The year 2015 started off with some very sad news for me. On Jan 1, 2015, my friend, Mark, who I paddled with on a dragon boat team called the Gift of Life, passed away unexpectedly. The Gift of Life Dragon Boat Team is comprised of individuals who actively promote organ donor registration and transplantation. Many on the team are organ recipients.
Mark is in the first row, second from the right.
About two years ago, Mark had a heart transplant and unfortunately, had some complications in the last few months. He was a fighter right to the end though, and had such determination to live. Even with all he had gone through in his life, he was always positive, had such a gentle and kind spirit, and had the most amazing attitude. He lived his life to the fullest, touched so many lives, and was an inspiration to many.
Mark’s death impacted me deeply. I had my kidney transplant just a couple of months before Mark had his heart transplant. Although I am doing fine, the fact is that organ rejection can happen at any time, without any warning. With the sudden lost of Mark, my goals and focus for 2015 became clear. He reminded me of what is important in my life – my health, my family, and my friends.
This meaningful reminder frames my goals for the new year:
- To be present in the here and now! That means not to dwell in the past and to not worry about the future, but to live in the moment and to live life to the fullest, taking advantage of every opportunity!
- To spend time with those I love! Nurture those relationships we treasure. Don’t take these relationships for granted. Appreciate those we love and those who love us.
- Make my health a priority always! When our lives get busy, it’s too easy to neglect our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. It’s crucial to be healthy in every aspect of our life and to have a balanced life.
- To always be grateful! We all have something or someone to be thankful for. Gratefulness attracts gratefulness!
As “life happens” and challenges come our way, how do we stay focused and accomplish our goals? By keeping our perspective and remembering:
- What is important to us.
- Who is important to us.
- Who we are and what our values are.
- To stay true to our authentic selves,
- To be still and listen to our inner voice.
- To surround yourself with like-minded people
- To stay in the present moment
- To do what brings you happiness
- To pursue your passions
- To be fearless.
Since my kidney transplant in Dec 2012, Mark is the first organ recipient friend I have who has passed away. He has reminded me of how precious life is and how I have to make every second count.
Life is precious. Treasure Every moment!
There is no time to waste. I have to live life to the fullest. None of us knows what tomorrow brings. The reality for me is that kidney rejection can happen at anytime, without any explanation. Knowing this propels me forward to live my life with no regrets and to fulfill my life purpose. Knowing this, I seek to inspire and empower all those I come in contact with, and to leave this world a better place.
Love & Light,