I suppose I could call this goal “done” after being a lifeguard through high school and college. I’ve pulled a lot of non-swimming little kids out of pools and helped a few tired folks back to shore at the beach. But somehow that doesn’t feel like IT. I want to feel like I changed the course of someone’s life through my own devices – not just like I happened to be the hands on duty at the time, while any hands on duty would have performed the same task. For instance I’ve never had to administer cpr, or find a moment of bravery and strength that I wasn’t sure I possessed. I guess I want to feel like I did something that I wasn’t necessarily expected to do? Something like that.
Anyway, this evening I thought about it while looking over my 43 things list and I realized that while I might never happen upon an Outback customer choking on a hunk of steak, and while I might never push an old lady out from in front of a speeding car or other such heroic measures… I might still at some point step in at a critical moment in another’s life. (and yeah, I’m an organ donor, but what joy is there for this mortal being in that? I’m lights out before I get the slightest blink of self-satisfaction – call me shallow, hey…)
That whole lead-up is to say that my dad was misdiagnosed with leukemia last year. In the end it was determined he did not have leukemia, but for a few horrible weeks our family truly believed he had. And we struggled for something to do to feel helpful and useful. I guess that’s when I bookmarked the national marrow donor registry, because tonight as I was perusing my bookmarks and thinking about life, I happened upon it. Now apparently called “Be the Match”. A wee lightbulb went on over my head. If this is the closest I get to saving a life, so be it. Had my dad needed my marrow I’d have given it to him with absolute joy – just to know I was able to do something tangible to help him.
This is the same, pretty much. It’s someone’s dad, someone’s son or daughter or mother. Not to be preachy, but I feel like the universe (or higher whatever) handed back my Dad without too much fanfare (and he’s currently fishing -the picture of good health at age 78) – the least I can do to repay that is to perhaps pass on the gift.
All of this is to say that I joined the national bone marrow donor registry – or more accurately: I will join it once my cheek swab is mailed and mailed back con cells – and that feels maaaaybe one step above yanking a kid who didn’t really know how to swim out from under the diving board for the fifth time in an afternoon.
Here’s the link in case I inspire you to join the registry as well.