I am the world’s worst at remembering important dates. I know the date of my wedding anniversary, but am always at a loss when people ask me how many years I’ve been married.
For years I thought my husband’s birthday was the day before it actually was – even though he corrected me constantly, and dropped enough hints the week beforehand. And I still get confused over whether one of my best friend’s birthday is 7 or 8 August.
It’s a numbers thing. For some reason they just evaporate in my brain.
But one date that is etched firmly into my brain is this one.
10 June 2016.
10 June, two years ago, was the date that my husband got his life back. The date some incredible family honoured the wishes of their loved one who’d passed away, and allowed his organs to be donated. Probably not just to my husband either.
So yes, 10 June is the one date I will never, ever forget. It’s the one date I will never book in to work on. It’s the one date I look forward to, and kind of dread, in equal measure.
Last year we had it all planned out. We were going to crack open a bottle of bollinger, and celebrate.
In reality I spent most of the day feeling guilty about drinking champagne, whilst another family somewhere would be remembering a loved one. I spent a lot of the day in tears.
So this year we approached the anniversary slightly differently. We still had our bollinger, and we still toasted the donor – or D as we refer to him. D get’s toasted a lot in our family.
We toast loved ones, we toast lost ones, and we toast D. We like wine, and we like giving toasts.
This year my husband came up with the word Acknowledgement Day. We would use this day to acknowledge what D has done for us, rather than celebrate. This sits much more comfortably with us, and I got through the day with my mascara in tact.
So from now on, for my little family, 10 June will be known as Acknowledgement Day, and we will continue to raise a glass to D, and to D’s loved ones.
The gift of life is the most amazing gift of all. It’s a very personal choice whether or not to go onto the donor list, and one that I 100% respect either way.
What I always stress to people is this though, if you do decide to become a donor, the most important thing you need to do is to have that conversation with your family. Because they are the ones who have the final say about whether donation can go ahead.
If they are 100% clear that this is your choice, and why this is your choice, they are much more likely to give their consent. And that consent means that another person, somewhere, will be able to decide how to acknowledge their own anniversary. The anniversary of the gift of life.
Which is pretty amazing isnt it?
You can register to become a donor here