Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Joy of Giving

A couple of people have asked me lately if I have thought about the fact that even if UW approves the surgery it is certainly going to be a more risky surgery than originally thought.  This theoretically would lower the odds that the surgery would be successful.  I have even been asked if I would reconsider donating knowing this new information.  I know for sure that I would not reconsider, but wasn't really sure how to explain that to people.  Tonight I thought of it this way:

Let's say I have two beautiful vases full of flowers in my house.  They are both providing me a great amount of joy, but there is really no reason why I need two of them.  A friend of mine does not have any flowers in their house and their life would surely be enriched by them.  So I tell them I will gladly bring over one set of the flowers for them to enjoy in their home.  Now let's say I find out that I will need to transport the flowers over a bumpy road to get to my friend's house and the vase may break on the way.  And even if I do succeed in getting the vase over there in one piece there is a chance my friend may not have enough sunlight in their house.  And there is the possibility that the flowers might not get watered as much as they would at my house.  There is even a chance the flowers may fail to bloom at all over there.  So...what should I do?  If I keep the flowers I will continue to enjoy them, but my friend will still be without the joy that flowers can bring.  If I give the flowers there is a chance that my friend will be able to enjoy them as much as I do and I will still have my own flowers to enjoy.  And if I give the flowers, but they do not flourish -- at least my friend will always remember that I cared enough to try to enrich their life.  And if I give, isn't it truly me who will benefit the most?  There really is no such thing as a selfless act.  The joy of receiving will never hold a candle to the joy of giving.

Having said that... I am not crazy, I do realize that giving a kidney and giving flowers are certainly not the same.  But that is the best way I can explain it.  To me it is worth the possible bumps in the road to try to allow my friend to live the best possible life he can.  I cannot give with restrictions.  A gift is a gift.  I will joyfully share what I have if it is possible that his life can be enriched.  I will never regret that I did everything I could possibly do. 

Hopefully we will hear from UW in the next couple of days.  Until then, thank you again for your prayers and thoughts.  Your words truly mean the world to both my family and Lonnie's family.

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