A Sister’s Emotions

This morning at 5:30 I woke up to the phone ringing and then the answering machine picked it up. This was the first night in almost a week that I wasn’t sleeping with the phone next to me. I knew it wasn’t for Jack because the person talking was going on and on – not the typical early AM call we sometimes get, “Jack, I do not need a ride today.” from Jack’s friend and co-worker who he rideshares with.

Instead it was my sister telling me there is a liver match for her. I was wide awake and afraid to get out of bed to listen to the message. I still haven’t listened to it.  I got out of bed and called my sister back right away to hear it from her.

Emily & family1

In the only way I know how to process my feelings in a stressful time in my life is to write about them.  I started out with a list of my emotions and physical reactions:















Lack of appetite


Heart racing



Why are my feelings so negative when everyone who is replying to the news is so excited and happy?

Our family knew this was coming since she was a baby, now she is 40 years old, and the time has come!   (Many children with Biliary Atresia have a liver transplant when they are still a child.)

Another family will have to suffer the loss of a loved one to help my sister live.  I know, a precious gift of organ donation is priceless, incredible and unbelievable.  A gift, I would not hesitate to give if my family was put in the same situation.  I am sad that this has to happen to someone and someone else’s family.  I am thankful people are organ donors and I will be eternally grateful to this one special family that saved my sister’s life.

The things I am doing today:

Praying constantly.

Sending positive vibes to my sister.

Wishing I was closer.

Hugging my sweet little girl who wants to hug me and wipe away all my tears while I cry today.

Drinking too much coffee.


And I may just clean my house, just like Emily would (AKA “the white tornado”).

With my birthday coming up I get frequent questions from my husband about what we could do for my birthday and is there anything special I want for my birthday?  He is great, no guessing and all expectations are expressed.  My wishes usually involve not having to cook dinner or a paddle or time alone in the sewing room.   I don’t spend any money on myself, ever, unless it is around my birthday.  That is when I may buy a yummy coffee from a coffee shop or new socks for myself or a yard of fabric I have admired (and only if I have a coupon).  My life is simple and I am happy.

Last week when I was praying for my sister to make it through this, it occurred to me that the only thing I wanted for my birthday was for her to have a new liver.  Tomorrow is my birthday.

It is 6:00 PM and Emily is headed for surgery now.   Please help me pray for my sister and her doctors and for the grieving family.

An interesting resource:  http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/atresia/

10 responses

  1. Thinking of one of my siblings being in Emily’s position makes it hard for me to breathe. My thoughts and prayers have been with your family all day. I pray you have the best Birthday ever tomorrow. Love to all of you!

  2. Jenny, it had been my thought that Emily would receive her gift of life on your birthday. It may well turn out that way. Thank you for this special post, and the lovely prayer. You, Steve, Becca, Kayla and Danna are never far from my thoughts when praying for Emily to have a healthy new start. Love to you all, and Happy Birthday! XO

  3. This is a wonderful expression of your emotions/feelings today. Know that we are all feeling the same things Jenny, but the joy, hope, peace, etc. all come from a sense of relief that Emily will finally be given her chance to be healthy. Organ donation is a wonderful, selfless gift. We are very thankful to the family who is dealing with their tragedy that they could provide something positive from their loss. God answers prayers! He gave you the gift you’ve been asking for and it came just in time for your birthday! Love you!!!

  4. Good news! Not all liver transplants involve the death of the donor. Many times a donor will give only one lobe and the donated pirtion will grow back. Remember this, too: the donor, having never met your sister, loves – loved – her so much that they have truly given her a pound of their flesh ( more like 6 pounds). Do you thonk someone so loving would have loved their family any less than they loved Emily? shecis strong – the doctors would not have let herdo it if she was too weak. Happy birthday and remember to be gentle with the hugs for the first bit – she will be sore.

    On Monday, September 15, 2014, life with three boys and a splash of purple! wrote: > Jenny posted: “This morning at 5:30 I woke up to the phone ringing and then the answering machine picked it up. This was the first night in almost a week that I wasn’t sleeping with the phone next to me. I knew it wasn’t for Jack because the person talking was going on ” >

  5. I am so late in reading my personal emails and I just read your blog. I do pray her surgery was successful and her life is changed to the good for ever. How is she doing?

  6. Pingback: September 2014 | life with three boys and a splash of purple!

  7. Pingback: October 2014 | life with three boys and a splash of purple!

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