Saturday, January 14, 2012

donating

a heart

Overall it has been rather an uneventful day in these parts, except for E. being stung by a bee and his hand  swelling up to twice the size, then his bottom lip and tongue swelling up too. I guess with a family of five someone is going to have or make drama. In general though it has been a rather ho-hum day. We’ve been cleaning the shed and the laundry putting as much as we can on the verge. Quite a bit of stuff we knew would be snapped up straight away by the people driving up and down the streets in their trucks and utes. Considering ourselves too time poor to undertake the process of selling such stuff we chalked it up as donations.

We filled the car’s boot too with lots of “nice” stuff to be taken to the charity bins. More donations.

I like donating. I feel lighter. As I explained to E. this morning – “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. It really is all about perspective. Giving things to people makes me feel good.

One of the primary reasons I like to make gifts for the people I love is to show them how truly special they are to me. How not only did I give them a material and tangible item, but also my time, my thoughts, my love and a little bit of my soul. There is a little bit of me in everything I make. That’s what creativity is isn’t it? An expression of our imaginations, dreams and self.

I enjoy giving to people I don’t know too. There is always a brilliant and joyous feeling radiating, almost bursting, from within whenever I put a gift under a tree for an unknown child at Christmas. I was walking on air for the rest of the day the time I paid for a stranger’s shopping at an oppy. Doing good things make me feel good. Giving and donating is doing a good thing.

So that brings me to questions posed as part of the filmlife blogger challenge. The filmlife project and blogger challenge is a collaboration with Donate Life Week 2012 aiming to encourage and inspire young people to really think about, and discuss with their loved ones their thoughts and wishes on organ donation. I read about this project on Cam’s blog. She is waiting for a double lung transplant.

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Here goes my contribution to the conversation:

1. What’s your take on or experience with organ donation, and why did you choose to take part in the FilmLife Blogger Challenge?

Up until recently I have had no direct experience or exposure to organ donation. I’ve been registered as an organ donor for years and years – ever since I got my driver’s license in New South Wales way back when. I can’t remember if I had to indicate on my license if I wanted to be an organ donor here in Western Australia. If the question was posed I would have indicated that I wanted to donate. It’s not really important anyway, I’m on the national register and all those near and dear to me are aware that if I meet an untimely end I’d like to donate my organs. You just can’t take stuff with you.

One aspect of death that I at times struggle with is the lack of control I’ll have at this one known event of my life. How does the saying go? There are two certainties in life; death and taxes. Donating my organs, the last of my trash, the ultimate declutter is something that I can control. And what treasure it will hopefully be for another person, their family, their friends and their community.

Megan, who I orginally met online and then in real life, and who I craft with at Brown Owls had a transplant this year. One minute we were joking that she felt tired all the time because she’d hit thirty and the next moment she was waiting for a liver transplant and then, thankfully she received one. It was a very very close call for her. This entire experience occurred after my darling baby O was born. He is still a wee babe and all of these really really big things happened to Megan in his lifetime. That blows me away. Frankly it can be a bit of a head f*ck too when you start to really think about it, digest it, toss it about in your mind. I can’t even begin to imagine how she processes such big events in such as small amount of time in her mind. WOWA. Full. On.

Anyway – who ever that beautifully kind person was who donated their liver didn’t just donate it to Megan, they donated it to me too. I love hanging out with Megan, crafting and chatting away. I look forward to it every month. I love reading her blog too. I’m hoping she’ll help me learn how to knit this year. So you can see… organ donation goes well beyond the person.

On a different take all together I also like the idea of being an organ donor because I’ve always enjoyed post-modern, post-structural and post-colonial studies and in some way the idea of my organs have a post-Sally existence is really uber cool. Fascinating. Ace. Ok. Maybe it isn’t that interesting to ponder for everyone but it is to me.

Lastly,  one of the simplest reasons I wish to be an organ donor is that I’ve always loved giving, sharing and donating. How powerful for this to be the very last thing I do with my body in my life. What a wonderful start to the memory of me.

