Sunday, January 16, 2011

Donating organs

If you check out my Respiratory Therapy Cave blog today you will see that I wrote about my family's experience with the Gift of Life and organ donation. Writing that reminded me that as far back as when I was a little kid I figured no one would want my lungs except scientists.


So I've never been keen on the idea is gross or otherwise not a good idea, when the time comes to making the decision "hopefully" more reasonable heads prevail.

I remember my Aunt T. telling me a story when her brother Ted died in a car accident in 1989. She said she went with her brother to a funeral when they were still both kids and at the cemetery music was played. She said everyone broke out into tears. She said she looked at Ted and Ted looked at her, and they both decided they would never want music at their funeral.

Yet at that time they didn't expect what was to happen. You see, Tad loved people. He loved to make people happy. So he got a group together and formed a band. So the band marched in parades and in parks and made many people happy. Then Ted died and everyone was sad.

So now the family had to decide what to do at Ted's funeral. It only made sense that his band should play. I couldn't help thinking of this story as, after the burial procession at the cemetery, Tad's own band played Tad's favorite tune.

I could hear many sobs, and as I looked around saw many tears. Yes, even I had to work hard to hold them in. Yet the irony here is that what we say in passing, the humor we create to get through life, doesn't mean much when it comes down to the final moments of our lives. When the time comes, we are all humbled.

Reasonable heads prevail. The decision "should" be made to give to the Gift of Life whether even if, in passing, the young person frowned on the idea. Sometimes, such comments must be trumped. Ted would have been happy to make seven or eight people happy.

And, even though she frowned on the idea in life, my mother in law too must be smiling in Heaven as she looks down on the lives she made happy because of what she donated.

So if I died tomorrow, no one would want my asthmatic lungs.
However, I think a scientist might want to study them. They didn't function good in my life, yet if studying them might bring about new wisdom to the quest to conquer this disease, then take my lungs.
They certainly won't be much use to me in Heaven.

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