It’s been my experience that the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel isn’t sunshine or a train- it’s a carrot. A metaphorical carrot, of course. It’s the light that keeps you moving forward, plodding like the donkey with that goddamn carrot hanging just beyond his reach.
Of course, also in my experience, the carrot is attached to the nose of a train that’s coming right at me.
For more than two years, the light at the end of this tunnel has been a liver transplant for my sister. We knew that it was pretty much the only thing that could save her life. It’s been such a long tunnel that most days we couldn’t even see the light. And plodding forward in the dark after a carrot that’s just a rumor is hell.
On Sunday we caught a carrot made of light that’s attached to a train and shaped like a liver.
On Sunday, my sister had a transplant.
I’ve been writing everything down, because it happened so quickly and I know none of us will remember it all. I want us to remember that I almost hung up on the transplant call because I thought it was a wrong number. And my niece writing a message to the surgeons on my sister’s skin in Sharpie marker, only she wrote it in the wrong place and they never saw it. I want to remember the nurse calling my sister’s room hours into surgery to tell me, “The organ is in.” and the heroic willpower that kept me from replying, “That’s what she said.”
We’re not out of the tunnel yet. My sister has already had some complications and will be in ICU for several more days. Transplant recovery is long, especially for someone who has been so weakened by cancer treatments.
But for the first time in a long time, and I’ll deny it if you ever tell anyone I said this, I can almost believe that it might be sunshine at the end.
Real life woman. Virtual World avatar. Likes top shelf vodka, dominant men, blues, sunsets and playing darts. Dislikes insecurity, rap, small children and clowns. I'm either behind the bar or under it.