I am constantly humbled and it continues to astonish me when individuals are awe-struck that I donated a kidney to a seeming stranger 7 years ago. After all, Mariama is from Niger, Africa and I the United States. As I discovered, none of us are really strangers. We are friends and family members who just haven’t met yet. Mariama and I now consider ourselves sisters. As a matter of fact, I recently had my DNA tested. 80% of my bloodline comes from the very region where Mariama calls home. So, it has become no surprise that when I was tested to see if I was a match, it was the perfect match.
I believe that giving is receiving. I have received bountifully since January 11, 2011. 7 years ago. Not material gifts; but rather vast amounts of wisdom, insight, strength, joy, happiness and appreciation. This experience has enhanced my life and my perceptions in so many incredible ways. I’ll share a few with you.
- Live everyday as if it is your last. It may just be. Tomorrow is not certain or guaranteed.
- Don't take yourself too seriously. Giggle
- Be of service. It doesn’t have to be major. Lend a helping hand. Hold open a door. Help someone with their groceries. Ask to help a frazzled Mom whose child is having a tantrum in the mall. Listen
- Smile as much as you can but laugh even more. Not only does it make you and others around you feel good it is the best medicine and adds years to your life.
- Your time is valuable. Don't waste it on people/things that don't bring you joy.
- Don't buy into the pressure and stress of holidays. Find your own true meaning.
- Let go of resentments and grudges. It takes two to be in conflict. You are only hurting yourself. Opt out.
- Be strong! Be Brave and listen to your own intuition. No one can stand up for you better than you.
- “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” Fight for your truth, DAMN IT. It may not be immediate but truth prevails.
- Get inspired or get depressed. Either way it’s your choice.
- Be accountable for everything in your life. You created it. Enough with the finger pointing. It’s all a reflection.
- Karma works both ways. It can be a bitch or a blessing. How do you want it served?.
- Be unwavering and uncompromising on what you know to be true. But, you don’t have to always be right. Being happy, joyful and loving takes precedent.
- Face, dominate and overcome your deepest fears. Freedom is on the other side. Freedom is fierce.
In accordance, my life has become enriched beyond measure with the joys and pleasures of being free. Free to be who I am. It’s not always perfect. But when I get it right, Its the best bad-ass feeling in the galaxy.
So, as we celebrate year 7, I’m more grateful than ever that Mariama came into my life. Our experience has taught me so much. Mariama, I live for the continued wisdom and joy of having you in my life and the experience we share. You are the love of my life. Je t'embrasse très fort.