Its 2009, the year of my sweet 16, the year of my first kiss, the year I finally got to see a Harry Potter midnight premier, and the year I found out my father’s kidneys decided to stop working.
It’s hard to say if I was shocked or not. That’s a lie. I couldn't believe my father, always first with a joke, a song lyric to fit any situation, my master chef, was that sick. But I also wasn't surprised since I noticed his decrease in appetite, the yellowing around his eyes, the coughs that woke me up at night from three floors down. He had to “sleep” sitting up in his chair in the living room because laying down was to uncomfortable.
But this isn't a sob story, and Dad would murder me if we focused on the bad. Because its been 6 years since his successful kidney transplant, received days before he would have had to start his own version of hell, dialysis.
So yeah I guess this is about the year 2009, the year a miracle happened, the year I discovered irrefutable proof that soul mates exist.
Everyone in the family got tested; aunts and uncles, family friends that are more like family than some of my real family. I begged to be tested but my father wouldn't hear of it and at 16, it didn't really matter what I wanted. But with almost no time at all we found a perfect match, literally just in time.
My mother was my fathers perfect match.
In the weeks that followed, my bossy mother pushed herself into the required appointments, forcing them to complete months worth of exams in less then half the time. Anything to stop Dad from starting dialysis.
And two days before his first dialysis appointment was scheduled, both my parents went under the knife.
The 6th year anniversary of the kidney just passed. Dad jokes that its his second birthday, his Irish birthday since he's got himself an Irish kidney now. Their relationship hasn't changed much. There are no feelings of resentment or ownership or debt. My father still thanks Mom daily for her kidney, something she did not even think twice about before giving up. Although I know she enjoys the pretty weekly flowers Dad insists on surprising her with.
Because a perfect match in a spouse is rare, and in a universe this crazy there is no such thing as coincidence.
They really are the perfect match. Soul Mates through and through.