Choosing the perfect Christmas present for a 13 year old girl can be a challenge. One minute they want mascara and designer jeans and two hours later they want a new Barbie doll. Ponies are always nice but not an option for most families and very difficult to wrap. Still, most parents will go to the end of the earth and back to find that perfect gift for their daughters because they live for the shrieks of joy and overplayed excitement that consume a happy 13 year old girl.
Yesterday, one family arranged for their daughter the best Christmas present on the planet. It is also the last present that they will ever give to their daughter and they will be without her on Christmas morning. I don’t know anything else about this child or her family. I wouldn’t have even known she existed until a friend updated her status on Facebook last night.
My friend is married to the love of her life and has been watching him die a slow, lingering death of liver failure and knew that she would lose him if a transplant did not become available soon.
Three hours later: ‘Surgery going well’.
Wanna know something funny? I have ever spent a lot of time with my friend except on Facebook and other social media. And yet, somehow I wanted the liver to be perfect. I have no dog in this race but I wanted a win more than anything. This is not about me and somehow, it felt like it was. All I know is that I was desperate for the liver to be a perfect fit.
Two hours pass. ‘Surgery finished. New liver working wonderfully. Going to ICU now’.
Okay, I admit it. I actually shed a tear or two but it was late and I don’t cry if anyone asks. I was also a little confused and overwhelmed by how much someone else’s liver transplant affected me. That’s when I realized my FaceBook friend was wrong. Nobody got a ‘new’ liver last night. It was a slightly used model.
The used liver had the blood of a teenage girl coursing through it yesterday and for the last 13 years. As plans are being made to lay her to rest, another family gets a fresh start. Could anything be greater than a parent’s love for a child? Could a parent love their child enough to set their grief aside for a minute to impart even more meaning the abbreviated life of their child?
You tell me.
A 13 year old girl received the gift of having the value of her short life multiplied countless times as her parents allowed her liver to go to another patient who has a family who loves him as much they love their daughter.
Earlier this morning: He is slowly waking up
Merry Christmas, Baby. Open your hearts and eyes and see that there is such a thing as boundless love and our gift from the parents of an anonymous donor is being awestruck if only for a minute by their infinite love for their daughter as she is laid to rest.
Please put a note on the thirteenth day of the next thirteen months to remember and honor this child and her parents.