Sunday, April 17, 2011

How My Book Was Born

With my brother, Matt, before the transplant
On April 17, 2009 I donated a kidney to my older brother, Matt. It was a decision I felt fiercely right about, but that did not mean the actual donation and the recovery process were easy. The pain was unimaginable, but my emotional recovery was the most difficult. I think I'll spend the rest of my life recovering, and I would have it no other way. I cry easier, laugh harder, give more, rest less. Life is harder now, but more beautiful.

I tried to write about my experience donating the kidney--tried to write the chronology and my feelings--but it was too emotionally painful. But then one-and-a-half years ago I was given a gift: an idea for a fictional story popped into my mind--the story of a nameless, beautiful tree nymph who cannot tangibly feel anything. In a twist of fate, her senses awaken, and she discovers what it means to be mortal and fall in love. Somehow the true story I cannot write has found a voice with my "Rowaness" tree nymph. The plot line of her story and my own don't align in any manner, but the yearning for a meaningful existence and for the beauty of life--no matter the suffering--is the same.

Part of my soul I gifted to my brother two years ago. Another part is in this story.

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