The Adventures of Kidney Boy

A Journal About Living With End Stage Renal Disease. Dialysis. Transplants. Love. Family. Friends. The Unsung Donor. This is my life, from the end of a needle to the bottom of a pill bottle.

Monday, December 30, 2019


I saw an obituary in the paper today; it was the husband of someone I knew growing up.  My wife had told me that our mutual friend's husband passed away suddenly,  and it just hit like a ton of brick.  He was a year younger than me.  Just gone.  There's still pictures of them from Christmas up on their facebook pages.  We're here and then we're gone, instantly... leaving only the memories. 

I'm reminded of that old adage to live for now and appreciate what you have in the moment - it's so important to do that.  I often look to the future, off to the skies at the expense of the moment.  But I love all of it so much.  Sigh.  My heart hurts for our friend and her loss. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Christmas Season

This will be my 42nd Christmas.

I love the Christmas Season. I love the smell of pine, I love the homes decorated with lights.  I love the music that plays in shops when you're out and about; a musical myriad of different Christmas songs and different arrangements - some done in a classical music style, with orchestras blasting out the tunes of the season, or sometimes it's a pop arrangement.... sometimes its a folk arrangement, sometimes its an old crooner.  No matter what, I like the season.  I like the weeks leading up to the holiday and I like the anticipation for the holiday.

Most of all, I love spending time with friends and family.  I've been blessed with these traditions for over four decades now - and I have so many fond memories of getting together with my family.  Grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins all getting together to celebrate the season and celebrate each other.

I'm so much older now, though, and I've lost people and things in my life.  I drive by my father's parents house often as I come home from dialysis. I glance over to that house on Washburn drive, now owned by another family making memories there, and I remember the lights my grandpa would put up outside.  I remember the Christmas Village my Grandma erected in the foyer as we all took off our jackets and boots. I remember the giant Santa Claus on the back wall of the living - a wall decoration that always hung for the whole season.  I remember the ginger ale, poured into cups with a diamond shape design on the outside. A treat for the kids that my grandparents always seemed to have.  I remember my aunt singing Christmas Carols in that beautiful soprano voice.  I can still her her vibrato when I think of the songs.  I remember the phone calls from my Aunt who lived out of town. How that 30 foot long twisty phone cord snaked around the room as everyone said Hi to Nancy and her family.  How we missed them at the holidays.  I remember sitting on the floor, playing with new toys among my cousins.  I remember the food - giant tables of it.  Homemade peanut butter balls my grandma always made.  I know I took these times for granted as a kid - it's all you know as a kid. But now, I have the gift of wonderful memories and feeling blessed that I was even a part of them.

I miss the people who have gone - my Grandpa, my grandma, my two aunts... I think of them fondly often, but ever so much more at the holidays. When I was a kid, I loved getting gifts - we all love the toys, the games, the gear that you can play with. But now, I appreciate the gift I have forever - the gift of them in my life, in my memories and in my soul.  In everything creative I get to do now, I realize there's a piece of them and the things they taught me and gave me. Boy, I miss them.  But letting them live on in Christmas, in me, and in my kids... that's a miracle.

I'm glad I got another spin on the globe to get here again.  I'm glad I have an amazing family - lovely kids, amazing wife and an extended family that is just beyond the best.  Merry Christmas to all. May we all have a great 2020 and try to make our world and the world at large a better, brighter place.