Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

bed is empty


There are days I forget about March 21/22, 2000.  But not many. Those days are the quiet lazy ones when we read and the day passes without incident. But on the busy days when we are facing a new challenge, I remember. I especially remember on the days when E is facing a  physically demanding challenge. When I see him on the roof dropping a dangerous tree or hanging off the cliff fixing the pipes from the water tank. When he carries 100 lb logs up off the beach to build a vegetable garden. I remember on the mentally challenging days when he figures out how to install an on demand hot water heater from a video on the internet… I remember and quietly take time to say thank you to another.

When E watched his three adult children move from elementary to high school and then on to graduate from University… I thanked another.

When he agreed to move to an off grid cabin on an island with me on the nature channel. I gave thanks to another.

Around nine pm on March 21st 2000, after waiting almost four months on the heart transplant list E got the call. The next 48 hours are a blur only remembered in detail with the help of the journal I kept. Without the journal many of the details would be lost. It exists to keep the reality of the experience alive. A record for the kids. At the time, a nurse told me I shouldn’t take pictures, to put my camera away. There were no digital cameras. I told her if things didn’t go well and I didn’t want to get the rolls of film developed I would have that choice.. But things went perfectly. We developed the pictures and when I look at them I always thank another.

Fifteen years later as we sit on the perch together watching the sunset, sharing a bottle of wine and counting the sea lions as they swim past. I always give thanks to another

Here is a link  to sign your organ donation card on-line. It is simple to do. I would urge you to do so and share the link. A selfless generous gift.. Life … pass it on….

Though there are days which pass when I forget the events of March in 2000, there is never an evening. Never a night I go to sleep without thinking how fortunate we are.  Wonder why we were exempted from the heartache that so many others face. But I know the answer, it humbles me and I give thanks. E lies beside me at night because another’s

bed is empty.


Author: Off Grid Islanders

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

10 thoughts on “bed is empty

  1. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. We, too, are thankful to “another” as without that gift of life we would not have had the privilege of getting to know E.

  3. Hard To believe it’s been 15 years. Definitely a time I shall never forget.

  4. What a beautiful tribute to another. Congratulations Ian. We have the best neighbors!

  5. What an incredibly touching story. I simply can’t imagine what it must have been like to wait those 4 months together, and then the 48 hours essentially alone. You have a real talent for writing without which we wouldn’t have the privilege of seeing into your very special lives. E is a lucky guy in more ways than one!!

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