March 3 of this year was Judy's fourth anniversary of her successful liver transplant. A few days ago we attended UNC's annual Liver Transplant Reunion.
The setting was once again beautiful White Oak Recreation Area at Jordan Lake. It was a pleasant day with a gentle breeze and not too hot.
Dr. Hayashi is now head of the Transplant Center and gave a warm welcome to the attendees. Judy was delighted to see the smiling and familiar faces of transplant staff members who have become very dear to us.
The spacious covered picnic area provided ample space for about 200 guests.
Entertainment included a country group and the famous Bouncing Bulldog jump rope team.
A wonderful meal of barbecue and grilled chicken with all the fixings was provided. Some dessert cakes had special meaning for those who had received the gift of life.
Transplant recipients share an instant bond unlike any other. As in past years, we struck up conversations with people we had either not met before had had met just once. Because of the shared experiences before, during, and since transplant, we feel like life-long friends. Many touching stories were shared under the shelter this afternoon. And many grateful thanks were expressed.
Here's Judy with two friends we met just last year, Daniel and Re. We had a great time catching up on the past year. Judy also met a lady from nearby Sanford that she hopes to keep in touch with.
We were aware of some uninvited guests. Here's one-- a cicada. Those large insects that are making such a buzz in many piedmont forests this year.
But even the droning buzz of these bugs was drowned out by the sounds of celebration today. Can't wait until next year.