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Change…changes everything.

Change...changes everything: lung transplant journeyA continuation of our lung transplant journey, August 2013.

Okay.  I confess it, I am having a very emotional time this morning.  My kids are cleaning out the garage for when Randy comes home and we started in the dining room, where many of my mother’s things are (she passed away in June 2013).  Her sweatshirts were numerous….and I plan to have a quilt made out of them….they still smell like her, and pieces of me started falling on the floor.  Every time the house phone rings, I think “mom”.  She only called me 5 times a day for most of my adult life.  Her paperwork, her shoes, my grandma’s cutting board with old biscuit cutter and a roller pin….I can’t believe Mom is gone, sometimes.  Our relationship was never what I would call easy…unlike my father, she lived a long life…but still, I mourn.  I didn’t really think I would hurt this much.  She had been failing for so long….and even in the Emergency Room she wanted me to take her out for a cigarette (she died of emphysema and COPD).  Her only exercise was walking outside to smoke!  I certainly cannot say she died too young or too soon or too unexpectedly.  I am no stranger to loss, but still.  It hurts.

The changes have been fast and furious….the last 3 years have been a series of roller coaster rides.  Randy’s illness, and need for a transplant, is the latest in a series of not-so-good events…one which is still, for the most part, incomprehensible.  I mean, yes, I know what is happening.  Intellectually I am all over it, I study it, I’ve researched, and I’m ready. Emotionally?  I am incredulous.

Change is life.  Everything can change in a millisecond.  I know this, I have experienced it.  Usually I consider change a good thing, a time for growth, a time to move forward, a time to get excited for something new….but sometimes change can be like a runaway car with no brakes.  I realize that the road we’ve been traveling has taken a different direction.  Perhaps this is a directional change for the positive.  I’m not a person who believes that every second of our lives has been predestined…I do believe in accidents.  If we live in a world of free will, then accidents are possible.  I agree with Stephen Hawking:  I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.

So I need to make a choice?  I choose forward.  I choose good, healthy lungs so Randy can continue his life with me, and with his family, and with his friends.  It is the waiting that makes us nervous.  I know I did everything in the world I could for mother, I know she is gone, and I mourn.  I cannot change her passing.  But everything is amplified by the waiting game…every day Randy works harder with the physical therapists and gets stronger, and the stronger he is when he receives his new lungs, the better he will be.  I keep thinking of something Gandolf the White said in The Return of the King…waiting is like “the deep breath before the plunge.”  Every day we wait is like holding one’s breath.  It is difficult to be patient, to be uncertain.  I’m trying not to hold my breath, I am trying to breathe, to be at peace with the waiting, but as Tom Petty said, “the waiting…is the hardest part”.

Do you know that many people believe in guardian angels?  If I have one, she’s awfully busy, poor angel.




Tam Warner Minton

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? Live life on purpose and with passion and do what you can to make a difference in this world, no matter how small! Contact me at

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