I rejoiced when the phone rang and a pleasant voice requested that I donate either whole blood or platelets at the local blood donor center. Since I have always felt that this gift is such an easy one to share , my response was immediate.
I arrived at the center, completed all the necessary preparations-filling out a questionnaire-this time on a computer which was more fun than the paper document -and undergoing a brief physical examination with a delightful and charming young woman with whom I exchanged entertaining pleasantries.
Finally I was ready, and invited to lie down on a very comfortable recliner and offered a choice of movies to watch during the hour-long procedure.
Suddenly a voice called out. It was a nurse who questioned my health status and discovered on the application that I had a cold sore on my lip which had not entirely healed.I was summarily disqualified.Disappointed I bid all the staff members farewell and returned to my car.
I felt cheated, upset. I wanted to do good but was unexpectedly thwarted. "There will be a next time," I was told by a sympathetic staff. But now was empty without the gift of being able to give. I realized at that moment how precious is the act of giving, and how gratefulness is the most fertile of grounds from which giving can grow.
We give for many reasons. The gift from gratefulness is perhaps the best.
My blood is blessed with health. How do I thank? How do I acknowledge the gift?
I look forward to a return visit to the blood bank when again I will watch the red liquid flow from my veins into a plastic bag that will perhaps find its way into the veins of another for whom this fluid will bring blessing as well.