By Lisa Heule
The surprising thing about downsizing is that your children and friends don’t want your stuff. Our granddaughter Cece helped me place candlesticks, lamps, and some of my original amateur paintings into this week’s giveaway pile. She must have noticed my solemn mood when she cried, “I don’t want you to move!” Tears flooded her big blue eyes. “I like your house.”
“What will you miss most?” I tried to hide my grief by confidently pulling Cece into my lap. We’ll never again let baby goldfish loose in our pond or build sprawling forts in our basement.
“The blanket with the red roses,” she whispered.
I snatched the tattered comforter out of the donation pile and hung on tightly to this cherished four-year-old. I had already outlived my mother and grandmother. I’m determined to be a lively grandmother, giving Cece the best of whatever future I have left.
So when I received a call from the transplant office, the nurse’s question stunned me: “You’re the best match among our applicants. Would you like to continue the process?” I froze. My mind raced with objections as I tried to grasp the news. I didn’t want to donate a kidney! Whoever heard of a grandmother doing such a thing? My husband clearly didn’t want me to. We were in the throes of selling our family home, and I had given away enough!
Finally, I answered the nurse, “Yes, I guess I’ll take one more step.”
To read the remainder of this article, visit clmagazine.org/topic/medicine-science/a-downsizing-surprise.
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