My Mom had always been youthful and outgoing. She would love to dress up and take me around town with her when I was younger. I always admired her as a young girl (and I still do). I always wanted to grow up to be just as independent and graceful as she was. I would mimic her makeup and get my hair stuck in the curling brush trying to get my hair to be just like hers. She was beautiful; my Dad made sure to remind her each and every day.
In recent years, we noticed a sudden change in my Mom. She was weaker, her skin lost color, and she wasn’t the same. It took a lot of convincing to get her to admit to the hospital; only to find out that both of her kidneys had failed on her. That’s when her tough journey with the dialysis treatment began.
I wasn’t living at home at the time, but when I visited every month, it choked me up to see the endless amount of pills separated in that plastic container for her to take each day. I would take her to the dialysis clinic and wait with her until she was done. My Dad always told me to act normal so that Mom would feel safe. We never wanted her to feel sad. We never wanted her to be scared. Sadly, I was scared each time.
The end of 2010, my brother married his wife. My mom was too weak to walk down the isle with my Dad and it broke my heart knowing that it was one of my Mom’s biggest dreams to see one of her kids get married. The end of 2010 was also one of the roughest times in my life. I lived away from home and dealt with a lot of personal issues. I use to drag myself out of bed each morning and let my depression take over me. I remember my room being so cold, I felt so alone, and I would cry just to fall asleep.
January 5th, 2011. I was in Houston visiting my parents for the week. My cousin and I had gone to the market to pick up some things my parents asked for. My phone rang and my Dad had told me to rush home because of an emergency. Pins and needles went through my body and my mind went crazy thinking that something happened to my Mom. By the time I got home, Dad was rushing out the door, holding Mom’s hands, and she was hanging on to her hospital bag.
“We got the call! We got the call! They have a match!!”
I watched the doctors and nurses take my Mom away into the surgery room and I just stood there holding my tears as she looked at me, smiled, and said, “Stay strong for Mommy.”
As I was in the waiting room, I prayed. I prayed for my Mother’s health. I prayed that this will be the one. My Mom had been on the waiting list for a kidney transplant for a few years. There have been close calls in the past, but complications always occurred.
We were all restless, but we were grateful and relieved as the doctor came out to tell the family that the surgery was a success. At that moment, I realized that I should never take life for granted and live life happily. I should never let anything negative bring me down and always strive to live a positive lifestyle. A lot of people don’t understand why I try to be so positive, well here is my tell all. This is my reasoning to why I live the life I live now. I learned to never waste a day being angry or sad. I learned to appreciate every breath that I take. I see the good in people and separate myself from all negativity. I can’t drown myself in sorrow and I can’t waste my time on people that make me sad. We need to make time for things and people that matter. Every day is a gift, and it could be all taken away. Because of my Mom, I finally learned to live life for me. I write my own stories and my future is in my hands.
I still can’t believe that it has now been 3 years since we received the call that would change my Mom’s life. I thank God everyday for her second chance. She still has many restrictions and daily obstacles, but this enabled her an extra push to make it through the day. She stays strong for her husband, children, and her grandchildren.
I am thankful for the stranger who donated. I am also thankful for all the people who donated and funded the research to make this all happen. You saved my Mom’s life; I owe you my everything.
If there is one thing I have learned through this experience, is that life is precious. My family has always been blessed with everything we needed in life; through hard work and dedication of course, but also through the power of prayer. Mom is this key piece to holding our family together, and we are thankful each day that we still have each other.
Thanks for reading,