There is a small snippet of the spiritual journey I have taken throughout my life that the family enjoy recounting from time to time.
It recalls the phase I went through as a young child, when I suddenly took to spending several minutes every night genuflecting in front of the Sacred Heart picture above the fireplace in the living room.
The story goes that I would commence my solemn mini-novena while the 9 o clock news was on the telly, blessing myself constantly and gazing towards Jebus with pleading eyes. The routine was so vigorous in its exercise of grace and piety that my mother was sure she was raising a little nun.
Not so. I remember all this very well and it coincides with the time when I discovered that people got sick and they died. I was most disturbed by the fact that it appeared you could just be snuffed out in your sleep and so bedtime became a point of serious distress.
For this reason I made it my business to square things with God every night before I turned in, in an effort to make sure he didn't take me. I would like to say I prayed for my family too, but nah, it was all about saving myself back then. As a seven-year-old, I was quite self-involved.
But that was a simpler time when you believed what you were told to believe and while admittedly I had more faith in James Bond Jr and Captain Planet at the time, I took it at face value that God existed and He was on my side.
I'm not going to get into the layers of my belief at this point - and there are many layers, which clash and come into conflict, now moreso than ever. Sometimes I believe in something greater, most of the time I don't.
What I do know however is that transplant patients may well be the human beings that God forgot to create until the last minute on the seventh day. There He was, kickin back, watching the clouds go by and He thought "Fuck, I forgot that other crowd of losers".
And just like sunday night homework, He rushed it and left us with organs that weren't quite up to the task of getting us through a whole lifetime.
Maybe He didn't bank on modern medicine finding a way to keep us ticking over with transplant surgery - or maybe He did foresee that and thought He'd like to see how things would turn out when mere mortals tried to play at His own game.
Taking an organ from one of His children and placing it in another? He was curious to observe such messing about, and curious too to see how the human-being with its weakness for experiencing guilt and with its great capacity to empathise with complete strangers would handle knowing that one person had died so that they could live.