What a month this has been! My (new) heart is full of gratitude for the many blessings I’ve received in my life, especially in the past couple of weeks.
For those who don’t know my story, you’ll find it documented in my blog post entitled, The Beat of Faith. I finally worked my way to the top of the heart transplant list, so I spent the first part of the month hanging out in the hospital, waiting for a new heart to arrive. I got the call on December 10, and my new heart was put in that night. After some monitoring and a few tests over the next several days, I got the green light to go home on December 19, a mere nine days later!
I can barely describe what this experience has meant to me, but here are a few thoughts that have been rolling around in my head:
I’m grateful. I feel so grateful to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey. My mom, fiancee, sister, and children have been there for me the whole way, as have numerous friends, employees, and acquaintances. I truly believe that my ability to recover my strength so quickly is due to the love and support I’ve felt from everyone around me. A grateful heart increases positive healing energy.
I’m humbled. I also feel humbled. I’m usually giving to others rather than having others give to me. I’ve been supporting the Cars 4 Heroes program for years. I also started the Roofs 4 Heroes program through my business, Shamrock Roofing and Construction, giving away a new roof each quarter to a deserving veteran or first responder. I’m used to being the one supporting others. I guess it was my turn to receive. Sometimes that’s hard to do, but I just got the biggest gift imaginable – the gift of life from a stranger.
A humble heart expands and balances giving and receiving.
I’m brave. I have to be brave. I don’t have a choice. Going through something like this takes courage, patience, and perseverance. It was a long wait as I moved up the heart transplant list, but when the day finally arrived, I was ready for it. As scary as it was, I knew I could do this. Now I kind of feel like a superhero.
A brave heart prepares you to do scary things.
I’m faithful. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” I’ve seen God in all aspects of this journey, from the surgeons and nurses who have handled my operations to my church family and everyone else who has sent prayers, love, encouragement, and good energy my way. This journey would not be possible without God’s guidance and my belief that my life is in His hands.
A faithful heart allows you to approach the unknown with calmness and confidence.
I’m giving back. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Donate Life America (donatelife.net), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of registered organ, eye, and tissue donors in the country. Donate Life America educates the public on the growing need for donors, encourages people to register as donors, and manages the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org. Since this organization is so near and dear to my heart – literally – all Shamrock Roofing trucks will soon be stocked with a supply of personalized license plates that say, “Donate Life.” The proceeds from the sale of these license plates will go to support Donate Life America.
An altruistic heart spreads positive energy, happiness, and encouragement to others.
I’m ready! It’s so nice to be home again, resting and recovering in my own place with my loved ones around me. I’m excited about what the next phase of my life will bring. Whatever it is, I’m ready. I know I can handle it because I know I can do challenging things.
My new heart is full!