Sunday, January 23, 2011

The best gift ever

Today Dante was in such a good mood that I decided to brave a forty minute drive across town to visit our friend Mariela.  It was a very special visit for us.  You see, a couple of weeks ago Mariela got the best gift ever and our visit was to celebrate it with her.  Two Saturdays ago Mariela picked up the phone and the person on the other end of the line said, “We have an offer of a liver for you.”  Both Mariela and her brother thought it was a joke.  It wasn’t. 

That is one happy Mariela!

Mariela’s mother, Alexandra, brought her to the U.S. from Ecuador eight years ago.  Mariela was eleven and doctors there said she only had one month to live due to her very sick liver.  Thankfully, doctors here were able to stabilize Mariela and she was okay –but not great-- for the next almost eight years, until last Fall.  In a routine visit doctors discovered that Mariela had developed cancer in the liver.  She was then placed at the top of the list of people awaiting liver donation.  Dante and I visited her when she was in this phase, and you could tell she was very sick.

But that changed a couple of weeks ago.  The call from the hospital was for real and Mariela only wanted her mom to get there from out of town to kiss her before the transplant.  Alexandra had to take a flight from New Jersey and it was delayed.  Mariela’s wishes would be granted, however, because her mom’s flight was not as delayed as the helicopter flight bringing her new liver.  Alexandra got to kiss her daughter and a short ten minutes later the liver arrived and it was operation time.

We had the pleasure of seeing Mariela today, so much happier, more talkative, and about thirty pounds lighter than the last time we saw her.  She looks like a young woman again!  The family is so happy to have at last completed Mariela’s transplant, and it is great to share in that joy with them.  God has blessed her family in many ways and we pray for Mariela’s complete and uneventful recovery. 

So Dante and I survived our drive and he was a wonderful little visitor at Mariela’s, although he really wanted to nap.  And if this is a sign of how content and focused Dante was today I will just report that as I began to type this post, he was so interested in the laptop that he allowed me to hand-over-hand help him spell out his name.  He watched with interest how the big letters came up on the screen, and he was very proud. 

So this is for you, Mariela, my son’s typewritten signature:


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