A Twist of Fate

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It was even I had to admit beautiful, and small, too — only about a nickel in diameter and a few feet long. The shopkeeper assured us it would stay small.

Twist of Fate

When it wound its way around my fingers, looking like a row of shiny green rings, I was charmed. Back in my apartment, Pretzel lounged while Oren and I huddled around my computer, reading up on our new addition.

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Pretzel was a type of Australian python that must always be kept very warm, we read. And she might grow to 14 feet. We could have gone back and demanded the shopkeeper take back his giant-in-waiting. Pretzel now had parents and a home. We were going to love her even if it killed us. Or, rather, even if it turned out she could. Colubrine domesticity had its allures.

When Oren and I watched television, Pretzel would wriggle from one set of shoulders to the next, and we would laugh and remark on her antics as though she were a baby.

Game-for-anything Oren proved squeamish at feeding time, so I learned to be the one who defrosted the dead mouse from the bag in the freezer and dangled it over Pretzel until she swooped in. I was a capable snake mother, it turned out. And he was proud. When spring came, we bought a plush Eeyore backpack at the Disney store, figuring the fur would keep Pretzel warm, and used it to take her to Central Park.

View all New York Times newsletters. One day Pretzel seemed more lethargic than usual, and I worried she was sick. Then I walked to the subway. By two stops in, my coat was rippling, I was patting it and whispering, and I noticed a man staring at me. By three stops, the ripples were waves. By the fourth, Pretzel was slithering along my neck toward my ear.

I heard gasps. When the train doors opened, I had the car to myself. I loved every minute of it, every side-glance from a neighbor when I greeted Oren at the door with Pretzel slung around my neck. I had her and I had him, too, and the fact of one meant that the other was O. Being gay felt weird in a way that was big and life changing, but having Pretzel felt weird in way that was interesting.


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As the weeks went by, I became happier to see her and less happy each night to see Oren. Meanwhile, Pretzel was growing bigger and more resistant to my attempts to pull her away from my neck when she grabbed on too hard. Her tank had become small. Finally I told Oren we were over. Then there was just Pretzel and I, and the fear that was becoming harder to ignore. I lasted exactly one week with Pretzel after Oren left. It wasn't just for me. It was for my children. It was for my husband. If you were healthy, I wanted you on the registry.

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When we began planning for my husband's transplant, we learned there were six possible matches for him. We waited anxiously while Be The Match contacted each donor, found out if they were available to donate and determined if they were a good match.

tielishanspugi.cf dictionary :: twist of fate :: English-German translation

I also joined the registry even though I thought the chances of being called were low. But one day I got a phone call that I was the best match for a leukemia patient who desperately needed a transplant. I couldn't believe it. The next day I got a second phone call. Franco had a match!

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When I heard they'd found a donor, I just screamed into the phone; I was so excited. I was a little afraid to donate, but everything in me said it was the thing to do. My husband needed a donor and I had the opportunity to be a donor for someone else.

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It made me very happy to be able to give back. After my donation, I did experience some stiffness later that night so I took the prescription pain medication.

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The stiffness lasted only a couple of days and then I was able to return to work. The little discomfort I went through was nothing compared to what it meant to me to be involved in saving another person's life. Franco lived for five-and-a-half years after being diagnosed with cancer.

Every moment meant a lot to us. His donor gave us a few more months with him, and we're so thankful to that donor for giving us more time together.

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