The Beginning of the Journey

I wrote this for a writing class about 9 months after my granddaughter had a heart transplant.

Why do I watch this crap? If I hear one more “and how is that working for you” from Dr. Phil, I'm going to vomit. Ah, the phone is ringing. Now I finally can turn off the tv.

I hear Ian's voice and immediately panic. He sounds very serious. Ian, my son, has been given the role of bearer of bad news. He earned that title a year and half ago, when he came to my door early on a Wednesday morning and told me that Ayrie, my grandson, had died.

“What's the matter, Ian?”

“What? Her heart? No, that doesn't make sense. She just had a cold.”

“Sure sure, I'll be there. I'll be there. The ER at Children's?”

Call Ed. Call Ed. Ed is my partner. In the five years we have been together, I have had one crisis after another. Poor Ed. Poor me.

“It's Indigo. There's something wrong with her heart. I'm heading over to Children's. I'll let you know.”

Indigo is Monica, my daughter's baby. I was at her birth just a few months ago. Indigo is not a happy girl and I've tried unsuccessfully to babysit her many times. She just cries and cries. She barely sleeps at night. Something was wrong but no one knew what.

I've gotta go, gotta go. Shit, why didn't I wash my hair this morning? Do I have time? I look really grubby. Maybe I should change. What am I thinking? I've gotta go. Indigo is in trouble. An enlarged heart? What does that mean?

A right on Cedar, then a left on 26th St. 10 minutes tops. Pull in, find a parking spot. Will I get a ticket parking here? Maybe I should ask. No, there's no time. Rush through the doors. Where is she? Where is she?

“My granddaughter is here. Indigo Trimmer.

“First door on the left.”

Monica is holding a fussy Indigo. My daughter looks both exhausted and panicky. Eryn, her husband, is calm but pale as though the life has been drained from him. Ian's brows are furrowed and he looks as sad as he did when Ayrie died. Dave, my ex-husband, is red faced and puffing since he always seems out of breath.

Watching the doctor approach, I don't want to hear his words.

“Indigo is a very sick baby. She has congestive heart failure.”

I feel dizzy and nearly faint before I find a seat. The doctor's words are jumbled in my head. How can this be? Not another grandchild dying, not another mother drowning in grief. No, no it can't be. But it is and this is only the beginning of the journey.

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  • I am so sorry Gaylyn. I will pray for your family and hope all turns out well. 

  • Hi Gaylyn,  Your story so touched my heart.  I have four grandchildren myself, and to think of one of them being seriously ill is more than I can imagine.  Try to keep your attitude and demeanor positive for your brave daughter.  She needs to feel the positive energy.  If she feels fear and doubt it will make it harder for her.  Just surround her with love, because thinking of my own experience, it makes all the difference!

  • Thank you, everyone, for your comments.  As you know so well, a transplant is long journey.

    Thank you, everyone, for your comments.  As you know so well, a transplant is not the end but the beginning of a long journey.

  • Thank you for sharing your life with us.......

  • Hi Gaylyn

    I like the way you write- sorry that your family has gone through so much.

    Keep on sharing- much love- Rise'

  • Dear Gaylyn, welcome to this group of transplant friends. Thank you for offering to us your heartfelt memories of the beginning of a fateful journey that your family embarked upon and continues to travel on to this day. I look forward to reading and understanding (I am a grandpa) your story as you make it unfold here.

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