It's a good day, a good day for a blood-letting! Let the blood-letting begin!
About a million years ago I earned my gallon pin from the Red Cross. Four times a year, like clockwork, they'd show up on my college campus and and I'd be first in line for Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies and orange juice. Did I say that out loud? I'd give 'em all the blood they'd take. I loved the way it looked and flowed. I loved the rich, deep color. I loved watching my little drop of blood from the finger prick slowly settle into the vial, proving I had enough iron to give. Then I grew up, got married, had three kids. Stopped giving blood.
About two years ago I drove past a Blood Mobile near Orlando. I'd considered giving off and on over the last 18 years, but had always either had a kid in the car or needed to be somewhere. This time I was headed into the YMCA (kids had homeschool PE) and had time to kill (meaning I was at the Y and not working out), so I stepped up to give. I filled out the entire questionnaire and the last question was "Have you, in the last 12 months, come in contact with anyone else's blood?" Duh. I'm a mother to three. Two of them boys. They sent me away, still chock full of my own blood.
I have spent the last two years consciously not touching anyone else's blood. How many of you can say that? When my children would come to me with a cut, a gash above the eye, a split head, a ripped sternum, my response would be, "Patch it up yourself. Here are the peroxide, antibiotic creme and bandages. Knock yourself out." Sure, I'd stick around and make sure no one passed out from loss of blood, giving instructions on self administered first aid. But touch it? Noooo.
Two weeks ago our church announced that they'd be having a blood drive last Sunday. First you must know that we go to church in a mall. Really. How many of you can say that? The worship center used to be the Sears or something. It's very cool, and probably the main reason we attend there. Not really, but it is cool. So they have the space - down at the Gap - to set up tables and recliners for an old fashioned blood-letting, complete with leeches. We handle snakes, too. Alright, not really. But I have handled snakes on a Christian university campus. Does that count? I enjoyed the faces of the tourists as they'd be asking directions to different buildings on campus and my little garter snake would come peeking out of my curls (he liked riding on my head, soaking up the sun). They'd slowly back away. But I digress.
I signed up immediately for a spot (they were swamped with people last time and I couldn't wait the two hours that day to give) and arrived early. To find it empty. The flu was making the rounds here and giving was down. But they let me give! Yay! And it turns out the Red Cross comes to church every quarter, so I can get back into the habit. It's supposed to be good for me, making all kinds of fresh new cells. Happy blood. And I just LOVE the color! See it? I really do love everything about giving blood and am now kicking myself for having gotten out of the habit.
My biggest (only) disappointment was the Grandma cookies. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones in the 7-11 near the register. They are definitely NOT oatmeal creme pies. Horribly disappointed. Horribly. Otherwise it was great. I was even in and out of there in less then 45 minutes. I highly recommend it.
A huge thank you to Melissa over at Hope for the Hopeless and her tireless efforts to recruit donors, as she put the bee in my bonnet about this. Too bad I couldn't give before her contest ended though. Still fun to give!
Next steps? Y'all go out and find a Blood Mobile. Make your blood useful!
Until I write again ...