If Only I Had a Heart …

wiz_c016A few years ago, a gentleman I knew died because a metal pipe struck him in the head. He had been helping his son build a batting cage and his SUV was still loaded with unrestrained “parts” in the back. During his drive to work Monday he slid off the road, hit a tree, and a pipe from the back lunged forward and struck a fatal blow to his head.

I think about this man every now and then … not because he was a dear friend. At best, he was a friendly acquaintance. But still – I think about him. And I tell people I know about what happened … I tell college kids and adults alike to clean out the crap in their cars because these kinds of things happen, but they never should.

When I was in high school I had a friend that told me she wasn’t afraid of death because she knew it wasn’t her decision to make. Because she knew that she, like all living things, actually belonged to God and if he decided to take her back, well, then that was his right.

I don’t know how I feel about that. But, like the man I wrote about above, I think about her now and then and what she said still haunts me a little. Because I don’t like to think that it’s not up to me when I leave this world. I don’t like to think that God might decide to take me back and away from my family whenever he decides it’s the right time. And honestly, it makes me angry.

But. What I do know is this. If it does become my time before I think I am ready, I can only hope that a part of my physical self will go on in this world and help another person live through organ donation. The man that died, he was an organ donor. And he was also a recipient. He had juvenile diabetes and in his thirties, was fortunate to get the call for a kidney transplant. After the surgery he lived a healthy, full life. A life, that thanks to a donor, he was able to have with his wife and children. A life that was tragically taken away far too soon, but still one that left behind a legacy of cherished memories for his loved ones.

Please, make sure you and your loved ones are organ donors.  For more information visit this site organdonor.gov and know that in the eleven minutes it may take you to register as a donor, someone else will be added to the national waiting list. Someone else. I hope it’s not one of my someone elses nor yours. Today’s post inspired by The Daily Prompt: Don’t you forget about me“Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.”

Can you write – not type – a capital “G” in cursive?

Yesterday, I wrote … with a nice black felt tip pen, not a word processor … twelve thank you notes. And when each one was finished, I couldn’t help but admire the curls, the angles, the varying thickness in the letters and, I imagined, that the recipients would be equally pleased by the appearance – not to mention the delivery – of a hand written note.
Admittedly, it would have been easier and far less time consuming to just pound out a template, print twelve times, fold, address, and mail off with my signature at the bottom – BUT, in my humble opinion, that’s not really expressing gratitude, is it? Not when the people that I was thanking took more than a few hours from their lives to do something that benefited me, not them. They deserved more than a processed piece of multipurpose paper and ink dropped from a cartridge.  They deserved to be told that I was truly thankful for what they had done in a hand written note, regardless of the fact that technology has blessed us all with the ability to write our words in Word.

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When you see someone fall …

Helping-HandI don’t know the man’s name – and am doubtful I ever will. But I don’t need to know his name. His name makes no difference to me. I wouldn’t recognize him if I ran into him on the street, in the grocery, at my kid’s football game. Nor would I recognize him if he were on the nightly news, if his obituary ran in Sunday’s paper, if his daughter was a friend of my own daughter’s.

But. I would know that look anywhere. Anywhere. And it’s one that I hope I don’t ever see again – but, one that I would recognize, and one that I would react to exactly the same way again. Exactly. Continue reading

Efficient bodies sweat – a lot!

ImageI have always been a sweater. Wait a minute … that doesn’t look right. Not the knitted pullover your head kind of sweater … but the body-ridding itself of toxins, excess salt, heat … that kind of sweater. I mean it’s not like I stink or anything, but when I finish a run my pores drip with the salt-laden liquid. When I stand on the sidelines of a mid-summer’s day soccer match, I sweat – a lot; not just dab myself off with a kerchief kind of sweat. More like a NO, I did not pee my pants, it’s just a lovely line of body juice runneth over my shorts, kind of sweat. (Which, by the way, is why I never EVER wear khaki colored shorts on a hot summer day – it’s also why I can’t stand to golf – makes no sense to me to shower and dress “course appropriate” only so I can look like I’ve peed my pants at the first turn … I mean just look at this poor guy – does that look like fun?) Continue reading

Like, gag me with a spoon!

ImageThe younger generation – more specifically, my teenage daughter – has me stumped. Because she does things that simply don’t make sense. And it frustrates me well past my usual state of composure. (Yes, believe it or not, I am a fairly composed person – really – I’ve worked on it over the years and as of late tend to remain reasonably calm even when provoked.) And I try, like many parents these days, to be a card carrying member of the “Pick Your Battles” and the “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” clubs but sometimes, it’s the little things that make me sweat the most. That makes my insides boil to the point of combustion – literally. And I hate that feeling – because when I am mad or upset with my children, I inevitably end up being disappointed in myself. I know. I know. That in itself is probably a Dr. Phil issue but it’s not where we’re going here – not today at least. Continue reading

When you sit to write, be prepared to bleed …

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Lately, I’ve had a lot of people tell me they want to write a book – or at the very least, that they have some grand idea that would make a bestseller. Hmmm. I suppose they confide this in me because I am a writer and somewhere in their minds they think I’ll be receptive … maybe even give them some advice worth following. Again, hmmm.

The fact of the matter is, writing a book is hard work. Really. I know some folks think it’s nothing more than compiling one’s thoughts with a few stokes on a keyboard, but I’m telling you – it isn’t that easy. Especially when you have other things going on in your life and can’t afford, literally, to seclude yourself to a room of your own – as Virginia Wolf once suggested. Continue reading