A Weekly Column
By Joseph Walker
A WONDER AND A MYSTERY
You are a mystery to me.
I don’t know who you are, where you are or if
you’ll ever read this. But this is the
only way I can think of to reach out to you and say “thank you” for Taylor’s
I know that the joy our family is feeling at the
new life you have given to Taylor
is matched only by the sadness your family must be experiencing because someone
you love has died. I am sorry for your
loss – I truly am. My greatest hope is
that you can somehow extract some comfort and meaning from the knowledge that
your loved one’s heart is beating in the chest of an outstanding young man, and
that his family is profoundly grateful.
You should know that the heart arrived, safe and
secure, and in the very nick of time. Taylor
was on the operating table, being prepared for the transplant. Just as they were getting ready to hook him
up to the machine that would keep him alive during the operation, his heart
stopped beating. It was a miracle that
he had even been born with such a poorly formed heart, let alone that he had
survived for 13 years with it. And finally,
just as it was about to be replaced, it gave out. It stopped working. If your loved one’s heart had not arrived
when it did . . .
But it did.
Thank God. And thank you. It did.
The doctors were pleased with such a good, strong
heart. I guess we have you to thank for
that, too. The surgery was long and
delicate and incredibly successful. Taylor’s
body responded immediately to his new heart – and positively. He is recovering beautifully from the
surgery. He is home now, and while his
parents are taking every precaution and continually reminding us that we have a
long way to go before we’re completely out of the cardiovascular woods, for the
first time in his life Taylor has a heart to match his . . . well . . . his
Last Sunday Taylor’s Uncle Dick and Aunt Judy
dropped in for a visit. Taylor’s
mother kindly asked them to put on surgical masks – they are doing everything
they can to avoid possible infection during the healing process. When Taylor
came out he looked . . . amazing.
“I’ve never seen Taylor
look so good,” Dick said. “He was
smiling. He moved energetically. His cheeks had that healthy, rosy glow. I asked him how he was feeling and he looked
me right in the eye and said, ‘Uncle Dick, I feel better than I ever felt in my
ill health has been a way of life. His
parents have helped him to live normally – or as normally as you can live when
you don’t have a complete heart. He
laughed and played and studied and did most of the things that kids do. But it was harder for him than most. Even so simple a task as taking a long, deep breath
has been a challenge for him.
On Sunday, however, he stood there with his aunt
and uncle and showed them how he could inhale and fill his lungs to
capacity. He smiled at them as he
“That feels good!” he said.
I’m sure you can imagine what a wonderful thing it
is for those of us who know and love Taylor
to see him smiling, with rosy cheeks and lungs filled with air and the future
bright and promising before him. It is
nothing short of a miracle, for which we thank God, medical science and you –
whoever you are. I don’t pretend to know
why or how miracles happen the way they do.
I know there are other wonderful families out there who have prayed and
worked and anguished for the exact same miracle that we received – with
different results. As the poet observed,
“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.”
Now and forever, you and your family are part of
And part of His mystery.
# # #
— © Joseph Walker
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E-mail Joseph at: email@example.com
Look for Joe's book, "How
Can You Mend a Broken Spleen? Home Remedies for an Ailing World." It is available on-line through www.Amazon.com.