Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Running out of Gas

I’m not really sure where to start, so maybe from the beginning.  Last week I fixed my alarm so it would only vibrate with no noise to wake me up, which is how my blackberry used to work, however this morning it didn’t wake me up this morning.  Since I am old and have been waking up at the same time for 10 years I woke up only 10 minutes late(right now I’m thinking this whole blog post is either going to be 10,000 words or just about my day), well let’s find out. 
I am going to skip the first story of the day because it has too much back story, which can be a full blog after the surgery (that’s right I am going to blog after the surgery).  This morning on the way to work I saw a guy in a wheelchair going down the side of Australian Blvd.  I’m not sure what came over me but I just knew that he needed help, so I turned the jeep around and went back to see if there was anything I could do to help.  His name was Ray he was missing a foot, he asked me for a ride to the Bus Depot.  So I pushed him up next to the jeep, with no top mind you, and he climbed up into it.  I threw the wheelchair in the back seat and we took off for the Bus Depot, it is only a mile or so up the road, not that big a deal, I dropped him off gave him an apple and some crackers that I had for lunch while totally forgetting to give him the bottle of water that had been sitting right in front of him the whole ride (still can’t believe I didn’t give him that water), anyway on the way to work it really just felt so pointless what I do for a living.  I mean there is so much need in the world and what am I contributing on a daily basis, I have found that when you go on the mission trips it really turns down the volume on everything else in your life, and it has become kind of the same thing with the kidney donation, other things don’t seem quite as important (like Blackberry’s not syncing the calendar, or a bill not getting paid on time)

Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these
brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Let’s go back to the road trip before I finish the story of my day.  Kate and I made the last stop in Chapel Hill to see Ashley who was in the hospital, we knew she wasn’t doing well; the doctors weren’t exactly sure what was going on, whether it was rejection, or exactly what the deal was.  I don’t know about you but I have been fortunate and have spent very little time in the hospital, as a patient or visiting people (I’m not so sure if not visiting people in the hospital is something to be proud of, I think it just means that I haven’t been reaching out to enough people).  My family has been fairly healthy, and I am very thankful for that.
To realize how much of her life Ashley has spent in the hospital is a totally humbling realization, when you visit her there, she just makes it seem like something that everyone has to do (don’t get me wrong I know she doesn’t want to be there, but she handles it so much better than I ever could).  When we visited her she had known she needed a kidney for at least 6 months, she told us that she didn’t want to tell us over the phone.  She had tried to plan a trip down to see us, but she just wasn’t healthy enough, and that was when she was going to tell us. We talked about options and what they meant and what many of them looked like and I knew that it was going to be me.  Kate was willing to do it, but I just knew with the circumstance that wasn’t going to make sense.  We had a nice visit with Ashley some good Thai Food, and after two days we got in the car to head home.
We honestly didn’t make it past one light before I had to pull over because Kate was in tears.  It really is a hard thing to drive away from someone you love who you aren’t sure if you will see again and not be able to do anything about it.  I told Kate she could stay and fly back later, but she didn’t want to do that.  We spent the whole 11 hour drive back to Florida talking about what the next step would be, we really thought we would be donating a kidney in early 2011 not early 2012.  It’s crazy to thing this is still going on , and it has taken this kind of time, at times it has been an exciting journey, and at others as frustrating as you can imagine.  But I wouldn’t change it, there is a plan and a purpose, and I look forward to seeing where it leads next.
So back to the rest of our day, I decided to fast for the day as we were waiting for news from the doctors.  It was a long day I had contacted my doctor at 9:30 and by 3:30 still hadn’t heard anything and UNC was calling me to find out some news.  I called back and got deflected by a very nice receptionist, she listened to me patiently even though I knew she really couldn’t do anything, it was appreciated. 
This brings us to running out of gas, so when I got home we were supposed to take a bunch of dry cleaning to get done because we had 3 groupons that expired today.  The dry cleaning place is close to the lake trail where we like to walk Abby, so we thought we should take her and go for a walk.  Well I usually can get 300 miles a tank on the new jeep, so we were on our way and the odometer read 281, but I forgot that last time I filled up I used a card with that didn’t fill the tank all the way, so at 291 on Palm Beach on Okeechobee blvd sitting at a light the jeep stalled out.  So it was pushing time, I went to the back and Kate steered, I’m glad jeeps are light. We made our first right and got to a stop sign where a guy in a truck offered to push us to the gas station, if by chance you pushed a black jeep to a gas station, thanks.  We passed some Valet’s who were laughing up a storm, and a couple of cops, who let us go in front of them at the stop sign, told the guy thanks gassed up and hit the dry cleaners.  I find it humbling on days when I think I am able to help people and then I become one of the "least of these" right before my own eyes,  God has a great sense of humor.
Kate’s long story short the dry cleaner would only take one of the groupons, so we left 37 dollars worth of dry-cleaning and took home 60 dollars more, he said we could only have one per household even though we were able to buy 2 each, oh well, now we have to try to get a refund.  So we are 0 for 2 so far, and we only got to one task.  So now we are off to take Abby for a walk.   We get to the Lake Trail, and I feel a drop, remember we have no doors or top on the jeep, Kate feels a drop, it is starting to rain, we decide to skip the walk, but get stuck in traffic on the royal poinsettia bridge.  We manage to break through traffic as it starts to rain harder, and then we are stuck again.  I make a liberal left turn into a covered gas station so we can fill the rest of the way up, and dry off.  As we are filling up, there is a rainbow back towards where we came from, which always reminds me of Genesis 9:12-13 ” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth”. 
We made it home staying dry, walked Abby behind the house, were startled by the 8 foot gator in the lake and had a great dinner.  Did I mention that the Dr. Called me and said that none of my Dad’s conditions were hereditary and he was going to send UNC a letter to OK me to donate.  I guess I didn’t but hopefully tomorrow we should have a better idea of when the surgery is going to happen.  See you tomorrow same bat time, same bat place.

1 comment:

  1. Jeremy forgot to mention that when we visited Ashley in the hospital I was insisting on her moving in with us... but she would not go for that - something about me making her work too much!