Claire, The Mother

November 30, 2012

Claire’s husband died when she was in her mid-40’s. Heart attack.  She went from a largely stay-at-home PTA mom to the family wage earner, with kids to get through high school and beyond.  She was a master in both roles.

Her oldest of four, a son, died in his early 50’s.  Heart attack.

More loss than any mom should have.

When we learned Kristin had liver disease, the news that she would need a liver transplant – soon – came fast.  Claire learned about that the same day she learned that living donation was an option, and that it seemed to be best path in the circumstance.

In no time, she was sitting half-way cross country while two of her daughters were in side-by-side operating rooms.  She had the most uncomfortable seat in the house that day.

She confessed later that she was sure when the surgeons walked toward her that they would report success in removing the donor liver, and in removing Kristin’s sick liver, but that they failed in getting the healthy liver where it needed to go.  Imagine.

Claire spent much of the next month living out of a hotel room.  And too many of them sitting next to Kristin’s bed in the ICU talking to her, even when Kristin couldn’t talk back.  Claire reminded Kristin about how strong she was, how important it was to fight hard, that she had a big supportive team around her and that ultimately, she would be ok.  Same messages she spent a lifetime giving all of us.

Today, Claire uses one word to describe the transplant experience, complications and all: Miraculous.