Post #1501 – 10 Years A Widow: Heart Transplant

(Author’s Note: Today marks the start of the next 1,500 posts. Where those posts will take us, I do not know. I was going to write about this event anyway, but when I read Ann Voskamp’s Devotion #18 in her book The Way of Abundance, A 60 Day Journey into a Deeply Meaningful Life, I knew I had to work her words into my post.)

Joe & Rommie

Today is the Holy Trinity of Days for me this year. It is April 1st, Easter (He is Risen!) and the 10th Anniversary of Joe being broken open and literally giving his heart to another man.

Love is a verb, and that verb is give. Love gives.

Ann Voskamp

The Way of Abunadance

Joe was so happy, excited, ecstatic, joyful and over the moon about signing up to be an organ donor. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen him happier than what he was on that day.

His license plate read “MKITWRK” which stood for Make it work and Make I.T. work, he did both. He was a LAN (Large Area Network) Administrator. He could make anything work – computers, copiers, phone systems, security systems and so much more.

The heart’s true home is addressing the brokenness of other hearts.

Ann Voskamp

The Way of Abundance

He loved the challenge of helping a person who was hurting. He devised a plan to help out my Dad and Step-Mom when they went through a rough time. They were in New Mexico. but he figured out a way to help them with groceries, clothes and other household necessities.

Joe also discussed personal computer issues with his coworkers and family and friends. When Joe went to the hospital I PRAYED that his brother would have computer issues. Nothing major but just complicated enough that he would need Joe’s help. I would then be able to tell his brother that Joe could not help him because he was in the hospital. (Joe did not want anyone to know because he and I were grown-ups and we could handle this situation ourselves.)

Imagine my disappointment that night when I came home and there was no flashing light on the answering machine. I did call his brother the next night when they took Joe in for surgery. Joe’s brother set him straight on the importance of calling family regarding health issues.

Give away your heart and you transplant your heart into eternity. 

Ann Voskamp

The Way of Abundance

Giving his heart was the ultimate way he made something broken, work. Joe’s life was over. His brain was broken and there was no way to fix it. So it was time for one broken person to literally fix another person. Even in death, Joe was focused on giving to someone else. Helping them live a life filled with love here. While Joe lived a new life in heaven.

I do not know if the heart that was Joe’s is still beating. Not sure I want to know. Don’t know that I could handle knowing his earthly body is truly dead.

I know no other way to the abundant life…because this is the only Jesus lived.

Ann Voskamp

The Way of Abundance 

So I hope and pray that whoever has Joe’s heart is alive and well and experiencing as an abundant life here as Joe is in heaven.


Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of chocolate, red roses and golden retrievers and is an amateur photographer.

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