The first and last time that I gave blood was in 1989. I was a senior in high school and I remember that I gave blood and then went to sit outside with some friends before our next class started. The next thing that I knew, there was a pole very inconveniently behind my head that I had apparently smacked into as I passed out.
And that was it. I tend to faint easily – quite easily – and I’m prone to a number of weird fears. So, giving blood joined that list and I crossed it off as one of those things that just wasn’t for me.
And life continued.
And then, recently, 24 years later, Stella needed a blood transfusion. And from the experience, Yarden posted on Facebook that people should give blood whenever they are able to do so; it allows people who need it, like Stella, to have it available.
That certainly resonated. And I realized that I’ve been delinquent. Josh gives blood religiously every three months and he has for decades. For years, I’ve been patting him on the back and waving as he headed out to do so. And then I’ve stayed in the house. But then I started thinking, who cares about a little fainting when you might be helping to keep someone alive? Who cares about feeling queasy when a chemo patient might be battling these feelings for months?
And so, tonight, as I was sitting at my computer, someone posted that they were giving blood.
“Josh,” I yelled across the family room, “Is there a blood drive in the yishuv tonight?”
“Yeah,” he said.
“Let’s go. Now.”
And so we did.
And we found friends there, and laughed, and got in line.
|Josh, Romi and Laura Ben-David|
And I was sort of secretly hoping to get rejected – to have hemoglobin too low, or a weird glitch in the system, or I don’t know what. But I kept reminding myself that people who are sick don’t get an out, and those who need blood don’t get to pass.
And I knew that I needed to do it, but I was still nervous..very nervous.
My cheerleading squad backed me up, and Laura snapped this hysterical picture which was dubbed “Date Night” on Facebook. Yep, that’s about as good as it gets around the Sussman house these days.
We are powerless over so many things in this world.
But we have the ability to do a few things.
And giving blood is one of them.
So, Stella, I gave in your honor tonight.
How about that?
And I plan to continue doing so every three months, for as long as they’ll have me.
And I was thinking what a wonderful thing it would be if everyone we know stepped out of their comfort zone and did one unexpected thing for Stella’s recovery.
Wouldn’t that be amazing?
As I learned tonight, while we are powerless over so much, there are times when we can choose to do something, and to do it right.