“Oh my GOD”, I thought as I drove in my car to my office last Tuesday night. “This could be it. I could actually be going.” I didn’t expect anyone to still be at the office, and no one had called to tell me that a package had arrived. A package that could potentially change the course of events in my life. Entering through the waiting room, I found that someone was still there working. Passing by with a “hi”, I quickly walked to my office in the back with trembling anticipation.
I had received an email the day before. In rereading it with my mouth hanging open, I realized that the package was waiting for me. And, now, I saw it in the shadowy light of my office. Flicking the switch, light revealed that it was an overnight FedEx envelope resting on my desk’s glass surface. It was from his business in the Chicago area, as promised verbally only a few days before.
In seconds I had it open, and I was reaching inside and pulling out the cream envelope inscribed with one word: “Jennifer”. The handwritten letter by the donor was genuine and heartfelt. It was the type of letter you keep forever, and accompanying it was the check. A check that could change my life in an instant. Streaming tears of relief and amazement fell uncontrollably from my eyes, as I walked out of the room back towards the exit. I was flooded with indescribable emotion.
The cost of roundtrip travel. The cost of the dialysis treatments while there. The cost of the stem cell treatment itself. Food. Lodging. Calculating numbers in my head, I concluded that I might have enough now to go without worrying about anything. I might have all that I need to claim my life back and continue my journey here on Earth. All the tension in my body released and an unbelievable feeling of euphoria began to fill me. Beaming a smile from ear to ear, I floated to my car to start sharing the news.
“Mom, are you sitting down?”, I asked over my cell phone. She already knew the back story. She, along with a few friends, already knew the name of the donor and how I met him. He’d rolled up in his nondescript car, while I was fundraising at the French Festival. He was lost and needed directions. I often get asked by random strangers for directions. Not one to miss an opportunity, I handed him my flyer and he made a fifty dollar donation. As he drove off, I thought that was the end of our encounter. One of my girlfriends with me that Saturday morning noticed his return before I did. Again he stopped at my table near the entry to the parking lot. He’d returned after an hour or so. Rolling down his window, he reached out his hand and introduced himself. I immediately recognized his name. He was kind and sincere as he looked directly into my eyes, and the woman with him smiled at me. They’d read my flyer. I listened as he repeated over and over that he was going to help me. That my fundraising was done. That I didn’t need to worry any longer. He said he would send a check after he returned to his offices during the week.
For the next few days I began to make plans to get the much-needed stem cell treatment. Excited doesn’t adequately explain how I felt about having a normal life within my reach. I began to dream about swimming in the ocean again, showering like a normal person, and I relished the thought of having my chest catheter removed. A life without dialysis. A life with all my organs working.
Over the years people have commented on the intensity of my life. What’s that saying? “God never gives you more than you can handle.” I’ve worked hard to get where I am, meaning to fully get to being my True Self. To let my Divine Self shine out as much as possible. I’ve tried to become more patient, more tolerant, more compassionate, and to laugh often at life’s quirks as well as my own. I consider myself truly blessed to have studied numerous meditation techniques, and yoga with wonderful teachers and Tibetan monks since my late twenties. They’ve armed me with the very tools I need to get through this, and to continue moving forward.
A couple of days ago I had to go into my bank, to fix a problem with the debit card I now have for my medical benefit fund. That was how I found out that a stop payment had been placed on the check. The very check, that was going to go a long way in saving my life. Shock took over. “What? Why? How was this possible?”, I wondered. Tears once more overtook my cheeks. Immense sadness washed through me, as I struggled to grasp this news. When something phenomenal is given and then is abruptly taken away, it jolts you to the core. Not having it at all is easier than this.
I don’t have any answers yet. There’s been no response to my email and phone calls. I still believe that the donor meant to give me his gift. After all he took time to write that touching letter. I can’t fathom that a person would intentionally crush another’s hopes and renewed chance at life. I can’t understand why any person would behave this way. Perhaps it was an error. Perhaps he’s not available to remedy the problem right now. Perhaps he doesn’t know. Perhaps I’ll never know.
I can only pick up where I left off: striving to raise enough for the stem cell treatment. In the book, Siddartha, there is a technique of visualizing the word “Om” riding on the breath and aiming towards a target as you exhale. The seeker only focuses on this without distraction. This is how I feel now, and how I have since the day I originally learned of my kidney failure. Unwavering focus on recovering. Unwavering attention to the Light streaming into my kidney cells, healing me. I pray to the angels, my guides, my Guardian Angel, my teachers and ancestors, and those of the Light that it may be so. Mere Gurudev. Om Santih.