—–The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all. ~Leo Rosten
On May 26th. 2010, my sister’s husband murdered her as she was walking out the front door for her daily walk. It was 5:15 PM. He shot her 3 times in the back of the head to make damn sure she never got up again.
But she did.
And she gets back up every single day in multiply, beautiful, life-changing ways.
She rises from the grave each time we tell her story, each time we scream- NO MORE, each time we extend our hand and say…“How may I help? Utilize me. Let me love you.”
The same day Kay died, May 26th, her organs were donated, and I still find it ironic that her greatest organ could not be utilized: her heart. They said it had lost too much oxygen, but I believe it was because it is now beating & pulsating inside me.
Our family was very open to correspond with the recipients of Kay’s organs. The man, Ed, who received her lungs traveled with his entire family to attend The Kay Marie Sisto Walk to End Domestic Violence. The first meeting was surreal and magical and memorable.
Through darkness comes light.
This week, through LifeSource, my parents received a letter from a woman, Melissa, who has Kay’s liver. When I read it, joy and warmth and tiny hugs consumed my entire body. It was like reading a prayer.
To the family of Kay,
I’m writing this letter from the lobby at the Mayo Clinic. I have my final meeting with my transplant doctor. I received Kay’s liver on May 29, almost five years ago. I had liver cancer, but I’m alive today because of Kay.
The last five years have been a gift. Thank you.
- I survived.
- I was able to care for my sister with brain cancer for 33 months. I was there. Thank you, Kay!
- My 80 year old father had lost his wife. Not only did he not have to suffer my death, as well, I was able to care for him as only a daughter could. Thank you, Kay!
- My sister in law suffered through a devastating divorce with young children. I have been able to support her emotionally, financially, and provide a home for them. She needed me. I was there. Thank you, Kay!
- My husband’s company took us to California. I’ve been healthy and able to support this move, and see him flourish in his career. We travel often, including 2 sailing trips to the Virgin Islands. Best family vacation EVER! Thank you, Kay!
- I have 2 beautiful grand children, whom I would have never seen without Kay. Thank you!
- I volunteer for numerous activities that receive my assistance only because of Kay. Thank you!
What I’m trying to say is that I’m incredibly grateful to you all, and I do try to pass it on through my caring for others and being a good person. I try to “pay it forward” each day.
I thank Kay and think of her often.
You’re all in my thoughts and prayers.
Yes. Oh, Yes.
Through darkness comes light.
—Dear, reader, are you an organ donor? Do you pay it forward? How has somebody changed your life in a positive way?