As often happens at this time of year, people begin to ask what I want for my birthday. I am fortunate enough that I live in comfort and am content with the material life I lead. I am a simple girl with simple pleasures, mostly edible or related to warmth. A fire in the fireplace, steaming hot chocolate in a ceramic mug or a long, hot, bubble bath is all it takes to make me feel pampered. The one thing I do treasure above all else is my family, and the time that I get to spend with them. So what would I ask for if I could have anything I wanted; time.
So you may be wondering at this point, "but how can one person give another person time, wrapped up as a gift?" As many people know, my son, Nicholas has a bleeding disorder. He is a sweet, precious, cherub like boy who exudes innocence and goodness much like light radiates from a an incandescent light bulb. While many mothers may say this about their children, I have the great honour and privilege of parenting a little boy who other people say this about.
When he bleeds it can be both scary and stressful and sometimes receiving blood or blood products is part of his treatment plan. While we are eternally and immeasurably grateful to the kind folks at the Children’s Hospital for all that they have done for Nick, the truth is what has literally saved his life is the small sacrifice of ordinary, random citizens, who donated blood.
So at this time of year, when I take a moment to think about what is important to me, and what gift would be most treasured, and at the risk of sounding cheesy, its ‘the gift of life.’ And so what I ask all of my friends and family to do, at least once a year, is to donate blood. If we all donated blood, just once a year, it is a gift not just for me, or for the sweetest boy in the whole wide world, but for someone else’s son or daughter, father or mother…many other people's loved ones may also get the most precious gift of more time.