Giving comes in all forms. This holiday season, I can’t help but reflect on how much my parents always gave to make Christmas so special. My parents went all out with decorating, presents and making sure it was a magical and memorable day. The best gift they ever gave me, though, and still do to this day, is love.
Sometimes we receive gifts or give ones that can’t be wrapped, but their impact is immense and forever lasting, like my kidney transplant. I’ve never seen the kidney that my donor Sally gave me, but I feel and see its influence every single day.
My husband’s and my parent’s love and Sally’s gift of life inspire me to give. Not to buy things, wrap them up and physically hand them to people (although I do think that is fun) but to give my time and my story to hopefully have a positive impact on the lives of others.
Sometimes while driving on the highway or when I’m around large crowds, I think about how we are all headed to different places for varying reasons, and we are all on our own special paths. Each of us has different challenges, triumphs, hopes and dreams. I believe, however, that we are all searching for the same thing: contentment, in the form of love and happiness. We want to be loved and we want to be happy.
Peace, love and joy are three words associated with the holidays. Giving my time and story to PKD and organ donation provides all three of these emotions for me. The fact that I have and continue to endure life-threatening struggles gives me inner peace because I am meant to endure them with strength and grace that might inspire others to overcome such hardships. The love that I have not only given but also received from the PKD community is overwhelming. We are a family and we are in this together. Please know that your support and belief in me fuels my passion to keep giving. So much joy has been brought into my life because of PKD. The biggest silver lining is the friendships I’ve made.
I believe I survived all of my PKD struggles and my body continues to bounce back so that I can give to others. I’ll never stop giving and caring about people because that in turn fills me with peace, love and joy.
I will continue to give for the rest of my days – my story, my time, my smile and my support. I believe in the end that when we give, we receive far more than imagined.
Thank you for joining me on this PKD journey. I wish you peace, love and joy this holiday season and all year round.
What is a gift that you gave and/or received that has had an impact on your life? What does peace, love and joy mean to you?