Three weeks after the donation, I resumed the monthly part of my work that takes me to a client’s video editing suite. Along with afternoon naps, I had gradually done more work during these past weeks of recovery, but always in my home office.
This past Tuesday, instead of no commuting time at all, I had a commute more than two hours each way in and out of New York City, on trains and buses. This did give me time to rest, if not actually nap.
Instead of walking the last half-mile in Manhattan as I had always done, I took the bus. That helped conserve my energy. It felt good to be working again within the energy of the city.
Of course I was plenty tired upon my return home. More than that, I found myself irritable.
I had returned to the clutter in my house. If my bad attitude was set off by a messy kitchen table left by other family members, that was, upon reflection, merely a stand-in for my irritation with the clutter in my life. It’s the clutter and discontent, described in my first blog entry, which I had hoped the donation might help me transcend.
The donation is done. Clutter remains, like my stacks of unsorted papers that I had thought of cleaning up during my recovery time.
But in recalling my writing that maybe the donation would remind me to be grateful, I thought, yes, I do have a lot to be thankful for. The satisfaction of having donated did help me put in perspective the lesser significance of what was irritating me.
The next day that I returned home from the city, the same thing occurred – irritation, followed more or less by gratitude. A negative attitude became a positive one, or at least one that was easier to live with, for both my family and myself.
I shared some of these thoughts this Saturday morning with my wife, before we arose for the day. It was a conversation that would remind me of the one we had a year ago, also described in my initial blog, in which I first told her of my interest in donating.
“I’m glad you donated your kidney,” Mary Beth said.
I asked if she still thought I was crazy.
“A little. But I love that about you.”
I told her how I loved that she had given me a book she had read, Hymn of the Universe by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. In a cosmological, mystical mood yesterday while commuting, I had begun reading it. I don’t know how far I’ll get, as it isn’t light reading. But I like it.
Then Mary Beth told me something I was not expecting at all. She had been thinking lately of donating her body to medical science upon her death. Although like many, my driver’s license indicates my willingness to be an organ donor at that time, giving one’s entire body is not something I’d considered. It not even something I particularly wanted to think about, especially in regard to my wife.
But I remembered how gracious and accepting she had been when I had surprised her with my kidney idea. I responded in kind.
“Well, dear, if this is something you’d really like to do, I won’t stand in your way.”