This week I received the awful news of the passing of my coworkers son. He was only 6 years old. After a three year battle with cancer he finally succumbed to the disease.
I cried, I question, I prayed for his family, I got angry and then sad again.
But I’m on this positivity kick, right?! So this isn’t supposed to happen! How can I receive news like this and still try to keep up my happy tune and putting out my positive thinking mojo. I do my best thinking in the shower, so last night when I was washing my hair I was contemplating what I could do to give back to the family. The thoughts tumbled through my head one right after another. As quickly as one arrived my practical subconscious was kicking in. I thought: Donate money, of course that’s an option, although I don’t have much of my own to give. Send flowers? Oh I love flowers, but flowers don’t make up for the loss of a child. Pray for them and send my condolences. Again, yes of course. But none of that seemed like enough. I wanted to do something that also made me feel good because honestly that’s the goal.
I decided to go to the store. I bought a sympathy card and put some money in it, because that’s what you’re supposed to do as an adult when the tragedies of life occur. But then I did something for myself.
I made an appointment with Central Blood Bank. My blood type is O Negative which means I am a universal donor. I like to think that my blood type is a sign of who I strive to be. I can literally give my blood to anyone who needs it, and as a part of this human race I like to think that’s part of my purpose. It’s one of my little super power blessings that allow me to play my part in ‘saving the world’. I’ve donated before to do my societal part and I try to stay consistent with scheduling, but this time I felt like this was something that needed to be done, for me. I showed up at the appointment and there is a questionnaire you fill out to make sure you don’t have cooties. There is one question though that asks if you are donating your blood for your own use in the near future due to illness or if you are donating directly for someone who is in need of blood products for whatever their condition. I’ve always clicked “no” because frankly, I’m thankful that I haven’t had a massive trauma or a serious illness that would require infusions and I just hoped that my blood would help someone, I never really cared about the identify of the receiver. Today when I clicked “no” I thought of all the children fighting childhood cancer. I thought of how strong they are for the medical treatment and procedures they have to endure. Those kids can handle more than most grown men that I care for at work. I put it in my mind that the blood that I am donating today is going to care for a child with cancer. It is going to be my very small contribution to their fight and although I was unable to help my coworkers son, maybe there is something I can do for another child out there.
Doing things for other people makes me feel good about myself. It’s not about honor, recognition or other people’s opinions. If I wasn’t writing this blog post, very few people would know that I was going to donate today and even fewer would know that I did it to honor those fighting childhood cancers, motivated by the loss of a loved one. I’m just trying to be a good person with a genuine heart. I feel that you’re never to good to help someone. No matter what your paycheck or social status, all of our graves are the same size and more importantly in this case, WE ALL BLEED THE SAME!!
I share this post with you today because I encourage you all to donate life. Your mind and body can accomplish incredible things. They heal in ways that scientifically aren’t always understood but are miraculous none the less. With a donation of whole blood you have the ability to save three lives. Twenty minutes out of my day, free cookies, a great conversation with my nurse, and walking out of there feeling good about myself. Well worth it!
I hope you hug your family members a little longer tonight, you tell your friends how much you love and appreciate them, and do something nice for someone you may not know. The life that will be changed by these small gestures could be yours!