This is a very special Thanksgiving for us because it is the one year birthday of Dale’s kidney. I can’t believe it has been a year since we packed up and headed to Dallas for nearly a month. We picked up the apartment key that night at Baylor and “moved” in. The next morning we reported to admitting before dawn and the entire family, friends, pastor, and more, got comfortable in the waiting room as Dale and his sister started the process of getting ready for surgery. It was a long and nerve-racking day but everything went fine. We had a few glitches after the surgery with Dale going into “acute” rejection and needing to be dialyzed one time before things started settling down.
To try to thank everyone for everything that was done for us is overwhelming. We were LOVED. Folks I work with collected money, put up with me being a little crazier than usual, friends checked on us, checked on our kids, sent things they thought we would need, gave money so that Sondra wouldn’t miss salary, prayed for us, sent cards, brought our kids to visit us (and cooked with them – thanks Beej!), visited us, and I’m sure I am forgetting someone or something.
The difference in Dale and our lives as a family in the last year is so great. Dale is probably 50 pounds heavier, the transplant medications no longer bother him, he has not been diabetic and is able to eat almost anything he wants. He only has to go the transplant center every six weeks now. He laughs and picks at people again and if you know him at all, you know that is a sure sign that he is himself. He will always have balance issues but he is happy, is cooking, and goes to lunch with our busy son a few times a week. He keeps us organized, and keeps us going.
To all of you that held us up and pulled us through, thank you, we love you and you will never know just how much every little thing meant or how each kindness pulled us one more inch up the hill we had to climb.