2. If you were to donate your organs, which one would you love to donate, and why? (nb. this question is intentionally quirky so feel free to be creative and have some fun with it)

Frankly I’m not sure that my organs are in great nick. I’m taking better care of them these days though but there was a time, pre children that my lifestyle wasn’t so kind to my body. Prior to Megan having her transplant I had no idea just how big the liver was… so perhaps that would be a good one so that I end with the scales being just a little bit lighter. Do they do that? Weigh you at the very end. Oh my. Now isn’t that a horrific thought. Please someone tell me that once I’m gone no one is going to put my body on a set of scales and record the weight… and if they do please someone make sure that all my organs have been donated before they do!!!

(Nah – just joking – like I care how much I weigh when I’m dead. I barely care about it alive)

I wonder if they’d want my liver. Aside from drinking too excess I’ve had malaria twice. Mmm?

Perhaps my heart would be best. It beats well, and has a good sense of rhythm.

Honestly – have it all. It will be no good to me.

3. Who in your family would you need to talk to about organ donation, to be sure your loved ones knew your wishes?

My partner knows that I’m one hundred percent up for organ donation. My parents and brother are also aware. Dave has told his family his intentions to be a donor too. We figured tell everyone so that there were no awkward conversations or unwanted pressures at the time of the decision/event.

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If you would like to join in with this challenge put together the three questions and answers and head over to CurlyPops' blog and join in the linky!

To register yourself on the organ donation register here in Australia, go here.

7 comments:

  1. Wow Sal, you've left me speechless (and that doesn't happen very often). Such a beautiful post and I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting me in touch with Megan. It's been wonderful for us to share our stories.
    Thankyou for such a beautiful post and for joining in the challenge. It really means the world to me.

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  2. Sal, I have tears.. that was lovely!

    I'm looking forward to our knitting brown owls this month, although we may have to learn again together, because for the third time, I have forgotten how!

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  3. I've just done a fantastic comment and when I published it had disappeared! Bugger! 2nd go...and see if I can remember what I wrote!!!

    Of course Sally, if it did go through please just delete this one! :) Hope I remember everything I'd said in the first one! :)

    Yup they're right Sally. Lovely post.

    I was just in the process of replying to the sweet comment you left on my blog the other day, and decided to 'just do it' and take the time to pop over and try to catch up a bit with yours. But I haven't gotten any further than this very inspiring post. Because of course I consider myself one of those lucky people you don't know, except online, who have received a gift from you. I can almost hear you thinking "what on earth have I given Pam????? I don't even know her address!!" Well, the last couple of times you'd left comments, right out of the blue(and I hadn't even visited you for quite some time!!) they made me smile and have happy thoughts. It might not seem like much, but to me they were gifts. They don't have to be tangible to be gifts. It definitely is a great feeling to give something with no strings attached, even anonymously.

    So glad that E is ok. Swollen lips etc are a worry in those cases. and if that's a piece of your own work in the pic, I luv it! So pretty.

    p.s. I know you don't expect replies, but it's something I like/want to do and guess I probably always will do..........eventually! :))
    p.p.s. Consider this your reply! lol. x

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  4. You said that just as I would but heaps better.

    Good stuff girl : o )

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  5. I have absolutely NO idea why everyone doesn't donate or just make it freaking the ONLY option. I'm not religious & have no afterlife dreams for my body. As a scientist, i am happy for it to go to a lab, whatever, once i'm dead i'm pretty sure i'm done with my body!!
    A malaria liver, nice one. I can't donate blood anymore as i've spent too much collective time in England (dodgy cow potential) damn it, i have special blood too, i'm handy in a crisis, or i was!!
    Love your liberation from donating old things from your home, excellent, love Posie

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  6. Very thought provoking post... I've been pondering on it since reading it yesterday.

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  7. I have never given it a second thought, it has always been ticked on my drivers licence and all my family knows that I want to donate. Never an option not to do that...

    Megan did bring it all close to home and shake us up a lot didn't it, she has gone thru so much and is so positive when clearly it has been a huge blip on the radar for her.

    If I lived closer I would come and teach you both to knit xx

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