As I sit in the hospital waiting room while Jed is undergoing his routine bronchial scope I am reflecting on the last 6 months. The long days of waiting and living in the hospital seems so long ago, and yet walking back into the hospital I am hit with the familiarities of “home.” At 6 months post double lung transplant Jed’s lung function is at 110% FEV1. Essentially, this means his lungs are functioning at full capacity and he has a large set (therefore greater possible capacity) of lungs working for him. I recall being told during one of his hospital stays that he was approaching 11% FEV1. His 11% to 110% lung function is a visual reminder of the scripture passage in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” His new lung capacity is our reminder of new life and new possibilities our family has been given for whatever length of time God allows. Sadly, we are often surprised at how easy we can still let the little moments be taken for granted. The craziness quickly creeps back into life diminishing our miracle.
During Jed’s recovery his new motto is “I get to.” It is not “I have to, or I should.” It is easy to find joy in being able to go sledding with the kids, shoot hoops with CJ, visiting with friends, or taking walks with Kylie and the dog. Joy is harder to come by in the management of medications, lab appointments, being isolated when his white blood count is low, working out, or just having patience in everyday family life. Even though we realize the miracle we have been given the typical fighting over conflicting views or lack of patience with one another still exists in our family. It is in the everyday moments of frustration the… “I get to” reminds not just Jed, but all of us of what we almost lost out on. It is when we remember to keep our mindset as one of gratitude that joy can remain strong.
The phrase “we get to” is a constant reminder of the gift of life we all have. It is a choice we all must make to change our thinking from “I have to” ….to “I get to.”