Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

About 2 weeks ago my dear friend Christina shared with us some wonderful news. This year for Christmas she was able to placed on the UNOS list for a lung transplant. This has been a long time coming for her so I was thrilled. We have been praying for this for her for a while now. At the time my children were in the car with me while I was on the phone with her congratulating her on this awesome news. I told her I could not wait to help her raise money and do fund raisers with her. A short time later the conversation ended.
A while later driving down the road both of my girls proceeded to ask about Christina's situation. The kids had spent time over at her house this summer on the 4th of July and really enjoyed spending time with her and her kids. They also can not stop talking the goodies she made (wait well all talk about all the goodies she makes!) but then they also asked about her lungs. They had over heard the conversation and are curious on how she has been doing. My kids are compassionate like that. They like to keep up to date on how friends and family are doing that are sick and ill. I explained the situation of what she has been through and how we are so excited that now she is on a list to get new lungs.
After a short time of explaining the situation Ella's voice from the back seat asks.. " mommy how does she get her new lungs?"  Ugh thinking to myself I was hoping they wouldn't ask because I really didn't want to have to tell them that someone has to die in order for her to keep living. I took a deep breath and as I was about to respond she decided to try and answer her own question. And this is why I love children's logic. The logic the kids come up with for how situations should happen and play out are just to cute but sometimes some of the best ideas.
Ella had in just this short time to come up with that there must be a giant store where all sorts of, in her words, "body parts" are kept. And that anytime someone gets really sick they just go to the store or send their doctor to the store to help them find the new parts they need. So since Mrs. Christina needs new lungs she can send the doctors to the store and find her the perfect set. Ahhhh if it was only so easy. Wouldn't it be nice if you needed a new heart, lung or kidney to just stop off at the store while picking up a gallon of milk and grab the organ that you needed?
Hannah agreed this had to be the way it worked because well how else would one get a new organ. Both girls got quiet and I could feel their eyes on me as the car got sort of quiet. They wanted a response a justification to the scenario they had given me. I took that deep breath again and said that while I think its a great idea we had a special store to have these things for people who are very sick and need them its just not how it works. I explained how much goes into the process of finding someone the new organ(s) that they need. I explained the testing, and how afterwards in order to keep that new organ healthy the person has to take meds to keep it working properly and take really good care of themselves. I was hoping this answer would suffice because I just didn't know if talking about the entire process would be to much for them to handle. I mean they are after all kids and we as parents want to keep them sheltered and protected from the bad things in life. Not that a transplant is bad but they way my dear friend will have to get one is just sad. Someone has to a lose a life for hers to continue on.
A moment of silence went past and Ella spoke up again. She said "well if there is no store mommy how does Mrs. Christina get her lungs?" I took a second and gather just exactly how to reply. I just went for it. I reminded them of how Uncle Alex died and how sometimes people get sick and don't wake up etc. The girls understood that so I decided to just go for it. I figured worse case we get Mrs. Christina on the phone and she can do some answering! I told them that some people when they die want to have all their viable organs donated to those who need them. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw some mighty big eyes along with some perplexed faces. I told them that even though they are dead they can really help so many people who really need them. I asked them both "honestly what will you need with your organs when you are no longer living?" They both said nothing since we don't do anything when we are dead.
The girls actually did much better with the explanation than I thought. Phew I was off the hook on this one. As we pulled into the parking lot at the shopping center Ella looks over to the strip mall looks over at me and says " I really like the idea of a store better."  I told her I loved the idea of that but until modern medicine can create organs out of thin air this is how it has to work. She seemed content with that answer. Thank goodness but honestly I love hearing things out of the mouths of babes.
I would just like to add though for those interested in following my friend Christina Kupers story I have attached her FB page to here. There will be a few fundraisers to help her cover the cost of these wonderful new gifts she will be recieving. For those who would like more information please feel free to contact her or myself!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/177754992274148/#!/pages/Funds-for-Lungs/311168732250959