Someone died. And I got a cornea to fix a vision problem.
Each of us has the opportunity to think ahead to a possible situation where we might not be able to live, but can donate parts of our own bodies that can make someone else’s life better. Thinking this way does not make your death happen. It makes a precious gift happen if and when. What a legacy. Go this website if you already do not have it marked on your driver’s license.
Years ago I lost a husband to brain cancer. At the time the “shit hit the fan” I was quietly told by the neuro-oncologist that we had three to five years. Well, he lived ten years and the doctor really had no idea how. The last MRI, done about eighteen months before his death, showed that this incurable cancer had not grown. For some reason, his brain chemistry caused it to act differently. It was that summer I decided and got things in place to donate his brain when the time came. Heading to a neurological research program, perhaps whatever he had in his brain chemistry could be identified and help someone else. I wanted to make lemonade out of the very sour lemon we had been given.
Perhaps this concept is not so hard for me because I appreciate the sentiment of Thanksgiving. While I don’t count my blessings daily, I give thanks after we return to our driveway after a road trip, when we have a good day at the farmers’ market, when one of my kids has a wonderful achievement. Thank you. Thank you Lord. Thank you God. Thank you Man in the Moon. It doesn’t matter who receives your thanks. It’s recognition that we are not alone. And the One who is honored hears it all.
Being part of society means I choose to be active. I offer skills and energy within my capability to issues I feel are important. As I age perhaps the working parts are not as usable to someone else as if I had died early.
But letting them harvest whatever can be used is one more way I can give back to my community.
When we feel this connection to others, our world is safer. When we feel we can have an impact, our world works smoother.
[Beth Rankin, entrepreneur, business woman, social activist, lives with her husband Graham in McMinnville, Oregon. She is a frequent contributor to Columnist with a View. The bulk of her writing can be found at: www.goingplaceslivinglife. This article appeared in the July 23, 2017 issue. <firstname.lastname@example.org>]