Here at Transplant House of Cleveland in University Circle, the morning is, thankfully, strikingly different from yesterday; so different that it feels like we are in another world. Yesterday was filled with darkness that gave way to gritty gray. We had soaking and cold rain, and winds surged at us at more than 50 mph, creating unsettling sounds and conjuring up frightening images of things flying loose and doing harm.
The two of us who were here held our virtual staff meeting at a computer placed away from windows that rattled, and so it seemed, threatened to give way. I texted a friend and asked, “Do you think the world is ending?” We wondered how our guests were doing, sheltered in their apartments, and we felt thankful that they are in strong, brick buildings. Some of those guests had just arrived the day before and we felt so badly that their lives are already terribly unsettled. They don’t know the neighborhood or us yet, and now they have this- a “mean” welcome from Mother Nature.
But today! My goodness, thank you for today! Our sky is the most soothing blue. The wind has gone on to terrorize another place. The sun is shining! Hope is renewed in us and we have stopped to look up, breathe in, and feel the deep gratitude for being here, safe, reassured, together.
And, we stop to ponder the daffodils. “Judith’s Daffodils,” we call them. Flowers from bulbs given and planted by our beloved volunteer Judith Wolkoff because she knew that spring would always come, renewal would accompany it, and the sunny, yellow, happy daffodils would make the days of our guests a bit better, symbolizing something different for each, but always something good.
After such a fierce storm it is remarkable that those daffodils, less than 24 hours later, are standing tall, confident, bright, and unscathed. Look at them! Not only are the stalks bearing up as if the storm was just a dream, but the petals and bells are perfect! Not torn, not tattered, and still brightly colored, with heads pointed up to the wondrous sky – there they stand. What does nature give the daffodils, to allow this amazing feat of resilience?
Here within our Transplant House community, we have also been touched by the sharing of hopeful news- a guest has been called for a lung transplant. The family knows to be cautious in their optimism, as they have had one “dry run” already (a transplant that didn’t happen, due to unhealthy donor organs).
Might we be like the daffodils? Standing tall, courageous, trusting, and together for this hopeful new day?
—Elaine Turley, Executive Director