Saturday, June 04, 2011

life through death

I'm reading "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott.  I love reading her voice.  It's dry, witty and truthful.  Before I recommend her, I need you to know that she is sometimes prone to a cuss word or two.  But, I will admit that most of them are very well placed.  This book helps people who want to be better writers.  It's not a how-to book, but more of a why-not book.  She writes about the freedom found in writing what is held captive inside all of us.  It's beautiful and had been really helpful.  

Anyway, she recalls this story about giving:

"Here is the best true story on giving I know, and it was told by Jack Kornfield of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre.  An eight-year-old boy had a younger sister who was dying of leukemia, and he was told that without a blood transfusion she would die.  His parents explained to him that his blood was probably compatible with hers, and if so, he could be the blood donor.  They asked him if they could test his blood.  He said sure.  So they did and it was a good match.  They they asked if he would give his sister a pint of blood, that it could be her only chance of living.  He said he would have to think about it overnight.  

The next day he went to his parents and said he was willing to donate the blood.  So they took him to the hospital where he was put on a gurney beside his six-year-old sister.  Both of them were hooked up to IVs.  A nurse withdrew a pint of blood from the boy, which was then put in the girl's IV.  The boy lay on his gurney in silence while the blood dripped into his sister; until the doctor came over to see how he was doing.  Then the boy opened his eyes and asked, 'How soon until I start to die?' "

What a beautiful story of self-sacrifice and love. 

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