I went on Facebook this morning to check if there were any updates about the accident I saw on the way to work. Instead, I saw an obituary for a woman I've never met. But I know who she is. She received a kidney transplant a few months before I received mine.
And according to her FB page, she had a difficult time leading up to transplant, a tough recovery, lots of additional illnesses and setbacks, and long hospital stays.
I, on the other hand, never had dialysis, was on the transplant list for an unbelievable 5 months (the wait list is normally 5 YEARS), had a 3-day hospital stay, and other than not tolerating pain medication (so I could only take Tylenol which did nothing for the pain), I've been on my merry, healthy way for over 3 years.
I saw the woman last fall, at a church event. A priest travels around the United States, bringing relics of saints to the people. She was there. I couldn't remember her name, but I did recognize her. She was confined to a wheelchair. I thought to say hello, but figured she probably doesn't need a stranger saying something random like, "Oh hey, I saw you had a kidney transplant. Me too. Sorry things aren't working out." Instead I said a prayer for her. And hoped that by her touching and praying over the relics, she'd experience a healing of her own. But there was a different ending to her story.
When I tell doctors at the transplant clinic that I never had dialysis, they are in surprised. When they find out I had only a few months on the list before getting a call, they are shocked.
You see it's very odd to have experienced a miracle and not know why. Because I don't really have a plan. I'm not doing wondrous good in the world. I don't make it to church every Sunday. Sometimes I forget to remind my kids about their nightly prayers. It's hard to be the lucky one when so many others are not. I keep wondering, what is my purpose? Why me, and not her?