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Learning and trying to be kind and living my life as fully as I can stand it.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Listening to music so I'm not listening to random conversations about trying to park in Martinez for jury duty. Pandora, the Ed Sheeran station.

I'm looking at data, reading through cases and making notes. Each case is a person who has died. Some became organ donors, some did not. I'm not really reading through the stories or the details--the words in the charts can only barely suggest the true stories anyway and I'm trying to get through the numbers I need.

"Fix You" by Coldplay comes on. I keep working but eventually stop and stare off in to space, listening to the music build, listening to the words. Thinking of an old co-worker who always comes to mind when this song comes on. And then thinking about the girl who saved my life by being my donor. The ultimate fix you for me but in order for that to happen she died. She was 16. Her death was by suicide. I think of her and listen to this song and wish someone could have sung it to her in such a way that she could have heard it. Could have made a different choice. Could have held on longer, made it through the shitty, crappy, painful, intense teenage years. Could have seen who she would become as she became more able to be herself.

Fourteen years ago on this date I was in bed in the ICU. I'd been listed for a liver for two days. I was so very sick. My family was so scared. What was going on in her life? Did she know she would die soon? Was she scared? Did her family know she was in such trouble?

I haven't written in weeks because life has been overwhelming. Sick kids, though not scarily sick. Hard times at work, though nothing too dramatic. Messy house. Busy, tired, hard to sit down and write about it.

My mind has been turned in different directions, trying to focus on my kids while also working through challenges around the job that pays me. Wanting different results from things I'm working on and wondering if I can impact the outcome. Wanting different decisions to be made by people I'm not in charge of. Wanting to find ways to paint the picture the way I see it. Wanting to move past my ego, past my worry of possibly losing the job and just do good work. I go around and around in my head, thinking of things to say, ways to approach it, things to bite my tongue about.

And then I'm sitting here in Starbucks, listening to this song, thinking of this unknown, never-met girl whose body lives on inside me, mourning her, feeling such gratitude to her and I'm reminded for the thousandth time why I do this work, why I care, why I will keep trying to make it better, keep trying to honor the people we come into contact with while also trying to honor the people who do the work.