“Dad, do you know what I want?”
I walked into my older son’s bedroom the other night. It was just one of those routine checks that a parent will do over and over again – just to make sure that all is well. There, in the moonlight, I saw it. My tough 11 year old… You know the type. The one that is just getting interested in girls; doesn’t want Mom or Dad watching them as they walk to the bus (and certainly not hugging them in public!).
There it was, held between his arms as he lay sleeping. It showed signs of significant use, having been in his room for almost a year now, and after losing more than one battle with an inquisitive Puggle who roams our hallways.
But there it was, held tightly against him. It was a bean bag shaped like a Liver – Given to us at last year’s Liver Life Walk. I was so moved by it, that I froze and must have stood there a bit too long. His eyes opened up, and he saw me looking at it. He looked up at me, smiled, and said “Dad, do you know what I want to happen?”
Still a bit stunned, I asked him what it was. “I want you to get your liver on May 27.” I stopped him, and said “But if that happens, you will miss your birthday party!” He nodded, and said “OK, then, how about if you get it on May 28. That way I can have my party on the 27th and get my present on the 28th.”
You see, not only do I have the most beautiful, helpful, and kind wife that anyone could ask for, and two smart, polite, and generous children, I also have a genetic condition known as Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.
So at the age of 44, I truly am blessed -- I own my own business and have wonderful neighbors, friends and family. And yet, I am forced to pray for a transplant if I hope to be able to see my boys graduate college, get married, have children, and find a path in life.
And so, I ask you this: It is only with your assistance that Gift of Life will be able to do the work necessary to help extend my life, as well as the lives of millions of others in the United States who are, or will in the future, be in need of an organ donation.
Registering to be an Organ Donor is one of the simplest steps you can take to help others, yet it can have the largest impact on our lives. Regardless of what you can do, I will ask for one more thing. Whether they like it or not, hug your kids tonight. Over and over again. Tell them how much you love them. And if they don’t want their friends to hear or see it, tell them too bad – In about 20 years they’ll understand!
Walled Lake, MI