Tuesday, July 17, 2007

525600 Minutes...A Year in the Life (Part One)

By nature I am an upbeat, happy-go-lucky, optimistic kinda person. Even so, sometimes bad things happen to me. More often though, GREAT things happen to me. I believe that we get what we expect out of life, so I guess according to that view one could say that great things happen to me because that is exactly what I anticipate having happen to me. I don't know, maybe it is a "which came first chicken or the egg" type of phenomena; in either event, I don't really believe it is important to know why or even how it happens this way as long as it does happen.

Anyway, this approach to life serves me well and makes it easily possible for me to get through the rough patches in my life. At the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, I have been known to live and give the following advice when I or someone I love is dealing with the lowest points in life:

"I know this is hard. I wish I could change that but I can't. However, try this....Think back to one year ago today and try to remember what you were doing, how you felt, and what the major focus in your life was. Now, imagine this date one year from now and try to imagine what you will be doing, how you will feel, and what the major focus in your life will be. Nine times out of ten, a year ago you were not caught up in whatever it is that has you down today; and more than likely a year from now, what you are going through today will be a distant memory. In a mere 525600 minutes, you might have new problems to replace this one, you may have found your way through the cloud that is this problem and be basking in the silver lining inside of it, or you may even have discovered a completely new and unrelated joy. Either way, you won't ALWAYS be caught up in this or feel the way you do right now, and that in and of itself is THE BLESSING."

The last calendar year has been so incredibly pivotal in my life, that I thought I would spend some time reflecting on it and the wondrous impact it has had on my life as well as the lives of those with whom I come in contact. This may take a few posts, but I'll start with the thing for which I am most grateful to have been a part of in the last year.

A year or so ago I wrote the post you will find here. I was deeply caught up in my concern for the health of my oldest brother, and in an effort to make light of the situation, I created the "Top 10 List". . . I remember receiving so many compliments because I was giving my brother a kidney and thinking, "Who wouldn't give their brother a kidney if they could? What's the big deal?" Today, 525600 minutes (give or take a few hundred minutes or so) later, so many thoughts are racing through my head as I reflect back to that time. My brother and I checked into the hospital for his kidney transplant a year ago yesterday. I remember the week before because I was frantically trying to make sure my son, house, and life were in order just in case things did not go as I knew they would. I was NOT afraid; I just wanted to be careful and make sure my bizness was handled just in case. I EXPECTED things to go well and they did. Scratch that, they went phenomenally! And now, 525600 minutes later, my brother's health is no longer my major focus as it was a year ago; yet, I believe it does warrant an update on this blog because so many of you were an integral part of the journey right along with us last year.

My brother had his last dialysis exactly a year ago today, the morning of our surgeries. Typically, it can be anywhere from 6 months to a year before a transplanted kidney begins to function; thus, many transplant patients continue to require dialysis for some time even after transplantation. This was NOT what we expected to have happen in my brother's case; we prayed that his kidney would work as soon as possible. That was what we expected and it was the outcome following my brother's transplant. His new kidney worked immediately upon being transplanted into his body as if it had been there all along. Like I said, you get what you expect.

Last week, my brother called me with great news, his kidney is still functioning wonderfully. So well in fact that the trips to the doctor he has been required to make every 3 months since our surgeries, have now been decreased to twice yearly appointments. Additionally, the weekly blood tests that have been necessary every Saturday since the week following the surgery (to certify that his body was not rejecting the kidney) have now been reduced to once a month. My brother is living the normal, happy life he deserves and planning to go for the first time on our next family vacation cruise in 2008.

From the moment my brother first became ill, I knew intuitively I would help him. I expected my kidney to be a good match; it was. I expected to be able to undergo the surgery and come through it with no residual complications; I did. I expected my brother to be able to go back to living a normal life again after the surgery; he has exceeded every expectation I ever had relative to this. I'll say it again, you get what you expect.

Great expectations are a wonderful thing. I have great expectations. I can have great expectations because of one thing: prayer and faith. I know some of you sticklers are saying "That's two things", and that is where you would be WRONG. They are one thing because neither works without the other. I have faith in my prayers and I pray faithfully; because of this,

I have GOD's permission not only to have Great Expectations,

but also to expect them to come true!


LadyLee said...

Great Post, Oldgirl... I like the idea of focusing on a year from today, and what I want to accomplish then. I keep journals... and sometimes, I go back and look a year ago just to see what was going on with me...

I remember when you were talking about the kidney transplant. Hard to imagine that it was a year ago. You are generous to no fault!

So you are out of retirement?! So it is safe to update my blogroll?? Hunh? LOL!!

DJ Diva said...

I'm glad that you updated us on your brother's condition. Often when I visited your blog during your "retirement"...I wondered how he was doing. Thank the Lord for all of his many blessings!

and speaking it into existence is real....Last July I said that me and Scribe would be married by this July...and we'll be walking down the aisle shortly LOL

Sissy said...

Thank you for this post it’s wonderful to hear how well your brother is doing, you both are glowing with happiness in the photo. I’m appreciative of your eloquent writing style, and I seriously (for real, for real) needed to read the message about the 525,600 minutes. I have temporarily misplaced my rose colored glasses, but, the search and rescue mission for them was launched at the beginning of this week. Thank you for sharing, it was very timely for me.


Sharon said...

@ that OG Ladylee:

Yeah, it was a whole year ago, and looking at my brother, if I didn't know it before, I know now what a difference a year can make!!!

@ DJ Diva:
Without a doubt my brother has been blessed and that blessing has cascaded throughout our family.

Now skip all that, what's the dealio on the nuptials???? Stop playin' and jump the dang broom already!! As it is said, let it be done! YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!

@ Sissy:

I absolutely love this pic of my brother and me; it was taken the morning we checked into the hospital and I believe I can see the blessed assurance of what the outcome would be on our faces. There was a peace and joy that was immeasureable even then, a day before the surgery before we had knowledge of the outcome. I like to believe that GOD had whispered the result in both of our ears just as this picture was snapped.

I'm glad this was timely for you. I meant every word of it, and I promise you it is how I approach life when my rose-colored glasses get lost or even just fog up for a minute. It has never failed me! Thanks for visiting, I love it when you stop by!

Anonymous said...

Wow, has it been a year already? Glad your brother's kidney is still functioning well. God is definitely good.

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