Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Where have the years gone?
I remember packing the car up, stuffed full of cases, bedding, duvets, pillows, pots, pans...and all the rest. Taking my daughter Rose for her first year at University. Years of studying ahead. I couldn't really think beyond the four years she would be there, just hoped I'd see the day when it came.
At the time I'd been waiting for a year on the transplant list and had been determined to travel down to Bournemouth so I could see where Rose would be living and where she would be studying. I thought I'd at least have a picture in my head and photos to remind me, should I not be fit enough to manage to visit again.
I wanted to help her move in her halls of residence while I could still be mum. In truth I managed to help empty a few cases in between resting on her bed, while she and Rob lugged all her stuff up and down in lifts. I felt a little helpless as other parents where all carrying bags and boxes piled high while I was empty handed, but at least I'd been well enough to achieve what I'd wanted. Just to see and know where she'd be, see her settled in.
We had to fit my wheelchair in the car somehow, plus a box load of boxes of bottles and phials for my IV meds. We had a lot of ups and downs with my health during that first year, but we also enjoyed many special moments in Dorset as we visited Rose. Fun times on the beach, exploring new places and making new memories.
Rose returned for her second year and moved in a house this time, rather than the halls of residence, again. I just wanted to see where she would be living, help her move in her new home once again. I felt lucky to do this. I remember forgetting the spare pump for my medication when we'd driven half way there and we had to turn back. I knew I was deteriorating. She'd only been there two weeks and on her first official Monday of term, I had my transplant call. I couldn't see her before I went to theatre, which was hard and difficult for both of us.
Then life changed, I recovered and improved, Rose spent her third year back home and undertaking a work placement, which gave us so much time together. When her final year arrived I was able to help move her in properly, do things as anyone else would. And now that year's ended, Rose has completed her degree. So much has happened in those four years, so many life changing things, so many new memories made.
This weekend we visited Dorset again, one last moment with Rose there, before she left for good. Some more lovely memories as we walked miles and miles together, made new plans, walked Ted our puppy, his first visit to Dorset.
It's been a wonderful thing to see and be part of, another wonderful milestone, another one of those firsts and a milestone for Rose too. I'd always dreamed and hoped I would see this moment and now she is back home again, university degree finished, waiting for results and starting a new future.
It is thanks to organ donation. It'is thanks to modern science and a fabulous skilled transplant team. It is thanks to my donor's family and above all to my donor.