I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Independence Day! Happy July Fourth! Today reminds me of healthy summer days, parades, sun tan lotion, bar-be-ques, and red white and blue. That it was. I bagpiped for the fourth year at the Piedmont Parade with the San Francisco Stewart Tartan Pipes and Drums. Once again in the middle of the parade, I had this out-of-body moment, like, “Where am I? Who is doing this?” because I just couldn’t believe I’m a real piper. I went to a breakfast party(before the parade), a lunch party, and an afternoon party!!! Lots of BBQ and lots of calories!
As Ana has posted, it has been a hectic few weeks. I’ve been training as much as I can for the Transplant Games in 1 month… and nursing many injuries… Right after Ana’s wedding, I went to LA for the Film Festival. Right after that, we had an LA Fundraiser. Right after the fundraiser, I flew from LAX to SFO and arrived at 11pm, then drove to Sonoma and arrived at 12:30AM. Then I spent 6 days at Balmoral School of Piping, held at Sonoma State University. I ate, drank, slept, breathed and dreamed bagpiping. I awoke to pipes at 7am every morning, and fell asleep to the sound of pipes. We stayed in the dorms with 15 other men and 1 other lady. Most of the men were cops or military types. A very interesting experience for little ol’ me! Our instructors were gold-medal winning World Champion Scottish-born pipers, Brian Donaldson and Alisdair Gillies. It was fun to hear them talk with lots of ‘wee this and wee that, bloody this and bloody that’… Those Scots know how to have fun! For the first time in my life, I was not a CFer, I was not a transplant recipient, a patient, a medical expert or patient advocate—- I was just a piper. It felt so, so, so good. I can hardly explain it. I could rid myself of the identity I never invited and CHOOSE this one. I want to be a piper.
While I celebrated my donor’s lungs today, today Ana is in Eugene, visiting her donor family with the film crew to capture their story. I wish I could be there but needed to say no to something. Today is Independence Day, and I truly believe it’s personally a day to celebrate my independence thanks to transplantation. I am helping a Japanese friend who needs a kidney; she is so dependent on dialysis and wants to be free. So she’s coming to America to receive a kidney transplant, for independence. God Bless America for sharing her ‘freedom’ with other people. I wish her well and admire her courage. I also have another dear friend of mine, AM , who is preparing to be listed for a lung transplant for CF. Fortunately, she passed her evaluation, and now we are just praying and waiting for her miracle. I can’t wait for her to be independent from oxygen, IVs, vest therapy, inhalations, and all the CF crap that ties one down in bondage.
I’ll keep this post short and sweet. I wish you all a warm and wonderful evening of fireworks. God Bless You, and God Bless America.
I leave you with this wonderful poem-
America by Walt Whitman
Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair’d in the adamant of Time.
Happy July! Love Isa