Chapter 5: "Take Nothing for Granted" Interview with Heather Hobbs: PART 1

 Heather, Tundra and Randy in Alberta (1981)

Heather, Tundra and Randy in Alberta (1981)

I asked Mom if we could record an interview on Dad's birthday. It seemed fitting on the first occasion of us acknowledging the birthday he didn't get, that we reflect on the kidney that gave him an extra 27 years of very happy birthdays. It was a good plan, though daunting, which on the day made us change our minds and push back filming a couple days. 

As I mentioned in Chapter 4, these interviews are quite challenging: painful memories tied in with current grief, re-living secondary trauma for Mom, trying to stick to a sequential narrative that follows a logical timeline, opening private memories to public interpretation, etc. The camera died which means we ended rather abruptly at the transplant, which was actually very fortuitous as Mom needed some more time to think about what she wants to say about life after the transplant.  Also, when I played her this video for her approval a couple weeks later, she took a lot of notes of things it reminded her she wants to say so this is the first of what will probably be several interviews. It's just too hard to pack an entire complex life of experiences into one conversation.

Randy's wife/Katie's mom Heather talks about the all encompassing impact of dialysis on their lives, including Randy's self-image, mood and the structure of daily life. From pre-dialysis through to the kidney transplant, Heather ponders the theme of "Take Nothing for Granted" - even the ability to pee (a definite indicator of kidney function).