How one message helped save my life
Early October, 2014
I have little time left to live, if you want to call my existence living. Months spent on two waiting lists. Two false alarms. One liver wasn’t viable and I don’t remember the reason for the second rejection.
Frequent visits to the clinic are mandatory to determine rank on the waiting list based on many factors, like lab results from blood work. Every trip sucks life from my unsteady body.
I am ready to stop it all. The endless needle pokes, blood transfusions, tests, and waiting in limbo.
In the restroom I look in the mirror at my jaundiced skin, balding head, and bloodshot eyes and say to myself, “This must be how it ends, this is it,” to the stranger who stares back.
I will never get the call. There will never be a match. My hope is gone.
I splash water on my face and when I open my eyes; I see it. A rock where no rock should be, right there on the sink. It’s painted bright blue with white lettering.
Don’t ever give up.
Even though my brain is foggy, I grasp the magnitude of this magic. The timing is impeccable. Somewhere deep within my unreliable body, a dam explodes and every cell floods with warmth. A tingle of hope goosebumps my flesh.
I stash the newfound treasure in my jacket pocket and walk with a lighter step back to the waiting room.
I do not know who placed this rock in a restroom at the University of Kentucky Transplant Center. But I’ve kept it in honor of a stranger’s kindness and how it nudged me toward the path to keep living. A simple but powerful reminder that good things will happen. And they did. I received a liver transplant a few weeks later on October 22nd.
A few years after my surgery, I read about Megan Murphy, founder of The Kindness Rocks Project™️ and joined in the practice of creating messages on rocks and placing them in the community for others to find. It’s a small way to give back for the kindness I found in one of my darkest hours.
One message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire day, outlook, life.
Yes, it can.
This is the 24th story in the Objects as Waypoints Writing Project series.
To learn more about organ donation or become a donor, visit Donate Life.