Playing in my mind and coming from my mouth has been the song by composer Marty Haugen, "Shepherd Me O' God" based on Psalm 23. In particular this verse:
Shepherd Me O'God
Beyond my wants
Beyond my fears
So it has been for me these past 6 1/2 months. I have gone from being in critical condition this past November to, as my nephrologist said to me yesterday "You look great in person and on paper!" It was the first time he has seen me since my surgery. He is the physician who guided me through this with skill and compassion up to my surgery and then the transplant team began its portion.
My lab values are all great with my creatinine at 1.1, I was ecstatic! I have not felt this good in almost a decade. As I stated in my last blog I am walking at least 3 miles almost every day now and some times more. I have dropped 45 lbs of which approximately 30 lbs was fluid, my glucoses are within a tight range and I am full of energy and thankfulness.
On March 1 I began to seek an apartment in my former neighborhood in Cole Valley, where I had lived for almost ten years before my illness this past year. I eventually stopped in on my former landlords clothing shop and let them know. They told me their tenant gave a verbal commitment to stay for 2 years and 1 year had not yet been completed but they would love to have me back if anything changed. The next morning as I was discussing this with a friend the telephone rang. On the line was my former landlord and he said "You are not going to believe this but my wife and I returned home last night in our mail box was our tenants 30 day notice. If you want it the apartment is your at the same rent you paid when you left. I was literally stunned, I couldn't believe it as I loved the neighborhood and my apartment. He also stated "We renovated the apartment, new floors, new rugs, new tiles, new paint." Did I say NEW?
I visited St. Vincent de Paul Wellness Center in our South of Market area. It is a center for people to walk in off the street and participate in various programs. It mostly serves the indigent and the homeless and is an amazing place to see Christ's love in both those who attend and in those who serve. Beginning in May I will be serving there twice a month. I will be offering health education classes one time per month and the second time a month I will be conducting health screenings and listening to questions and making referrals. I was very stirred by this visit and when I observed those serving was taken by their love for those who attended. When I observed those who attended I could not help but to see Christ in their humanity and remember the words and examples of Christ, St. Vincent de Paul and Dorothy Day to name a few. This is.....NEW!
I return to work this Monday, May 3 to the LightHouse for the Blind where I serve as an R.N. Case Manager for a team that was established by the Mayor of San Francisco that also serves those who are struggling and often marginalized. In speaking with my supervisor last week she stated that my job would be changing as of July 1. I would be doing less case management and more direct nursing and nursing consultation with the other case managers. It also means I will not be at the summer camp as much this summer, disappointing in some ways but I embrace it as timing is so essential. We have been able to recruit other nurses over the past couple of years who are loving, caring, beyond competent and fun......a very important ingredient. Again........NEW!
All of you have played a role in this. Old friendships whom I have much history with have deepened and have been reNEWED, and those whom I have recently come to know in the past few years even months have all been encouraging and insightful. I am thankful for all of you and for my family. A deepening trust, an encompassing love and acceptance has been my portion.......NEW!
As I ponder all of these things I am profoundly refreshed in the deepest part of my soul and full of hope for today and the future as I allow a NEW Life to unfold.
Thank you all of you and especially Rich whom I shall never be able to truly express my gratitude.
I have been shepherded from all my wants, from all my needs, from death.......into life!
Blessings and Christ's peace and much love to each of you,
*I invite you to connect to the website below, click the "Shepherd Me O' God" song, close your eyes, take a breath, listen and let go.