Today marks the 6th year of my Dad getting a Liver Transplant. We call it his Re-birthday.
Hello Sweeties! Jazzie here.
Look, two posts in one week! it’s a new record. So, today is gonna be another kind of intense post. This year, on May 17th, marks the six year anniversary of my dad getting his liver transplant. Due to some, interesting choices of his youth, my dad’s liver was failing. honestly, growing up I don’t remember my dad ever not being sick. he had me much later in his life, I was the youngest of two boys and one half sister and brother. although he was older, he never let that stop him from at least attempting to be athletic. he was in a lot of sports in his younger days. as he began to age, he still tried to keep up with it. Although with bad asthma, he struggled with it a little bit. Basketball was always his passion, He was on Varsity in Highschool. When he was in his fifties he began going to the park once a week and kept participating in North High School’s Varsity game for several years. the fact that my dad was in his 60’s didn’t stop him from trying to keep up with the young kids, Ever. Imagine all of the heart attacks I had, watching him breathing heavy and struggling to get up and down the court at a steady pace, we don’t talk about it. The last year of his life, he missed the Varsity basketball game for the first time, not that it stopped him from watching it of course. I almost wished I’d tried out for the Basketball team at my school, I know it would have made him happy to have another athlete in the family. but sadly, he got a severely insecure daughter, who freaked out at the mere idea of trying out for a sports team, I was really good too. But we have gotten off topic, we are here to talk about Transplants.
I was always taking care of dad, my family. Every few months he seemed to have another health problem. I didn’t learn why until much later but, growing up I was kind of the designated caretaker in my family. Either I was cooking, or driving, or babysitting, or going to my brother’s school to deal with his stuff. Not that I’m complaining, I love taking care of people. But nothing prepared me for the moment I realized my dad’s liver was failing. My parents set me and my brother down and told us one day. I didn’t realize it was so serious, it just seemed like another illness my dad had. But to see him decline the way we did, was horrendous. Suddenly, I saw my strong, superhero of a dad decline in a way I’d never experienced before. Mentally and physically, if you knew my dad, he was the smartest man I knew. big Smartass. He could spell anything you threw at him and could do math in his head.(Not that impressive on the math front, but you have never seen my math grades.) he was always so enthusiastic about school and knowledge. unfortunately, I didn’t apply myself very well back then. You’d never guess a man who was so wise, could become almost incoherent basically overnight. He used to wake up screaming on his bad days. as time went on, with no match with our friends and family that wanted to help him,. His eyes began yellowing, became more sunken. his skin was almost leathery, and that wasn’t from the spray tan he liked to slather himself in. I was too young to donate at the time. I didn’t even know if mine would have matched. But after what felt like the year from hell.I mean he had days left, there was finally a match. so on to the operating table, he went. UCLA works miracles guys. as much as my dad would cuss out the nurses(He had a very creative vocabulary), they took incredible care of him. Luckily for us, the operation was successful. We got three more years from him before his entire body began rejecting it. He got to see me graduate, start Culinary school, he even saw my brother get married, and it even gave me and dad a chance to rebuild a little bit of our damaged relationship. I would never have gotten those moments if it weren’t for that match. My dad wrote a letter to the family actually, I don’t know if they ever replied to him; although, they might have. To create a new life when a person passes away is a wonderful thing of science, almost like your loved one is still living somehow. It also seems a little terrifying though.
The length of my blogs are getting worse, I’m sorry. I’ll end it on this. when you get your license, or your ID for the first time, maybe even the fiftieth. It’s never too late to check off that box that says you will be a donor. I completely understand how intimidating and petrifying it can be. I donate my body to science when I pass away? that’s weird, unamerican, whatever your reasoning may be. growing up, my mom always reiterated the importance of checking that box off, I fully admit, I mostly just did it to get her off my back at the time. my mindset was, I can drive now, what does it matter? But it truly does. Think of one of the amazing families you could help. mothers, children, babies, superheroes. your donation could go to that one person who is meant to make some profound difference in the world. I know my dad did, or maybe he just made some profound impact on my world.
Happy Re birthday Dad, I miss you.
Thanks for Reading! Upload schedule and other fancy smancy things coming this week sometime.