On Thursday, November 17, the mail came, as usual, but one envelope stood out, the return address read "LIONS EYE BANK OF WISCONSIN". Now, remember my initial thoughts on donation, my "surprise" YES to the nurse, and you may understand a bit of the "shock" I felt seeing that envelope. I assumed it was a nice form letter stating that they appreciated that we donated, the end. It wasn't. An actual reproduction of the letter follows:
November 14, 2011
To the Family of Rickey Rye
The Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin sends our deepest condolences for the loss of your loved one, Rickey. We appreciate your thoughtful decision at this time of sorrow and sincerely thank you for the generous and loving gesture.
Both corneas were transplanted and will help restore the sight of two individuals. The cornea is the clear surface at the front of the eye that acts as a "window" in allowing light to enter the eye. If the cornea becomes cloudy from disease, injury, infection or any other cause, vision can be dramatically reduced.
Your donation has brought about life-altering changes for the recipients and has allowed them to see clearly again. I hope this information provides you with at least a modest sense of comfort.
I would personally like to extend my deepest and heartfelt sympathy for your loss. Thank you again, for your kindness and generosity that enables the Gift of Sight to be passed on to those in need. If I can assist you or answer any question, please feel free to contact me.
At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about this . . . but after a few moments, I read the letter to the girls, who all smiled shy smiles at me. . . .
after a bit of thought, I posted this thought about the process to my facebook wall:
thankful for another day filled with encouragement from family, friends and the community . . . thank you everyone for the hugs today - you have no idea how much support they offer! :) . . . we got a letter today that Rick's corneas had been transplanted, giving 2 people the gift of SIGHT! :) Praying that they will "see" the world through Rick's eyes - in a soft, kind, gentle, loving way, praying that if they don't already know HIM, that they will SEE Jesus through this gift! ♥