Do you ever have that nightmare about something awful happening to your child? We're not supposed to think like that, but for Ty Osman's parents, that nightmare is life. Their 18-year-old son died in a motor vehicle accident a year ago, and this month, the Osmans decided to honor him by meeting the people who received Ty's organs.
And miracles of miracles, they were able to hear their son's heart beat again ... in the chest of a 68-year-old man.
It's a moment so beautiful that I don't know whether to let loose heaving sobs or smile.
Their boy died, and these people are living because of their sacrifice. That heart is beating because their child is gone.
Put that in your hat and think on it for a second. Could you meet with those people? Would you do it? If you'd lost your child?
I don't know if I could. I think I'd want to hate them. Notice I said want to. It's not that I would. I believe in organ donation. I've even been swabbed for the bone marrow donation program (one of our few opportunities to be a living donor). I think it's a wonderful thing that Ty's parents made sure their son's death helped give 68-year-old Paul Mores a heart and Kelly Barnes a pancreas and kidney, gave another kidney to Fletcher Carter.
But I'm even more impressed at the Osmans' grace and fortitude. As Ty's dad (also named Ty) told his local Fox affiliate:
We've been on the threshold on the door of despair but never entered in, we've been at peace.
They even look at meeting their son's organ recipients as a way of honoring the way he lived his life right up to the end -- he was a good Samaritan trying to help a driver on the roadside after a wreck when he was killed.
Go ahead, let the sobs out. I did it too.
There is no one right way for parents to move on after the death of a child, but the Osmans' path is probably the best one you can take. They're not mourning their child so much as celebrating his life.
And Moms, Dads, if they can do that, after what they've been through, then we can all do a little better at celebrating the good parts of our kids ... every day that we're lucky enough to have them on this earth with us.
So ... what are you going to celebrate?
Image via jasminedelilah/Flickr