When I count my many blessings, I include my dear friend Lizzie who is one of the reasons I kept on fighting even when it was tough. Believe it or not, I have some wonderful memories of being in the hospital because of the warm visits from Lizzie. She’d tell me about her parents building a new home and what was new in celebrity gossip. She kept our group of close friends informed about my progress every step of the way, which was a wonderful relief to me. After all, I was too exhausted to tell the story over and over again and relied so much on her positive attitude to comfort all of the other people I love and she loved – all of the people that were friends but they were really almost family.
The few times I did sleep in the hospital I’d dream about her and me going to that new house of her parents and swimming in their pool. I’d dream about us as mothers, playing together with our children in the park.
She knew everything about my past and there I was, dreaming and hoping for a future, wondering if I would make it to those moments. Life’s moments I call them…such as Lizzie’s wedding which was only 4 months from that time. I told her “I will be in your wedding, mark my word.” Sure enough, I made it to that day and started realizing that those dreams I had were now my reality.
Lizzie mentored me during my entire recovery process, listening to everything from the detailed medical jargon to the emotions I had about my donor and ultimately she encouraged me to write to Chloe’s family just before their first holiday season without her. Since then a few letters have been exchanged, each pouring a little bit of light onto the window of life that we look through. I imagine that their window is a little foggy since their loss and mine sparkles every time I hear from them and learn a little bit more about my brave Chloe. In their last note they said that Chloe was adopted from Guatemala. Ironically enough, Lizzie’s family has ties to this country since they have done mission work there for many years. It’s funny how things cross over in life – Lizzie’s connection to me and now to Chloe’s family who had at one time long ago, ventured to Guatemala for their little girl.
Last night I met Lizzie for one of our typical four hour dinners with endless talking about topics that even the most seasoned conversationalist would have a hard time following. Around my neck was a beautiful heart shaped necklace from Lizzie, made out of Guatemalan Jadeite Jade which is considered sacred to Mayan culture. It is only produced in two countries and is as unique and as beautiful as I know in my heart, Chloe was.
A card accompanied the necklace with a trademark stating: “Jade…a treasure from the past…an asset for your future.” Could they have summed it up any better? Chloe’s heart from Guatemala is most certainly an asset for my future. And did you know, the more you touch Jade and wear it next to your skin (heart), the more beautiful it becomes?
(Photo 1 - Melissa & Lizzie at her marriage to Beau, Photo 2 - Lizzie & Beau in Guatemala, Photo 3 - Jade necklace from Guatemala)