This time six years ago we were watching the first doses of anti-rejection drugs being drawn up; an unusual sight going into small boy with no kidneys. It jolted me into the reality of what was actually happening. Within a matter of hours he was going to be in a possession of a kidney that he could possibly reject. Like an unwanted Christmas gift, or a previously-held faith, his body could simply tire of his Dad's left kidney and decide their new tissue match-made-in-heaven was a non runner. It was a classic rush of too much information, so I decided to file that in the 'things to worry about next week' file while I continued my struggle to appear like a functioning human being as the trip to theatre loomed large. Six years on, I still keep that thought in the 'don't go there' file.
I don't go back to that day very often, except on each November 13, uncanny that this month of remembrance should hold such personal resonances in our home. This year has been a very good one; now tube-free, our Boy Wonder is making huge progress and settling into his new skills of peeing and eating like a pro. The journey has been eventful, but I feel we're moving into a new phase. We're more open to the world, because now with six kidney years behind us, we no longer feel like we are living in a separate realm.
We are here because a group of people in Temple Street Children's Hospital are committed to excellence, and so in keeping with our now-familiar tradition, we will gather this evening while the two kidneys raise a toast to that renal dream team. We will also remember donor families everywhere, who at a time when their grief made even breathing in and out seem almost impossible, managed to make the gift of life.
Ever grateful for our good fortune, I'll struggle to remain dry-eyed while I luxuriate in the beauty of now.