Me and Art — Abbie’s Tree House

Excerpted from Art Buchwald’s autobiography Leaving Home: A Memoir, ©1993: But a funny thing can happen to you in a depression. If you don’t hurt yourself, you can gain tremendous insights and empathy, find inner strengths and hidden talents. It’s mysterious process, but if you can hold on, you become a wiser and better person. […]

Me and Art — Abbie’s Tree House

Precious Mistakes — Abbie’s Tree House

Excerpted from  Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom ©1998, by John O’Donohue: One of the qualities that you can develop, particularly in your older years, is a sense of great compassion for yourself. When you visit the wounds within the temple of memory, you should not blame yourself for making bad mistakes that you […]

Precious Mistakes — Abbie’s Tree House

An Autumn Leaf

Beautiful!

Abbie's Tree House

From an interview with 100-year-old Alfia Distefano:

How much has the world changed in the last 100 years?
It has changed so much I don’t even know how to describe it. I do think I value these changes more because I know how life was before. When I was young, we didn’t have what we have now – and I’m not just talking about computers or smartphones. We didn’t have refrigerators, the food was stored inside wells or in the cellar. We had no running water.

Seeing all this change is beautiful. Today, technology is so advanced I don’t even understand it. I’m filled with joy thinking that I can see my nephew even though he’s on the other side of Italy.

How have women’s lives changed over the years?
As a child, my father would often say I should have been a boy. He’d say my intelligence was “wasted”…

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Feb. 17, 2020-Jan. 25, 2021

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Oh, what a difference a year can make. Or a day. Or a moment.

I saved a fortune cookie and taped the fortune on a light by my computer monitor. It says, ” Do not put off till tomorrow what can be enjoyed today.”

On Feb. 17, 2020 my life, and my husband’s took a drastic turn. It wasn’t unexpected. But what was unexpected was the depth in which our lives changed. We started dialysis training because of my failed kidneys. The carefree life we had would suddenly become sucked dry.

I have to hand it to my husband, Thomas. He did everything he could think of to make our home dialysis life uplifting. He was my dj, playing all genres of music, complete with special facts and awesome introductions.

He had me laughing and distracted. He tried everything to lift my spirits. Sometimes, we would just cry together.

I still hold a full-time job. The hardest sessions were after work. Straight home. To the “electric chair.” We’d both be dead tired after it was over. Fatigue, hunger, screwed up sleep. And no real hope in sight that it would ever end.

We were both feeling like robots. It wasn’t just the 3 hours on the machine, it was the preparation, the THINKING ABOUT IT NIGHT AND DAY AND EVEN IN OUR DREAMS. No matter what we tried, it was like a plague- always with us.

The absolute hardest part for me was watching my husband become exhausted, sad, hopeless. I prayed so , so hard for a miracle to happen. We were told the average wait time for a kidney transplant could be 3-5 years.

I kept telling myself that there were so many people a LOT worse off than me. Lots of hopelessness, people a lot younger than me.

I missed my Tom. I missed seeing him laugh, dance, be able to be unencumbered by dialysis. I did it for him. I could not give up.

We got our miracle. A perfect stranger called me out of the blue, after seeing a Facebook post of one of my friends, mentioning that I needed a kidney. My friend has a zillion Facebook friends, and Tim was the only one who responded, at all.

Tim told me God led him to me. I totally believe this was God’s doing. The transplant was a success in Dallas on Jan. 25, 2021. Each and every day is a gift and I am doing every possible thing to be the vessel that God chose me to be.

The picture is of my donor, Tim , me in the middle, and my darling husband, Tom on the right.