April 23.

Today is my 14 year Bone Marrow Transplant Anniversary.  It’s also known as my Birthday – the day I was given new life.  I had no idea of the lingo, but my donor, Beth, first taught me when she called to wish me a “Happy Birthday” on April 23, 2000.  I thought she was nuts and secretly was a little afraid I’d take on some of those inherent qualities in addition to my new blood type.  But alas, she knew exactly what she was talking about.
I flew to South Carolina to meet Beth one year after the transplant.  She was (is) bubbly, lively, happy, verbose, God-loving, free-spirited, and an incredible family member.  I was greeted with open arms in the airport with a Southern-drawl filled, “Hey, you!  You’re here!  You are HERE!!! Yahoooo!” and we spent the rest of the weekend hanging out.  Two total strangers talking endlessly about our lives which intersected during the most unlikely of circumstances. 
But isn’t that how we ALL are connected?  At one point in our lives, our friends and acquaintances were unknown to us – we were strangers.  And then, something connects us to one another.  Interests, circumstances, common goals such as a sports team, a job, running a marathon, defeating cancer…whatever the case, we form bonds with the people in our lives.  Sometimes they stay, sometimes they don’t.  However, we can be sure that God brings us together at just the right time, for just the right reasons.  It might be many years until we uncover, realize, or choose to accept what those reasons are, but when we do, emotions flood.  Tears fall.  Smiles illuminate.
Those things are exactly what happened to me when I first met Dana.  When I met Greyson, those feelings amplified and knew in an instant that I was finally ready to DO something.  I was ready to take the experience I had and somehow share it so that a little boy’s own experience might be made a little easier, the load slightly lessened.
Isn’t that how we are ALL connected?
We are all uniquely made, designed with a powerful purpose.  What a beautiful thing it is when that purpose is realized, when it’s used – when it becomes so crystal clear you feel like there is NO way you could have possibly missed it all these years!
Is there ever really anything you can do to pay someone back who has literally saved your life?  I’m telling you yes.  Yes, there is.  Pay it forward.  Do something for someone else.  A total stranger.  A friend.  A (perceived) enemy.  Your brothers and sisters.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bone marrow transplant, but it does have to be something.  Whatever you’ve been given, use it.  God used my friend, a one-time total stranger.  Just how many “total strangers” have saved your life at one point in time or another?
Thank you, Beth Robison, for the gift of my new Birthday.   What a miracle indeed.

3 Days.  (Side note:  2 more posts left – hey, a girl’s gotta do her hair and stuff on Friday – and only 1 more day to donate!  The site goes down Wednesday at 3pm.  Thank you for your help in making a difference.  For doing something.  It matters to me, to Greyson, and to a world of strangers out there fighting cancer.  Thanks!)