Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

the alternative


Dwelling on the past doesn’t seem like a valuable use of time. But sometimes it is worth the time and effort to remember important moments in our life. Our first kiss, our first love. The moment they hand you a tiny wee baby for the first time and tell you they are healthy and safe.

When we said our vows thirty years ago we weren’t really paying attention.. I don’t think many do. To have and to hold .. for richer or poorer… yada yada yada… but were we actually listening to in SICKNESS and in health?  no way.. we were thinking about the champagne and the party to follow and how great it was that we were going to be together forever!!!

But in July 1999 everything changed… E was sick.. and I mean really sick.. like cut out his heart and put a new one in kind of sick.. Our whole lives changed. Our timeline of memories is divided into before E got sick and after…. We had three children to raise and they needed their Dad.. They needed their Dad more than they needed me.. He is the one who coached their teams, read their bedtime stories, and watched their movies with them… (I cannot stand Disney movies, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings… I am more a Dirty Dozen, High Plains Drifter kind of girl)…….

He met his diagnosis with a stoic calm that maintained the sanity of our house.. While I dealt with the Doctors, Bills and logistics of running the house during that year, it was in his confidence of survival that everyone took their cue. There was no panic. No tears, no why me? No poor me…… No sudden turn to a God he never believed in…..

The night, March 21, 2000. we got the call that there was a new heart available for him,  he walked into the hospital as if he was walking into a movie theatre… not a moments hesitation that he would be walking out to his family safe and alive. He sat in the hospital bed with his “playoff beard” as they were taking 15 vials of blood and his only comment was…

“Do you realize they are going to remove my second favorite organ?”…….1 Ian Hospital1

Thirteen years later.. we are here. Living a life I could only dream of.. Our children were raised by two parents, with the support of amazing Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and friends….They are adults. Adults with a tremendous appreciation of their family. We are so very proud of them.  Did they ever know how close they were to having it all swept out from under them?

I kept a journal from the moment we arrived at the emergency ward in July 1999. I kept it as therapy and also for our kids.. They were 8, 11, 13 when he had his heart transplant. How they coped with that extraordinary year with their Dad in and out of the hospital is a testament to the way E handled it… they never worried because he was always so calm…One day they will read the whole thing and really understand and appreciate how unique he is.

I have posted up above on the index bar under Gift of Life,  the journal of the month he was transplanted.. It seems a lifetime ago and looking at him here now… I know that dreams come true….

But he really never considered any

other alternative

Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

2 thoughts on “the alternative

  1. It was all so surreal! A disease that effects less than 1% of the poulation!
    Thank God 🙂 he had healthy and active lifestyle when he received the diagnosis, and somehow manged to remain calm throughout — it probably contributed to such an amzaing sucess. It sure didn’t hurt!

    …Spleen? 😉

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