After writing my blog “Neverlove” a few days ago, that very evening I watched the movie “Ghost of Girlfriends Past”. I love Matthew McConaughey. How can you not love his greasy good looks and cheesy copout humor? But besides all that, the movie ended on the note of choosing love despite it all. Connor Mead, played by McConaughey, is talking the bride into going back to the wedding and not giving up. “Yes, I do. I’ve been in your shoes. You know what? It scared the hell out of me too. What if she hurt me? What if she left me? What if she died? It would have been the end of me. So I cut it short, before she ever could. And you know what? It was the biggest mistake I ever made. And you’re making the same mistake right now, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to sit by and watch. You’ve got to risk love Sandra! I didn’t and look at me! I’m a lonely ghost of a man. It doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get hurt, but the pain you feel will never compare to the regret that comes from walking away from love. And from someone who’s felt a lot of both trust me, regret beats pain everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. Don’t run away. Don’t do it.” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0821640/quotes)
Well, that basically sums up exactly why I put out the blog “Neverlove”. Many people have these fears, and they are fueled for so many reasons. To put things in perspective, the timing is never ours, and fear can stop us dead, or we can be pushed forward by it, choosing to live life because we do not know the timing of our future. You cannot risk not loving.
The timing is also not ours in death. My car registration ran out this week, and I have been noticing “Donate Life” vanity plates from the State of Pennsylvania for organ donation. I really wanted to get that plate, but Brimmer’s auto had no clue what I was talking about. I’ll have to do some research. However, in the meantime, it got me thinking more about organ donation. Are you a donor? I am. Kevin was.
Kevin’s cancer however, was too much. It affected the blood vessels, meaning that when he passed, not a thing could be donated to help another life. His cancer was too invasive to risk giving his organs to another person. It makes me sad to know that not only did it ravage his body, but it destroyed the future of someone who needed a lung, a heart, a kidney, new eyes…I do not fear organ donation. If I have parts in healthy condition when I pass, I would be honored for them to go forward to give a complete life to someone who does not currently have that opportunity. What do I need my organs for when I am dead? What do I need my body for?
I promised Kevin only one thing when he died: that he would be buried next to me. It’s hard for me to imagine how to keep that promise. What if I marry again? So, I have decided to be cremated. And I’m a hypocrite. Why? Because I just gave a talk on grief and how you need to have your life wishes in WRITING, and do I have this in writing? No, not until now, and this isn’t good enough. So now I am exposed. Before cremation I want any useful organs donated. I do not want to contribute to the creation of another widow(er). If I am able to pay it forward with the donation of my organs so that another husband or wife, parent, child, grandparent can survive, then please, let me.
Please become an organ donor, pay that extra $1 on your registration renewal, and support organ donation. We have one life to live, but it is encouraging to know that with that one life, we may one day be able to save many others.
First, thanks for the movie tip. Somehow I missed that one! And this blog entry is great!
Now, “the rest of the story,” as they say… My oldest brother, 78 yo, has no functional kidneys and is on dialysis for the rest of his life. he is quite healthy because he has no other diseases, just no functioning kidneys! He recently lost his wife of over 50 yrs to breast/brain cancer. He was on the organ donation list until recently, when he received a letter saying that he was “too old to get an organ,” which he accepted reluctantly.
Then something sad and horrific happened to his beloved grand-daughter, Kasbrina. Kas and her parents had been having huge conflicts. She switched high schools and was coming with her Mom back from a a meeting with the new counselor. They argued in the car, and Kas opened the door and jumped out. She hit her head and died several days later after never coming out of a coma. Kas had told her Grandpa years ago, “Grandpa, you can have one of my kidneys!” but I don’t know IF or WHY her parents decided to donate or not donate any of her organs. I have not had the courage to ask them! I asked my brother when she died and he had not heard anything! So maybe someday I will be able to ask one of my nephew’s brothers or sisters what happened and if they were even asked if they wanted to donate her organs. I don’t know if they would have been able to specify where the kidney would go and if it could have gone to my brother. But her death was a huge blow to my family and we will never get over it. Sorry, this is long.
Wow, that’s an unfortunately phenomenal story. MY heart goes out to all of them, and you.