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Meeting an Angel

I wrote this letter to Jan on September 21 of last year. Yesterday morning (at long last), I made contact with Jan by phone.

She and her mother drove up from Truman lake to attend Corey’s one year vigil. She came early so we could meet and talk for a few minutes before I was overrun with media and guests. She was so kind and patient with all of the strangers that surrounded her.

My sisters met her. My sisters by choice too. Bob met her… she met so many people, I’m sure she was overwhelmed.

The pictures I’m posting are of those first few moments when we met. She had so much to say… I had so much to say.

She reached into her pocket, and handed me something metallic. It was her medical alert bracelet. She’d worn it for years because of her diabetes and kidney dialysis.vigil17

She said, “I don’t need this any more because of the decision your family made that day. I want you to have it to remind you of the life you saved.”

She is still my angel. A year later… still reminding me of the lives my son changed for the better.

From grief beauty can be born.

In Honor of Corey Laykovich

My Dearest Jan,

Please excuse my inability to recognize you when we met today…. You see, I’ve never met an angel before.

I saw you as you entered the courtyard and noticed you didn’t stop at the other booths. I thought maybe you’d heard of our cause and came out to support us.

Your donations to our cause were generous. But when you handed me that envelope, my heart leapt in my chest… The pieces were coming together.

As you and your mother walked away, your friend stayed behind. She stopped to look at the framed certificate of organ donation, and ran her fingers over Corey’s medal.

She looked at me and said, “Your son lives on.”

My reply was, “I know. He saved five lives.”

“I know that too,” she said, “and you’ll understand more when you read that letter.” Then she walked away.

I began to tremble and burst into tears. All I could say was, “it was her”… Over and over…

I know you said to wait, but I couldn’t. I opened the card right there. I needed that confirmation.

I’m so glad you have part of my son in you. That he could extend your life. I just wanted to chase after you and hold you…. but you were already gone.

Because he didn’t just extend your life, you extended his. Corey was going to die that day. Nothing would have stopped that. But in receiving his organs, you gave me a chance to touch him again.

Additionally, after two months, I was beginning to wonder if God forgot I was hurting.

You were His reminder to me: He will never leave me or forsake me.

Thank you.

Gwen Carver

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