Shortly after discovering Beckett’s diagnosis of BA (Biliary Atresia) Kim was introduced to Michelle Rowan by a neighbor of ours. Our neighbor had a feeling that Michelle could help us since Annie, Michelle’s daughter, received a liver transplant a few years back. Michelle welcomed us with open arms and provided us with introductions to our new liver family. These amazing liver people are so accepting and understanding of the situation we found ourselves in. We were the lone deer in the headlights and these people slowed down from their busy emotional lives and helped us find our way to a safe place.
Without fail, every time I watch the video of Annie and the experience of the Rowan family my emotions get stirred. First, I can’t imagine being in their shoes knowing that my child only has 48 hours to live without a transplant. Second, our neighborhood and friends have rallied around our family in very similar ways that Annie’s did at the time of her diagnosis and transplant. We have been drowning in the kind acts of others. The toys have been played with, the meals and goodies have been tasty, the conversations/letters and messages have brought tears to our eyes, and the many prayers in our behalf have been felt. As strange as it sounds, my faith in humanity has been restored. There are so many good people living among us. I feel the love of my brothers and sisters and am beginning to understand what it means to be a child of God and a part of a heavenly family living on the earth.
I now have a weight on my shoulders. A weight that I don’t know how to repay. There have been so many people that we know and don’t know who have helped our family. How could I ever repay all these people? How could I ever truly express all of the gratitude that I have for them? The worst part is, I know I have more to ask of these individuals. It’s painful. I’m not accustomed to asking for help. It’s humbling to realize that I can’t do this by myself.
What I have learned through all this is that because of others I will look for opportunities to do good, to show people I care, and to jump in on big or small acts of kindness. There is a fire burning inside to pay it forward. It’s because of others that I now know more than ever that one prayer, one thoughtful message, one hug, or one single smile can make all the difference. I hope that one day I can be the difference that others have been for Kim and I.
Please share with us an act of service that others have provided for you that you are grateful for. We would love to hear your stories.
Written by: Shawn
3 responses to “Opportunities to Do Good”
I’m glad you have reached out to Michelle. She is a wonderful person who has blessed tens of thousands of lives by sharing Annie’s story. She and I went to school together, so we were already friends on FB when they went through their ordeal.
On a lighter note . . . We just had our baby on Halloween and had an army of women here yesterday helping to prepare our home for Kelly’s return home. Someone even mowed or lawn. People are wonderful. When you have some time to talk about liver conditions, I’d love to talk. I may have a bit of insight as well.
Thanks again for sharing.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, there were 2 families there in our Orem ward who took turns bringing me dinner once a week for my 6 months of chemo. True angels. They were such an example to me. We had SO MANY nice things done for us when I was sick. Gift baskets left on our doorstep with a little something for all of us tucked inside (toys, new slippers, gift cards, etc…) gift cards to restaurants, grocery stores, wig shops. Handmade blankets, shawls and baby clothes. The only way I could ever truly think to repay all those kind gestures is to pay them forward when life finally got easier. I keep a meal in my freezer at all times now just in case there is a family that needs it. I find the compassionate service leader in each new ward, introduce myself to them, and ask them to call me first when they are trying to find someone willing to help out. I try and remind myself that people I come in contact with each day are suffering from some trial, noticeable or not, and it’s my responsibility to treat them with kindness and compassion. The kindness all those wonderful friends bestowed upon me has made me a MUCH better person. Even to this day, I can remember almost every act of service and the person it’s attached to and I am still thankful. You don’t have to “repay” them…you just have to become better because of them.
Kim and Shawn, thanks for sharing all this, it really helps me (and others, I’m sure) step back and focus on what is important. Whenever I hear stories of people reaching out during a time of need, I always remember the way people reached out to me when my dad passed away. It was my senior year. I called one friend and asked her to let some friends know I wasn’t going to be at school because of what had happened. That very day 30 or so friends showed up at my house. They did yardwork, the bricklaying for the patio my dad had been working on, built a shed in our backyard, re-roofed our playhouse, just anything they could think of. It was so last-minute, so thoughtful and so generous of everyone. So many thoughtful people made that time easier for me and my family.
I wish there was something I could do for you guys. Hang in there! Prayers are coming your way.