Hardly. Just ask my ex-husband. I’m sure he would be more than happy to suggest an alternative five letter word to describe me.
That’s what I’m going to try to explain, although giving birth to this story is proving far more difficult than the decision to donate a kidney to the person with greatest need of it, which isn’t me. Like many healthy people, I have two beautifully functional kidneys and like most healthy people, only need one to live a normal energetic life. There is someone out there whose kidneys have both failed who needs the second one far more than I do. For that person, it will be the gift of life.
Truth is, I am a lot closer to being a “real” housewife of NJ than what you’ve seen on TV, simply because I really am one. I am a healthy 46-year-old middle class housewife in suburban NJ: I have a passionately happy marriage of nearly four years, four terrific children (two girls 24 and 22 and twin boys 15). I am blessed beyond measure to be the heart of a happy, healthy family and to have meaningful work: I am a massage therapist with a private practice in my home studio. I get to earn a living helping women feel great. I also have the luxury of time. I have a large measure of control over my time and it’s wonderful. I make time for myself (I garden, read and dream) and for others (I donate blood, volunteer with hospice.) My life, in short, is positively drenched in Love. This is not to say that it is perfect (that jackpot winning Lotto ticket hasn’t found its way to my pocket yet, our drains clog, paperwork haunts me, the laundry monster is never fully sated…) but it is extraordinarily wonderful in its wonderful ordinariness. It hasn’t always been so. My goal for this blog is to take you through the process of donating my kidney and fill in the back story on why I am choosing to do so.
The greatest reason for my decision to donate is share the love I have found with my husband David. We met and married at mid-life, four years ago on 12/12/2008. We had both been married and divorced before: David and his wife of 14 years had our two daughters and my 17 year marriage produced our twin sons. One of the first things we agreed upon (aside from the fact that we were deliriously happy soul-mates reunited) was that our family of six was complete. Next stop: Grandchildren! We were (and frankly still are more interested in babying each other and enjoying the family we already have. And yet…I feel compelled to share the enormity our love with the world. Isn’t that the reason why people have children? To make their love manifest? And then it occurred to me: we could, in short, have a kid…ney. Like pregnancy and delivery, it would involve some risk, discomfort and expense (due to my lost income while recovering) but look what we would create: a healthy life.
Convincing my husband that this is a good idea was my first challenge. Come to think of it, it was a lot like convincing my first husband to start our family. And that is a story for my next installment…