40 Years

Me and the rents on my wedding day
I don't know the origins of it but there are designated traditional wedding gifts for every anniversary year from 1-75.  I don't think I'll live long enough to be with my husband for 75 years but if by some miracle I did, then I know that our gift to each other that year is supposed to be diamonds.  Year 3 is leather, year 6 is candy, year 15 is crystal and year 30 is pearls.  According to the list year 40 is a Ruby.  My parents just celebrated their 40th anniversary and a month ago my mom was thisclose to giving my dad a kidney.  Now that is off the charts awesome in terms of a gift right?  An organ from your very own body is way more precious then diamonds.  It is the ultimate gift of life and health.  My mom was a match and right in the middle of the testing process.  It turns out she didn't have to donate but she was willing and ready to do it.  

On October 24th they got the call.  My mom picked up the phone and the lady said, "Does your husband still want a kidney?"  My mom said, "YES."  A donor kidney had finally became available and by 7:00am they were at the hospital and my dad was getting tested and prepped for transplant surgery.  It took longer then we thought it would; about 5 hours.  My dad pulled through with flying colors.  He was in ICU for a day then got moved to his regular room.  Just one week after surgery he got to go home.  The doctors said the kidney was "lazy."  My dad was really disappointed to still have to do dialysis even after the long awaited healthy kidney but we hoped that it would start doing it's job very soon and it did.  On November 9th he was taken off of dialysis.  No more would he have to spent 4 hours a day 3 days a week hooked up to a machine to do what his kidneys no longer would.  He actually has three kidneys now.  Turns out they actually leave the non working ones in and just add the new one. 

Now there are doctors appointments several days a week and a stock pile of pills that need to be taken in addition to his insulin.  My mom took off work and has been right there by his side taking care of him and helping him manage just as she has been through this entire process.  Just as she has been for the last 40 years.  In sickness and in health, through good times and bad.  I can't count how many times I shook my head in anger over things that were going on in that relationship but my mom's love for him has never wavered; and despite actions that may speak to the contrary neither has his for her.  My mom is as forgiving as she is generous and my dad is as loveable as he is stubborn.  When you love someone like that you will do anything to save their life.  You are selfless if a little selfish because not only will you do what it takes to make sure that person is okay but you also can't bear to imagine a world in which they do not exist and want to keep them with you.  My dad feels healthier and more energetic then he has in a long while.  He needs to keep up the exercise and eating right.  This is a new lease on life and he need not waste it.  Not only for himself but for the people who love him.  I don't like to think of my parents getting older.  For my whole life they've just always been there and that's how I want it to stay.   I'd like to think that they will be here forever.  Just as I'd like to think that my husband and my sisters and anybody else I care about will be too.   

Forty years with Mj.  I'm all signed up...I just don't want it to fly by too fast.  The 40 year anniversary traditional gift is Ruby, the modern day gift is a Garnet and if he needed an organ I would give it to him.  What will we look like in 40 years?  What kind of twists and turns will our relationship have taken?  How many date nights, weekend getaways and movie nights will there have been?  How many disagreements?  Life is just so precious.  And so is love.  We are not promised tomorrow so while we are here we need to be thankful for what we have, live and love as hard as we can, while we still can.  


ruthy ann said...

wow...i dont think gifts come around like that too often. what an amazing story!

Our Delightful Home said...

Amazing story! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

~Mrs. Delightful

Natalie said...

Happy Thanksgiving! What an amazing story!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

Wow this is an amazing...and I wish your dad continual health!! And I second the being married for 40 plus years!!

Dancy said...

Glad your Dad's in great health now and - WOW! Congrats to your parents!! Mine celebrated 50yrs last year & I think it's literally awe-inspiring to see couples like that & how they last through the years. It's a wonderful example to have and to follow. I hope we're all so lucky! :)

Amy said...

The gift of an organ to a loved one is one of the greatest gifts one could give. Your mom's love for your dad is amazing

Lil' Woman said...

Wonderful post and amazing what extremes we would do for our loved ones :)

Faith said...

wow, this was incredible to read! happy 40 years to your parents. i wish them many more happy and healthy years together! i absolutely wish, hope and pray for 40+ years together!

Hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving!

Ramona C. said...

As I sit with tears in my eyes and a pile kleenex on my desk, all I can say is "Thank You." Thank you for the words you wrote. Thank you for the story you shared. And, thank you for reminding us all to 'get busy living' because no one knows the day nor the hour when it all ends.

I wish your father continued health. Congrats to your parents for 40 years of marriage.

~Your newest follower