Pearl of wisdom number one... (extract from this what you will)
I was teaching a Vietnam Vet how to ski last week. This was my last lesson of the season with Challenge Alaska. A season filled with littlies wedging their way to the paraolympics someday; brave teenage girls on a snowboard for the first and last time ever; bumps, bruises, smiles, snowballs, raindrops (downpour), tears, powder, slush, sunshine through the snow, and big wide open hearts. It has been a wonderful season. I have received much fulfillment from overcoming obstacles and helping kids and adults with disabilities learn to ski and snowboard. Even in the pouring rain... I loved this job.
Interestingly and sweetly, my last lesson with this Vietnam Vet, Rick, was sunny, warm, and absolutely easy. He was a natural and we just chatted and skied in the sunshine, sharing stories of life adventures. He looked at me at the end of the lesson and said, "I think you must be a gypsy at heart." He knew because he was one too... I told him of my plans (or lack there of) for the summer and how I may meet up with Dom and Ernie. Rick reiterated that he believed I was definitely a damn gypsy; with a smile his spirit touched mine, and I knew we were both grateful for a lovely sunny day and wonderful company.
Pearl of wisdom number two... (extract from this what you will)
One of my good friends received two kidneys and a pancreas on the side during a transplant operation in Seattle last December. Prior to this operation he was a 47 year old man undergoing dialysis 3-4 times a week, as a result of his kidney failure related to chronic diabetes. He was dieing. His kidneys and pancreas were donated from a vibrant 21 year old college student that was hit by a car on a Friday night while she was crossing the street on campus in Seattle last December.
Ted had been very sick all summer and was taken off the transplant list after two near matches that had brought him from Alaska to Seattle and put him on the operating table twice, only to be told that he was not a near enough match for these potential organs... Two weeks before his donor's accident he was healthy enough to be put back on the list. As he laid on the operating table that December evening, over 800 people held candles in the hospital parking lot in memoriam of the girl who had lost her life that evening.
As one plant withers, another stalk grows. No longer diabetic, Ted has sprouted a new lil bud, and 4 months after his transplant he is doing swimmingly. In fact he is swimming, biking, hiking, working, and loving his new lease on life. I couple days ago he came into my massage school clinic and I got a chance to work on him. His energy level was amazing and his body is really responding to the new organs quite well. His Kidney Qi was fairly full and seemed to be harmonizing with the new organs.
He is super stoked for this summer's bike season, and is hoping to do a benefit ride sometime in late summer to raise awareness and money for diabetics and transplant candidates living in Alaska. You see, when someone gets sick up here... and I mean real sick... they have to fly to Seattle (3.5 hrs by plane) for most treatments and major operations. This puts a huge stress on patients and families.
Ted wants to give back and to help others in his situation realize that there is hope. That they can live an active life while still sick, and that their recovery depends not only on the fates that they are given or their lot in life, but also the choices that they make on their path to wellness. To live an active and rich life, and to never stop trying; to never loose hope, and to be grateful for the time you have because you never know how your story will go.
So, dangit if it isn't Easter time... Easter means to me... let's see... I can't help but think of Cadburry eggs and soft bunny ears. Let us not forget the crispy tails of a fresh, shockingly pink marshmallow peep! As I get older, I also add to this list: delicious eggs benedict and mimosas :-P
Also, Easter is a time of new beginnings, of course... (please refer to the brief pearls of wisdom mentioned above), and indeed I am experiencing a bit of renewal myself. (insert great big smile)