9/11 – A Present

September 12th, 2014 by gooseneck Leave a reply »

Yesterday would have been my grandfather’s 94th birthday. It’s weird to think about that, let alone write it out. I miss him a great deal.  While everyone else was thinking and talking about the 2001 tragedy I was thinking of him. It may be selfish of me but that’s life. I decided to give my grandfather a birthday present I know he would have loved:

 

Here I am donating blood at the Red Cross.

Here I am donating blood at the Red Cross.

 

My grandfather donated 35 gallons of blood to the Red Cross. Why is it such a big deal for me to donate? Truth be told I am deathly afraid of that thing the nurses have so kindly covered up in the photo above. That thing that makes me squeamish to even watch in a movie. Every time. The most horrible thing that has ever existed. A needle. I avoid them at all costs. Even writing about them nauseates.

I’ll also let you in on a second secret: I tend to go down like a giant, bald sack of potatoes whenever any blood is drawn from me. Even the small vials the doctor’s offices take for testing will knock me down for a ridiculous amount of time. No idea why, but this has been going on since my teenage years. Needless to say after about one minute of drawing blood last night I stammered out the words “I feel dizzy and not good.” The nurse agreed that I did not look well. It then took three staff members the entire twenty minute allotment to get my entire pint out. It then took me close to two hours to get back on my feet. They tried their best to reassure me that this is normal for noobie blood givers. Won’t they be in for a surprise when I reprise my role next time?

Eight of those visits to equal a gallon. It really puts in to perspective my grandfather’s commitment. I can’t promise that I’ll be able to match his effort, but I think I can promise to honor his birthday each year going forward.

Advertisement

2 comments

  1. Marie says:

    Happy Birthday to Grandpa! What a wonderful way to honor him. It gets easier the more you give. Drink TONS of water the 24 hours before you donate and it doesn’t take as long.

  2. gooseneck says:

    Thanks Marie! I applied my cycling hydration rules and thought that would be plenty, but obviously came up short. I’ll try again and try to get a little more water in me.

Leave a Reply