8500 pinwheels

As has become our habit over the course of the last month, Tiffany and I made the rush hour drive across 670 through downtown Columbus this morning. We do this about twice a week now as she has to see the LVAD team, anti-coagulate folks, and get her blood drawn, all to make sure everything is working as it should.

This morning, it was a bit overcast and we chatted about whether her weekend gardening plans were going to have to be put on hold. I am hoping they are because I would like to take a drive tomorrow, maybe stop at a yard sale or thrift store or small town museum. Just go exploring and see things we have never seen

Of course, as we chatted, I was thinking about how grateful we are to even be having such conversations. A couple of months ago, we were debating whether or not she would have the device implanted that would, for the time being, save her life and get us back on track for our final solution to her health difficulties. Those were hard conversations to have. But after a lot of consideration, a nudge in the right direction from a new friend in Texas, and a big old argument in the lobby of the Ross with one of the world's most respected heart surgeons, she said let's go for it.

Now, here we are, 6 weeks removed from having the surgery done. And instead of talking about little milestones such as walking 1 lap around the 4th floor or taking 6 steps up and down the stairs, we are planning day trips and talking about weekend gardening projects. She has been a rock star in recovery, far exceeding anyone's expectations.

 Except her own.

We parked our car on the 4th floor of the garage and headed to the elevators to make our way down to the skyway and across to the lobby. We stepped on and noticed two elderly ladies on the elevator as the doors closed. They were looking out the window, down into the courtyard that is in front of the OSU hospitals. I heard one ask the other "what are those things, they are very pretty" to which her friend replied "those are pinwheels, one for every organ transplant recipient in the history of Ohio State."

I smiled and put my hand on my wife's shoulder. I told them that hopefully, by next year, my wife will have her own pinwheel there. Little Red then told them her story as the elevator descended to the 2nd floor. They wished her luck and said they would pray for her as we stepped off the elevator.

I remember the day they planted that pinwheel field. Tiffany and I were getting ready for our first excursion, with the promise that she would be released that night if she did well. It was 10 days post op. And while that day saw the shortest excursion ever (it was a colossal fail), I recall thinking as I looked out the window and took the first of the photos below, "someday my wife is going to be in this group and will have her own story to tell as she places pinwheel number 8501.

As we wait, she has decided we are going to make the most of the time before we get the call. From a weekend trip to Niagara Falls to the possibility of her 19th tattoo, this should be a spring and summer chock full of adventure. And I am looking forward to every minute of it!

And after her pinwheel is set? Who else knows what my Little Red Rock Star has in store for me? I cannot wait to find out.

Day # 1518. Cannot believe this is my first post this year. Still, with all the ups and downs the last 7 months have thrown our way, I get to come home tonight to my awesome wife's homemade pizza. It is truly great to be me!

A quick foot note: 
None of the pinwheels below would be possible without someone else giving the gift of organ donation. My wife and so many others are waiting right now. Please, be an organ and tissue donor. You can save so much heartache and you can save a life.


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