Do you recycle?

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I recycle. We recycle. My parents have always had a recycle bin, but I was never real big on it until I met Jon. Or more accurately, until I met Jeremi, Jon’s brother. When Jon and I met, Jeremi lived here and he was a recycle fanatic. I remember one time I didn’t recycle a beer bottle and he flipped out. I even remember Jessie coming to me and apologizing for his behavior because it was a little over the top.

Since Jeremi passed away, pretty much every time I go to throw something away, I literally think before I throw and decide whether it can be recycled. We recycle EVERYTHING around here, and I think Jeremi’s recycle obsession rubbed off on a lot of his family and friends. When he passed away, it wasn’t a hard decision to make to “recycle” his organs. He is an organ donor. I might need to check my facts, but I think there are 4 people out there living and breathing because of Jeremi’s organs. What a wonderful thing.

Today we attended the annual LOPA (Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency) picnic. Organ donors and their families, organ recipients and their families are all invited. You see kids that have received hearts, people who have given their own kidneys and like us, have family that passed away and gave their organs. The past few years it has been at Alligator Bayou. That has closed and this year it was at the Global Wildlife Center. AWESOME!! I was so excited for the girls to go. I’ve been for a fundraiser there, but not for a real tour. It is so nice. The animals roam free in the grass and on dirt roads, and you get to feed them from trains.

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The animals come right up and eat out of your cup. When you are driving up, you may have to slow down and wait for a deer or maybe even a camel to pass!

My girls were a real hit in the dresses I found through my friend Annie Laurie. Her son was wearing a shirt that had that decal on it. I HAD to have it. And fast. They were from www.babywit.com. They fedex’d them to me at no charge!! The site has nothing to do with organ donation and some of the decals are a little racy, but this one was perfect for our day.

a kids organ donor dress alizaa kids organ donor dress meg If you can’t make it out, it says “I (picture of an actual heart with vessels and veins) organ donors”

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We might get to be in a web commercial for the above pics. We even had to sign waivers and such…I’ll let you know if we made the cut later…

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It’s really hard to find a good side to people dying. There aren’t good things about it. I try to be an “everything happens for a reason” person, but since this happened, that is a REALLY hard idea to live by. It’s devastating and that explanation makes me cringe when I think about it. Reason? What reason? There is no reason, it just happened. My way of coping with it is to say that it happened as an accident that couldn’t be stopped. God didn’t DO it and he didn’t have the POWER to stop it. It was life, not God. People say “God needed him”, “it was his time”, or things like that to you after someone you love dies. They may believe that when they say it, but have they lost their husband, son, or brother? My guess is probably not. I know I don’t say that to people when I hear of a loved one dying. I say “I’m sorry” and that’s about all I can muster. Because really, I am sorry for what they are about to go through and will live with for the rest of their lives. What I see my husband and in-laws and friends living through (4 years later) is tough. It’s real, it hurts, it’s frustrating, maddening, and it puts some peoples lives in a tailspin. Not much good can come out of someone dying, but we can be proud of what Jeremi’s wife and parents decided to do after his death.

BE AN ORGAN DONOR!! And talk to your family about it. NOW!!

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