Friday, July 11, 2008

A Convention Center Filled with Gratitude

As I went rushing out the door from my office, I felt the familiar wave of dread--I was running late for a very important meeting.

It had been one of those days--every traffic light turned red just in time for me, the printer jammed every time I needed something quickly, the internet went down and I had no access to emails...yea, one of those days.

When I got to the hospital parking lot, I had made up just enough time that if I found a quick parking spot, I might make it right on the nose. Well, since it was one of those days, the hospital was having a parade for the children and the only parking left in the deck was on the top two levels. Making my way up was slow, to say the least. Happy parade attendees meandered in front of my car and the line of cars in front of me happily stopped to talk to people walking by. By the time I got to the top, I was banging the steering wheel in frustration.

I unloaded my stuff and ran for the elevators. You guessed it, they were very slow.
When I was finally delivered to the hospital hallway, I made a dash for it. My calves were killing me--those high heels are not meant for standing much less running.

As I cursed the heels, the lights and the slow parking brigade, I was suddenly struck so hard that I nearly fell down. I was running to my meeting. Running to my meeting. In heels. My calves were the problem, not my lungs. My lungs barely noticed the pace. I was running to my meeting and I was humbled. I was grateful. I was fully aware that if I was late to the "very important meeting" that was really ok.

These moments of gratitude in the midst of the rat race are so profound and beautiful. I feel like the luckiest human being on earth.

Today, I am going to the Transplant Olympic Games and I will share a booth with Ana and Isa. I will be surrounded by those touched by transplant--recipients and donor families. I am so honored to be surrounded by these special people. I look forward to a convention center filled with gratitude. I can't imagine anything more powerful than that. Can you?

1 comment:

Femail doc said...

There was a wonderful transplant story in yesterday's paper. A young woman was tragically killed years ago in an auto accident. Her family took her off life support, but her liver was not traumatized and was successfully transplanted into a middle-aged woman.

The mother of the donor wrote a note to the recipient via the transplant coordinator, hoping to establish a connection with the woman in whom her daughter lived on. The recipient was unable to pen the 'right sort' of letter back, so she never wrote back. She did, however, have the picture of her 'angel' donor put on a white tee-shirt which she often wore.

One year, she wore it as usual to a transplant fundraiser, and the picture was seen by a friend of the donor's family who escorted the recipient over to meet the mom. A tearful, joy-filled reunion of the two women whose lives were intertwined by the miracle of donation followed.

Started my day off with a tear in my eye and a smile on my face. Your story does as well.