Monday, June 11, 2007

Final Thoughts.....

It seems very strange to be writing the final entry on “Duni’s Kidney Transplant Blog”. These last 6 months have flown by. Since 2003 we have been consumed with nothing but research about kidney failure, the relationship between gluten and kidney failure, improving heart health, immune system function, creatinine levels, BUN, potassium, GFCF diets, glucose, hemoglobin, well you get the idea. There wasn’t one day that we weren’t thinking, talking or researching this subject. This intense focus literally consumed us. But because of all our research the final result has been magnificent. Bob gets stronger and healthier every day. His doctors are amazed and pleased at his remarkable progress. While we can’t, and won’t, ever let our guard down, and we know there will be challenges ahead, we feel his life has new meaning and purpose – and for that we are grateful.

The only downside of our intense ‘focus’ unfortunately was a few of our friendships and relationships suffered. We know we didn’t keep in touch, or visit, or call as much as we normally would…but because God has blessed us with so many kind and understanding friends, most of you understood, stood by us, and have shown us you love us in spite of our shortcomings. From wonderful college friends, old and dear friends, to long ago neighbors, our Virginia family members, Bob's VA Golfing Buddies, and our amazing “Naubuc” family, there are no words that will adequately tell you what you have done for us. Each one of you held us up when we were down, prayed with us when we were scared, made us laugh when we didn’t think we would ever laugh again and let us ‘be quiet and still’ when that was what we needed. If we haven’t told you lately, please know you were and are loved, you were and are appreciated, and your unconditional support and non-judgmental attitude during this time will never be forgotten – ever.

And now to the reason why we ‘breathe in and breathe out’ every day of our lives, our beloved daughters, Jennifer and Allison. Along with your amazing husbands, Marc and Paul, our grandchildren, Kate, Michael, Jackson, Ali Rose, Caroline and Matthew, we know what you have given up (more than anyone will ever know) to help us through this. You literally put your lives on hold for 4 long, long years. You sacrificed everything to pull us through this.

  • To Jen – our first born. You are all sunshine and goodness, with a truly kind heart that is wrapped in sweetness. You always see the positive side of even difficult situations, and with such gentleness, people are naturally drawn toward you. You are fiercely protective of people you love and have surprised many by this toughness. It’s sometimes difficult to look at you now and not see the small beautiful miracle we held in our arms with such wonder and awe – but here you are, raising, with Marc four compassionate, loving and responsible children. It’s beautiful to see your legacy of kindness and concern for others being carried forward by your children.

  • And now, to our amazing “Bones”. We look into your eyes and see such strength and intelligence. You are our ‘fighter’, our ‘never give up’, our ‘I WILL get it done’ miracle, our rock. People see your beauty, big personality and foolishly underestimate your determination and resolve. Many a doctor has made that mistake, after assuming you were ‘just another pretty face’. Where would we be if you hadn’t decided “there has to be another way – there has to be an answer?” We don’t think it is to bold to say, you saved Daddy’s life by your never-ending stubborn determination to figure out what caused this disease and how could we help him. You refused to let anyone, or anything stand in your way of saving your father. There are no words......
And so to you, our beloved daughters, we applaud your strengths; appreciate your determination; stand in awe of your intelligence and humbly say thank you for loving us, taking care of us, protecting us, but most of all….for just being who you are.

We taught our girls…’when life hands you problems, and your back is against the wall, you have two choices: you can stand still and do nothing, or you can square your shoulders and take that first step forward’. There was no question which 'path' we would take. Although there were some consequences in taking this path, make no mistake, we have no regrets.

We won’t lose touch with you – and that is our promise. May God bless you all for all that you are, and all that you have given our family.