Today I visited a place I had not visited in over 7 years. My ex-husband’s father was a heart transplant in 1991 when my son was only one year old. He lived about 12.5 years after the transplant. He was, during those years a great volunteer for the Heart Association and other organizations. They even named their volunteer of the year award after him posthumously, and they have given the award out each year since. Today was the first day I had been back since the award was dedicated. It was an emotional time.
I got the call on Tuesday. They asked me if I would consider helping with the heart walk this year. I went a few years ago, but I could not go last year because I was in school and could not get out of what I was working on at the time. I immediately said I would, and we set up a time to meet today. It is also the same week that he died eight years ago. It makes me very sad every year about this time, just thinking about how he is still gone. I still have photos in frames of him in out house, because he is and will always be my mentor and my hero.
I sat in the car for a few minutes to gain my composure before I went into the office. I put on my happiest face, knowing that I was doing this for him. I was fulfilling a need for an organization that meant so much to him. I was happy to be there.
I was asked to be on the logistics committee for the walk and to help get my employer involved more in the walk as well. I eagerly agreed as I will never, ever be able to repay Ken for what he did for me. He was the person who made me get out in front of people and become more than I was. He was the one who encouraged me to take scary steps to do what I needed to do to become the person I wanted to be. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today without his guidance.
As I walked in that office today, I could almost feel his presence. I knew that he would be proud of me. I know that he would be very much behind me in this effort.
I will help with this any way I can. I will do it for Ken.