Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Funeral, a Wedding, a Birth, and a Rebirth

My paternal grandfather had 23 grandchildren. The family has a group emailing that gets used time to time to keep in touch. Here is a email I sent this morning, the first since my transplant:

My daughter Manjari had a baby this morning in Columbus, Ohio at around 2 am June 28. C-section, 8 pounds 2 ounces, 20 inches. Her name is Sydney Aleya (spelling?).

I was thinking this has been an archetypical 30 days for the Meberg clan. In Eastern religions, they talk about the samsara, the cycle of birth and death. We have experienced the major milestones of samsara as a family.

Yesterday was the 4 week anniversary of my liver transplant. It was the same day Burt left his body, which I learned after being revived. I was comforted to hear his passing was peaceful and at home with family.

Recently, I almost bled out when some esophageal varices ruptured. My sister Laura had flown in as I was recovering, so I got caught up on family news. I knew that my cousin Dean’s daughter Katie was getting married at the same time as my transplant. Though I don’t really know Katie, due to geographical separation, it gave me peace going into the operation knowing that no matter what happened to me, from the perspective of family, a new life in the form of a marriage was being forged. So thank you Katie for that.

I also knew that Manjari wanted me to see her new baby. Whom I hope I will see later today. Marken has been in Morgantown, using the last of his medical leave to prepare the apartment he and Tulasi will be staying in at WVU, applying for jobs, and buying a car. He will be out of the Navy in time to start at WVU. He will be here around noon and we can drive the 2 ½ hours to Columbus and have a visit with the baby.

So there we have the funeral, the wedding, and the birth.

As for rebirth, that describes my own experience. A generation ago, I would have been dead a couple of months ago. Marken took leave from the Navy when he heard I was in the ICU with the bleeding, came home and donated 65% of his liver. While ultimately my fate was in the hands of the Lord, externally the medical technology that extended my life was unavailable 20 years ago. So in a sense, it is a physical rebirth, but instead of reincarnation, my body was recycled. Waking up helpless, unable to move or independently perform bodily functions, fed through a tube. Recovering function bit by bit, it was a lot like a child learning how to control and use a new body.

I am grateful to be here, to be part of an extended family, and for the opportunity to again be a productive member of society, both materially and spiritually. I celebrated my 4th week anniversary by walking a quarter mile in the morning and in the evening, leaning on a lawn mower and pushing it around the straight and level parts of our front lawn. Which was probably a mistake because my incision was a little sore this morning, but it felt great last night to be pushing myself to get something done.


At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Ed said...

Mark...from the time I first met you in Grand Forks North Dakota as you hung by your arms up in a tree to this blog, you have been one of the most interesting humans I have met. A brother and spiritual advisor.........thanks for hanging around.....ed


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