No exclamation point. A little subdued today.
I received some troubling news about a dear colleague who has leukemia. I’m dismayed, though I know he will receive excellent care at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. They are one of the very best in the country and so although I’m not… oh, what’s the word… um… despairing? I’m definitely worried. Troubled. Unsettled. There. I’m unsettled. He’ll be fine, I know it, and be around for many years. But I’m unsettled.
Anyway. I come from a long line of do-ers. We don’t sit around and fret, we do things. Get cards signed, make meals, that sort of thing. So even though I can’t go and cure leukemia or anything, I can pray and ask others to do the same. So I ask you to have a chat with God and pray for my friend’s health, for his spirit and for his family’s comfort as well.
One of the bittersweet things about illness is realizing how dependant we are on one another. My own father was seriously ill and his community stepped in to support and care for him in such a tremendous way. Everyone did acts of service, some small some large, and they all added up to really help my dad out. Even though it was an awful time, it was beautiful to see how the frailty of human life has a way of uniting people — even strangers. We’re all in the same boat, you see. Today, it’s our neighbor whose health fails. Tomorrow, it’s our health. We all care for one another and make passing through this life a little more pleasant and a little less painful than it could be.
So today, I ask you, Fitties that you are, to find a way that you can share your health with someone who needs it this holiday season. Donate blood or plasma. Register to be a bone marrow donor (it’s free and just involves a cheek swab). Have a talk with your spouse about what you want done with your organs if you die or are in a vegetative state (nothing like a holiday post from a lawyer to make you feel all warm and fuzzy!)
I will admit, I am pretty selfish about things like donating blood. The Red Cross pissed me off when I donated blood on 9/11 (don’t ask) and I just haven’t cared for it since. I’m a little creeped out by stories about organs being harvested… and the old methods of bone marrow donation were a little painful (although I hear it’s less so now). The thing is, I know people who have benefitted from organ donation. My stepfather had a donated eye or cornea or something. I now know someone who received a blood transfusion and could maybe use a little marrow in the future. Some of you may not need to have concrete examples in front of you of people who can benefit from your health, but I do.
So this holiday season, take a little time and think of ways that you can give of yourself to help someone have another Christmas. I know we get caught up in toy donation and all that, but if life is the most precious gift, it seems like helping save someone else’s life is the best gift you can give this year.
Who’s in? If you have other ideas on ways to help people who are sick this year, I’d love to hear them!