I’ve never shared a more heartfelt prayer with a friend than when Gloria and I held hands last Wednesday evening and bowed our heads before she went into the hospital to receive her new kidney. Gratitude, surrender, love for God and for each other. Tears of joy. Undignified snuffling and throwing dignity to the winds, our spirits conjoined.
Gloria is back home now with her family and her new kidney, able to drink as much water as she wants (which you can’t do without good kidney functioning) and looking forward to traveling and seeing her four young grandchildren grow to adulthood (ditto the above).
I am sitting here with my morning coffee, crying all over again, happily. It’s been 27 months since I heard the nudge in prayer to become a kidney donor (that and more described in the magazine article below). 17 months since Gloria and I found each other through an article in The Skanner, a local African American newspaper. Then many months of waiting for our transplant surgeries due to Covid, during which Gloria lost her mother and also contracted Covid, herself, horribly, but managed to recover.
Almost one year since the murder of George Floyd, and the long overdue white realization in our country that Black Lives Matter. Five months since I got to donate my left kidney to the person I later learned is Lee, a vibrant Asian-American woman in the Bay Area. That donation triggered Gloria’s going onto the list for a live kidney transplant (13 people die daily in the U.S. waiting on the list of 100,000 people to receive a kidney from a deceased donor, the usual type of kidney transplant).
I’ll write more soon on what I’ve learned about anti-racism and moving to decenter myself and put people of color at the center, instead.
For right now, though, I’m still immersed, and I think Gloria is too, in gratitude and joy that our shared plan has been fulfilled.