A New Heart

Tonight, as I sit writing, my role model, hero, and friend Hugh Hollowell sits with his sweet wife, Renee, waiting for her heart transplant.  She has been on the list for a while, and today they got the call.  It was time.

They are beautiful people.  Hugh heads up Love Wins Ministries in North Carolina. I have written about him and how what he believes and how he lives has changed my life–here and here, among many other times.  He works hard for and with people who are in the midst of chronic homelessness, and it’s not an easy job.  We people, housed and homeless, are not always easy to love.  When I had the honor of meeting him in person in January, I noticed when he spoke of Renee, there was a light in his eyes and in his voice.

And that is a precious gift.

There will be all kinds of changes and challenges ahead of them over the next few weeks.  So much excitement and anxiety in this day alone.  And yet, when Renee posted this afternoon, she said she has plenty of folks sending prayers, positive energy, and well wishes for her–but she asked for thoughts of peace and prayers and love for the donor, a 38-year-old male, and his family.

Tears, y’all.

My Mama wanted to be an organ donor.  I remember this vividly.  And I also remember the moment when the hospital told me she could not be a donor because of all of the circumstances surrounding the deterioration of her health.  I wept.  Because I had so hoped for something somehow good to come from our pain and loss.

Organ donation is important.  It’s the ultimate gift that can save a life.  Just as it’s saving a precious, treasured life tonight.

If you have a moment, will you please think of Hugh and Renee? Of the staff at Love Wins as they carry on with their mission without Hugh there for the next few weeks?  Of the family of the man whose loss is saving another?  Of the surgeons and nurses and staff who have a long night ahead of them?

To find out more about my friend, Hugh, and Renee’s story, you can read here.  There are links to the backstory and ways to help if you are so moved.  These beautiful souls have given so selflessly to others in need over the years, it’s time for the community to support them.

That’s kind of how it goes, isn’t it?  We love and are loved.  We care and we are cared for.  We give and we will one day need to be on the receiving end.  It’s the yin and yang, ebb and flow of this journey, I think.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about organ donation and how to sign up to be a donor, click here.

Tonight I am thankful for those who give selflessly–both with their bodies and their souls.  I give thanks for the call Renee got today and for the gift she’s receiving tonight.  Most of all, I give thanks that we are not on this journey alone.


What a beautiful word.

Love to all.  Thanks for listening.

2 thoughts on “A New Heart”

  1. When Mom started home hospice, the team came to meet with us to go over all the paperwork., what to expect, etc. I’ll never forget Mom’s expression when she asked if she could donate any of her organs and they told her no, because her cancer had spread. I wanted to cry because she looked so crestfallen. It was bad enough that her body was letting her down – and now it was basically useless to anyone else. Sigh.

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