Early this month, TER discussed the importance of organ donation - something that had great personal importance for this observer; my wife was about to receive a new kidney in a transplant from a live donor - her first cousin.
She has now had her transplant - late last week at a hospital in Boston. She has already been home from the hospital for a few days. While she is healing from the surgery - and still learning her medication regimen - she is doing well; the operation was a success. Her cousin is also doing well. Words fail me in describing the gratitude that I - and all who know my wife - feel for her cousin's selfless act.
It seems to me that this process has illustrated much of the best of humanity. I've already touched on my wife's cousin's generous act, but the generosity extends beyond him - to family and friends - many of whom have interrupted their routines to provide my wife, my children, and me critical assistance at this challenging time.
Ties of family and friendship have been strengthened - both in the present and, I believe, for the future. Blood and tissue link the members of my wife's family as never before, but all those of who have participated with us in this process are linked much more than before by what Abraham Lincoln called the "mystic chords of memory." It is these "chords" that give life much of its meaning. It is also significant that - both within our families and among our friends - these "chords" cross ethnic and racial divides.
The best of humanity is also illustrated by technological miracles that make transplants increasingly routine and by the sheer competence of the professionals who cared for my wife and her cousin. I am grateful to live in an age when such miracles are routine and such competence is fostered.
Generosity of spirit, closer human ties, routine miracles and competence - all good.