A Mothers Wish June 28, 2015

I received a phone call on Saturday … “What are you up to tomorrow?” she asks I promptly reply with my million and one standard answers, “Running the boyz here and there, cutting grass, cleaning house, packing for our trip on Monday!” “Why?” I ask. “I need a favor.” she says.

You see in February 2015 my Aunt (who just happens to be my best friend’s mom) underwent a double lung transplant. I have never been so happy, sad and scared and excited to that level before. I knew it was a good thing but was equally scared that it was the wrong thing. Watching her husband and her children struggle with those same feelings times a bazillion was almost unbearable. But after months of high highs and super low lows Auntie Kay is home and surrounded by her family and all of us that love her so dearly. 

During this long process of being on the transplant list, preparing for the surgery and getting her body ready for this miracle Auntie Kay and Uncle Alan met some strangers who were going through the same things. Who better to share your concerns and joys with then someone in the exact same boat.Well these strangers soon became GREAT friends as they maneuvered through the processes. Each at different stages but all knowing they were there for each other regardless. They shared the same fears, they connected on a level that was unspoken and when one needed the other they were there … right there … always. 

Auntie Kay was the first to get new lungs then mere days later Joanne. I recall days in the waiting room outside the ICU at the Mazankowski watching Uncle Alan and Gary (Joanne’s husband) as they shared stories and desperately hoped for a good day … there were few of those but they celebrated those days and helped the other get through the difficult ones. When they would finally go down to get a bite to eat they would meet a man named Laurie, his wife Tracy has been on the Transplant list since October 2014 and she desperately awaits up on the 3rdfloor for that call that it is her turn. I can only imagine the struggle of the conversation between these men as they go through this process, how does one celebrate successes or show despair when another man would do anything for his wife to get the experience of being right where they are. But together they get everyone through each stage that they are at. They were experiencing something together albeit painful at times it was beautiful. 

Sadly on May 29 2015 Joanne passed away. Her new lungs were able to give her a few more months to breathe in life and to tell those around her how much she loved them. When Gary looked out at Joanne’s funeral there was Uncle Alan and Laurie … they get it and they were there for him. 

“What’s the favor?” I ask. She explains … “Tracy has been taken off of the transplant list and she is not going to make it.” My heart is breaking for her and her family, to wait so long … She is a wife, a daughter, a sister, a Mother and Grandmother. Tracy has one request, one last thing she wants to experience before her final rest, she wants to see her daughters marry their true loves. She wants to see the parents of those beautiful grandchildren make a commitment to love and to cherish all the days of their lives. She wants to be there and the boys heard her and asked those beautiful daughters to be theirs forever. On June 28th not one but both daughters will be married for all the world to see but for them the most important people that will see are Laurie and Tracy. In 4 days all the arrangements are made, hospital staff coordinates, family is called, sisters come in, dresses are bought … “let’s do this” they cheer! And they will!

“Will you take pictures?” 4 of the most frightening, honorable, cherished, scary words I could hear in that moment. “Me? I have no idea what I am doing!” is my first thought but then I respond with a confident “YES!” 

The day of the wedding I am up early and my morning is spent getting ready for the BIG day. I cannot help but shed tears … but today those tears are not about how nervous I am or if I am good enough or if I will get this right … Today those tears are because I get to be part of a momentous day. Today I am grateful for this opportunity to watch a Mothers wish comes true. 

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you. ~Budda

It’s a beautiful day in Edmonton plus 32 degrees and The Labyrinth in the University Hospital is beautifully decorated with purple and white. Two simple yet stunning white Wedding cakes surrounded by delicate cupcakes await the guests as they trickle in. There is an indescribable joy filling the room … I can see it, I can feel it. The day is here and I feel so honored to be a part of it. 

The brides arrive, they are stunning … I have never met them before but can see who they are by what they are wearing … a circle of flowers surround Hailey’s head and Callie has her hair pulled back and a white flower is placed in it. The Grooms see it too as do their children as I catch glimpses of them staring in complete adoration. I too can’t look away.

Tracy and Laurie have arrived, the nurses have spaced out her morning so that she gets breaks between hair and makeup, they don’t want her to tire, and they want this day to be all that she wishes it to be. She looks beautiful, Laurie is right there beside her … I have a hard time looking through the lens as the importance of this moment fills my heart and runs down my cheeks. Tracy’s hair and makeup was beautifully done by volunteer staff at the Mazankowski. Both her and Laurie are wearing purple to compliment the day … even Tracy’s socks and pillow are purple. 

Two nurses are right there with her not leaving her side and letting her enJOY every single breath of what today brings. Today … just for today she is not their patient … today she is a Mother … A Mother whose wish came true!

One at a time Laurie ushers each bride down the aisle … I watch Tracy and anticipate the emotion she will be feeling as she looks on. I am overwhelmed and again cannot help but feel grateful to be a part of something so special. Before Laurie sits he gently kissed Tracy on her forehead, she looks up at him in adoration and smiles. Both Tracy and Laurie look peaceful, content and calm. They hold hands and throughout the ceremony look at each other and share a smile. A BEAUTY filled day as we watch a Mothers wish come true! ❤

Written by hand and felt by the Heart

By Helen Lawrence 2015

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