As we sit here in the hospital room, reading through the messages you've sent us -- and as we find ourselves trying to process the magnitude of generosity and support that has been shown to us -- we are at a loss for words.
"Thank you" is not big enough. "Thank you so much" is insufficient. "Thank you from the bottom of our hearts" is not deep enough to describe the depths of our gratitude.
You've moved us to tears. You've filled us with hope. You've left us laughing. You've made us grin from ear to ear. You've made us marvel at the goodness of humanity. But more than anything, you've left us speechless. There are just no words to describe how much it means to us.
Your words of support and encouragement have brought so much joy to our days.
Your sense of humor has kept us laughing, like this message from a Kiwi mate that we woke up to this morning:
"I'm calling this little contribution of my South African rands an investment. An investment to help see you return to full health and make your way back to NZ, and one day share a nice cold beer with me back in the windy city. Just in case you're wondering, the beer will be on you. Pretty good investment if you ask me."
The cards and care packages you've sent have brightened our days and made us smile. All the things you've done for us -- from visiting us in the hospital to bringing us meals, pillows, blankets, and towels, to doing our laundry or loaning us a car, to all the other countless ways you've helped us -- we can't express our appreciation enough.
The generosity you've shown -- whether it's $5 to buy ourselves a cup of coffee or $1,000 towards our living expenses -- has touched us so deeply.
The messages you've sent us have brought us so much joy. Yesterday we woke up to find a message from a woman who has gone through a similar experience to ours. She said:
"What I will tell you is one day, you will think to yourself, 'Ok, I've got this.' I was saying it to myself the entire time, but it was about 3 months after transplant that I REALLY believed it. And at 6 months, I realized my life was coming back to me. I was back to work part-time and running again by 9 months."
Today she is approaching her 2 1/2 year transplant mark, and she said:
"I can honestly say the past 2 years have been the best of my life. I feel great. I am healthy. I am playing competitive tennis and running. I enjoy every day with my husband and two young daughters. And I will be the happiest person ever to turn 40 this coming July."
We know that two years from now, we will be enjoying the best times of our lives, and we will be looking back on this challenge as something that brought us closer, made us stronger, and showed us the goodness of humanity in unimaginable ways.
Thank you so much to all of you for everything you have done for us. "Thank you" just isn't big enough, but we are so deeply grateful for everything.
Dani & Matt