Dear Valentine in Heaven

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted, but this letter from one of our wonderful Donate Life Ambassadors celebrating their donor is too good not to share on this holiday celebrating love.

Dear Valentine in Heaven,

I look at this picture and see silly handshakes, goofy dance moves, a shared love of Rocky and cheese curls, and inside jokes that I will never understand. But, I also see a side to each of them that wouldn’t exist without the other. I see love, a father daughter bond, and complete adoration. Mostly, though, I see a special relationship that wouldn’t exist without you, our angel in heaven.

There are so many questions, so many things I want to know about you. Every day I hope and I pray that you are watching the memories being made in our family, and the life that you’ve given so that my husband and father of our two children can not only be here with us, but that he’s been freed of a life dominated by kidney disease and diabetes.

I also want to know, who have you left behind? A wife? A little girl? A young boy? Because the truth is, at one time, I thought I was going to be left behind. You saved my husband from a life of kidney disease and diabetes… one that eventually would have ended his life prematurely. But, you have also saved me from being left behind. Admitting that makes me feel incredibly selfish, because surely you have left loved ones behind, and that just isn’t fair.

Why does my family get to move forward in joy, and yours is left to grieve an irreplaceable loss?

These opposing emotions have left my heart conflicted ever since October 11, 2014, the day you passed and my family started to live again. If God ever gives me the opportunity, I want to hug those that you have left behind. I want to tell them how grateful I am for the role they played in your decision to be an organ donor. I want them to know that you have a legacy, and it lives on in my family. It inspires and motivates us to never stop sharing our story so that others can know the significance of organ donation.

Valentine in heaven, are you in this picture? Did you dance with my daughter and my husband on their date night? Do you laugh at their silly inside jokes? Do you ride along for Sunday slushies? Do you pass lacrosse with my husband and our son? Do you sit with us and cheer him on at lacrosse games? Do you go on family walks with us? Did you sit with me in the waiting room during the 6 hour surgery? Or were you with our son as he tested for his black belt while his father was receiving your precious organs? Were you there when he woke up? Because he swears he could see someone at the foot of his hospital bed. Did you cross the finish line with him when he ran his first 5k? I just want to know. I need to know that you see it all, feel it all, and that somehow it gives some honor to your life.

My husband will always be my one and only valentine, but dear valentine in heaven, you see, he is my valentine still, because of you. On this Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2018, three years, four months and three days since you entered our lives, I just want to say, you gave life to a really great man. He’s the greatest one I know. Because of you, our family lives better.

Your kidney and pancreas recipient’s grateful wife