(My brother-in-law, Johnevan, who received a liver transplant before I met him)
I didn’t know you thirteen years ago
But I would know your absence had you had to go.
There would be something missing, something apart,
And like the stuttered beating of a broken heart,
Your absence could be measured and identified
Though not with scientific instruments quantified –
For some holes are as deep as they are wide –
And yours would stretch forever had you died.
If we lost you, J, you couldn’t be replaced
Like a faulty liver or a broken vase,
And we almost lost you all those years ago.
We don’t like to focus too much on that though
And we’re thankful that the Lord who grants
Life to each of us gave you a second chance.
It’s hard to think of where we’d be without you,
But, through the grace of God, now we don’t have to.
I’m grateful for the sacrifice of another
That gave you a liver – and gave me a brother.