetes was cured. Another not so small miracle that is a part of my story! My mom's kidney has always functioned wonderfully since the transplant, all the other detours I've been on have been from side effects of medications. Both a little frustrating and incredible to think about.

I've been writing a lot about my transplant lately. It is how I process things. Therefore, I keep writing as long as the words keep coming. They keep flowing out of my fingertips and somehow continue healing the past when all the letters align.

This milestone anniversary has prompted me to look at twenty year spans of other people's lives as well. My mom, my dad, Rory, and it has even made me wonder where my sister would be today if she had lived 20 years of life. I daydream what Sookie's life will look like in 20 years. It is such a long time. My mom's precious gift has lasted twice as long as my native kidneys. I can't quite wrap my head around that feat!

Last week my mom shared some photos from that week. They made me cry. Up to that point I was approaching the upcoming anniversary as nothing but pure happiness. It was as if seeing those photos reminded me how utterly raw the whole process can be, even when the now is a beautiful triumph. It is hard sometimes to realize how young I was, when really I remember thinking on the operating table, "Well, I've had a good life, it's okay if I don't wake up from this." When in reality my 11 year old self had not yet fallen in love, not yet learned to drive a car, not yet happily slept on the dirty streets of New York to see a band of three blonde brothers, not yet been to Paris, not yet graduated college, not yet experienced the explosive heartache of losing my only sibling, not yet been completely blindsided by the grace of a love story bigger than all the pain, not yet in awe by the power of a little girl who so fiercely wanted to be our daughter, that she broke all the rules to get here.


I want to hear about 20 years in your life. What you've accomplished, the love you've lived, the dreams you've chased, the houses you've made into homes, the traveling you've done to quest your thirst for wanderlust. What have you done with twenty years of your wild & precious life? Share in the comments!


  1. I read your blog a lot, but I never know what to say. I am enjoying hearing your story...thank you so much for sharing! I can't relate very much, but I am learning.

  2. WOW, came across you via SitsGirls and this is amazing.... You asked what I have done over the last 20 years... Yikes...
    Fell in love
    Moved from London to Chicago
    Moved back with my love
    Traveled for a year around the world
    Moved back to America
    Married in Egypt
    Worked my way to the top in my career
    Have two amazing daughters
    Moved from a condo to a HOME!
    One dog and one hedgehog, yes a hedgehog later...
    Purchased and sold a condo in Belize
    Loved my FAMILY and all that we have done together with vacations, moments spent together and the journey we have been on so far.....
    Learned to scuba
    Watched the Hubs and daughter learn to scuba
    and so much more....
    Now I bracing for our oldest to move onto college. This will be a big journey for all of us.

    Thanks for sharing your story and asking about mine!