Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

new defining moment


You will have to excuse me if this weeks postings are less about septic systems and sea lions and more about second chances and celebration. We prepare to welcome  the fourteenth anniversary of E’s heart transplant. The anniversary date comes with a variety of emotions.. Happiness sure but mostly disbelief and gratefulness..

We really still can’t wrap our heads around the reality of what happened and how our lives changed. We have had a lot of time to get used to the idea but it still seems unreal. How we spent 1999 and 2000 are a distant memory and I am so relieved I kept a journal.. So many of the little details would be forgotten if I didn’t have the journals to reread..

Don’t get me wrong we don’t spend our leisure hours reading them over and over, dwelling on it.. But once a year we usually pull them out and read them as if we are reading about strangers who travelled a unique path to happiness.

We are grateful. We always, always remember Someone. Someone important and their family. We know that they are commemorating a different kind of anniversary. One of loss. Fourteen years ago they lost a loved one and their loss gave E life.. That is no small thing. Imagine the unselfishness and power they had to give life when on their saddest day they donated a heart. Its surreal and words can’t describe it adequately. There is no perfect sentence.

Most of us track our lives into chapters.. Ours were the years before marriage. The days before raising kids and after.. We quite understandably changed the track of our lives to those years before transplant and those after transplant.. Before transplant we both worked full-time with three small kids. We ran from work to hockey game to karate class to swim meets. I was stressed beyond belief and E was fit and healthy.  The transplant initiated a 12 year period easily described as the Doctors years. I had three surgeries after his big one, my Mom had some issues and we had E’s Dad with us while he faced cancer. I remember a six month period in 2009 when I didn’t go one week without  taking someone to an emergency department.  But those years are over.

We have a new chapter and it has nothing to do with illness or anyone elses comings and goings.. It is quite selfishly, about us and we call them the island years. We now track our life before moving to the island and after. We have a

new defining moment

Author: Off Grid Islanders

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

7 thoughts on “new defining moment

  1. Love this post, what an incredible journey.

  2. Our hearts are so grateful for E’s heart, for the generosity of the donor family’s heart, for your children’s hearts that have been so steadfast and for your heart that has weathered the journey and gained such strength and wisdom. Truly humbling

  3. M, you truly have a magnificent gift for words. I love your blog, but it’s over too fast and I want to keep reading! I look forward to someday reading your first book.

  4. We too are full of gratitude for you lives together, for your wonderfully vivid descriptions of your journey, for your friendship. Jan is right: a book would be a good idea because you two have the unique gift to look an insurmountable obstacle in the teeth and come out smiling winners. We salute you! xxoxo

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