A gift.

A gift.  A simple act. A four letter word.  What does it all mean?

Webster defines a gift as:

1: a notable capacity, talent, or endowment
2: something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation
3: the act, right, or power of giving

The power of giving.  Maybe that’s what I felt when I first pursued the question if Owen could be an organ donor.  Power.  It gave me power when everything else was being ripped from me.  I didn’t have a choice in anything else that was going on … but organ donation gave me power to decide.  We CHOSE to donate.  In fact, at the end we fought for it.  The hope that someone else’s dream would come true gave us the power to fight on.  We could have just given up and taken him off life support … let him go peacefully. Yet the power of the gift was stronger than our fatigue.

Is it that same power that gives me strength today?  Strength to rejoice in someone else’s life when such a precious life was ripped from me?  I don’t think twice about feeling happy for Josie and her family.  It comes naturally … effortlessly.  There is no jealousy or question of why Josie and not my Owen?  Just pure energy.  Good energy.

With no compensation.  I never wanted anything in return.  I knew that it was possible to never know who received his heart or liver.  They might not want to meet us.  Doug and I signed up for this never expecting anything in return.

That’s not to say I hoped from the depth of my soul that I would one day know the family.  I would meet the child face to face.  I hoped and prayed that this would come true.  But never expected or thought I deserved it.

Yet here I am … I have more than I could have ever expected to have.

Now that I’ve been given the blessing of knowing who carries Owen’s heart … I need to remember that I gave this gift without ever asking for anything in return from anyone.  So as hard as it is … I need patience.  I pray for calmness and to feel at ease.  Deep down I hope to continue to help the family.  Perhaps it’s helping to spread knowledge of congenital heart defects in children.  Perhaps it’s friendship or a benefit to help with medical bills.  I just feel invested.  I feel attached.  I want to help more.  I feel like there is more I can do.

So I pray for guidance. I pray for willingness to go where I am called or needed next.  I pray for the wisdom in how to act, what to say, how to help.  I feel a little lost in what happens next … a little uncertain of what happens now.  I need to stay strong in the fact that a gift comes with no compensation.  The giving also gives me power.  How is it that I feel more uncertain now than before?

Love, Mel


  1. I’ll be praying for you and your family,as well as the recipient and her family.Remember that it is Jesus who holds the keys to life and death,even though we can’t always see or know the reasons behind all that happens.He has it all under control.

  2. Mel, your so strong, I love that about you. I will pray for continued strength for both families right now.

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