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A Heart for the Holidays
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Story Winner #4: A Heart for the Holidays
I will never forget the 1988 holiday season.
Let me give you a little background: In 1987, my best friend from work had just gotten married, then she became pregnant with her daughter. After giving birth on May 30, 1988, Debbie started not feeling well. She had test after test done, but the doctors couldn't seem to figure out what was going on with this young, vibrant, 22-year-old new mother. In September, she was admitted to St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor, Maine, for more testing. The doctors discovered that the pregnancy had been too much for Debbie's heart, and she would need to go to Boston for a transplant. She was sent to Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital at the end of September and placed on the transplant list. Now, all that could be done was to keep her comfortable and wait for a heart to become available.
I was really missing my friend and thought about how alone she must be feeling as the holidays approached. I spent Thanksgiving Day with my family enjoying a great meal and special conversations. But when I got home, I knew there was something I had to do. I went into my son's room and used his phone to call Debbie.
She was so glad to hear my voice, but I could tell she was very tired. She told me that the doctors had said the holidays were the most opportune times to get a heart. I wasn't sure what she meant. She said, "Well, there are an awful lot of people on the highways...." Ahhhh, okay, I got it. We chatted for a while, or it was more like I chatted and caught her up on all the things happening at work. We had probably been on the phone for 10 minutes when I said, "Well, Deb, I'm going to let you go. You really sound tired," but she said emphatically, "No! Please stay with me."
Even today, 24 years later, those words bring tears to my eyes. She was too tired to talk but didn't want me to hang up. So I sat down on the floor of my son's room and continued chatting.
All of a sudden, I heard someone in her room and I heard a voice say, "Mrs. McLemore, you need to hang up the phone. We have a heart for you."
I had chills everywhere! And I wish you could have heard Debbie's voice when she said, "Sherry, I have to hang up now – they've found me a heart!" I knew at that point I was meant to have stayed on the phone with her so I could share that moment with her!
Debbie's family decided to wait to have their Christmas until she could be with them. When she got home, she called me and said, "We're going to have our Christmas on Saturday, and I want you to be here with me."
For reasons of the heart – my heart and my best friend's heart - the 1988 holiday season is definitely one that I will remember for the rest of my life.
- Sherry Davis
About the Author:
My name is Sherry Davis (known to my Scrap Girls friends as Sherry_Lynn on the Scrap Girls Forum). I live in beautiful, rural Plymouth, Maine. I've been married to my wonderful husband, Kevin, for 40 years. We have a fantastic son, Eric, and three other precious "boys" (dogs): Buddie, Abe, and Brady. I was in retail for over 16 years, and now I help out with our family-owned warehouse/delivery business. In addition to enjoying creating digital layouts and hybrid projects, I love cooking, baking, and photography.
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Thursday, December 20th - 9:00 p.m. ET
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December's Forum Game: BINGO!
Join us for an exciting game of December BINGO on the Scrap Girls Forum!! Pick 25 words from the list provided and send them in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line that says "BINGO CARD - your Scrap Girls Forum username" by Sunday, December 2nd (Midnight EDT) in order to play in the first round. The first round will begin on Monday, December 3rd. If you miss the first round deadline, you can still play! Just send in your BINGO card at any time during the month, and you'll be eligible to begin playing when the next new round starts.
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For complete details, visit the Monthly Forum Games folder on the Scrap Girls Forum.
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