I’m home for the holidays. It feels so good to wear short sleeves in December. South Florida certainly is one of the most beautiful places in America.
I saw one of my cousins last night. I haven’t seen him since last Christmas when I told him that I was no longer on medication and that he could have my insulin pens. He said that he would take them to his doctor and see if he could use those instead of the syringes. He had never seen insulin pens before and seemed excited about the possibility because as a Type 1 diabetic (diagnosed decades ago), he’s been doing this for a while.
So, last night when I saw him briefly, I had to ask. “How do you like the pens, cuz?”
He replied, “I’m not a diabetic anymore, cuz, they didn’t tell you?”
Anyone whose been a diabetic longer than six months has heard something like this and your heart goes out to the person who is probably on the path of self-destruction by not taking care of themselves. So, I asked with a frowned brow, “No, no one told me. What do you mean, you’re not a diabetic anymore?”
This is when the excitement began. His face lit up (realizing that he would be the first to tell me the news) as he blurted, “I got a transplant. Cuz, I got a whole new kidney and I’m not a diabetic anymore. I been on the list a long time, when I got that call, I was soooo happy and blessed, cuz. I go to church every Sunday now too, ask Grandma.”
“Whhaat?! That’s a real blessing, man.” I smiled back.
He proceeded to walk away, continuing with the agenda he had before I interrupted. But, I still wasn’t quite comfortable. Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas that then effects every other part of your body. So, if he didn’t get a new pancreas, then he’s still a diabetic. So, I yelled (since he was further away by the time my thoughts were clear), “Did you get a pancreas too?”
He stopped. Walked toward me with an even bigger grin on his face. “Cuz, I got a pancreas too. I’m so happy. And, I even got Lasik eye surgery cause the diabetes was causing me to go blind in one of my eyes. God is good, cuz, I’m telling you. I’m no longer a diabetic. I thank God EVERY day.”
“Wow.” I stood there happily speechless.
Then my uncle, who ALWAYS makes a joke out of everything says, “You was praying to God somebody died huh?” We all started laughing.
But what he was really thanking God for wasn’t that someone died, because death is promised to us all. Rather, he was thankful that someone understand how AMAZING it is to GIVE life to someone else as you pass on. Whomever gave my cousin a pancreas and a liver not only saved him from the finger pricks, the injections, the dialysis, the blindness, the medical expenses, but now that he’s back in church, the person may have very well helped to save his soul.
Thank you organ donors for understanding what a wonderful blessing you can be to someone else.
For now, transplants are the only cure for diabetes and I feel pretty special to be able to say, My cousin is cured!