The Life You Save Could Be Your Own

When I was seventeen my Aunt Jean and Uncle Joe were coming to visit.  Their kids, my cousins Joanne and Margaret were coming over a little later.  Joe and Jean were already at my house, sitting out on the patio when the phone rang.  I ran in to pick up the cordless docked by the backdoor.

“This is the Suffield Police Department,” the voice on the phone said.  “May I speak to Jean.”

I rushed out the backdoor.  Suffield was one of the towns between our house and Joe and Jean’s house, one of the towns that Joanne and Margaret had to drive through to get to our house from theirs.  When I told my aunt that it was the Suffield Police, the color drained from her face.  She put the phone to her ear and listened.  She um hmmmed a few times and hung up.  She turned to Joe to tell him that Joanne and Margaret had been in a car accident.

Thankfully they were fine.  They went to pick them up.  We all got quiet after they left.  We were all thinking the same thing.  What if they were driving faster?  What if they weren’t wearing their seatbelts?  What if this?  What if? 

After an hour or so they came back.  Joanne and Margaret looked shaken, but they were fine.  I hugged them and we cried a little bit.  They were the first friends I had ever had. 

Which brings me to my point, folks.  We got lucky that day that my cousins were only banged up a bit.  There are other people who aren’t so lucky.  The ones with the upside down cars on the side of the highway with ambulances pulling people around on stretchers.  We’ve all seen those accidents on the highway, and we grip the wheel just a bit tighter as we pass by. 

This weekend is a holiday weekend.  We will gather with our families to watch the fireworks, grill up some burgers, and drink beer in the sun.  And then we’ll get into our cars after spending the day in the sun, tired, buzzed from the beer and dehydrated from the sun.  Cars slip over the yellow line, or it takes longer to think to stop the car.  Metal gets crushed, glass shattered.  Ambulances rush to hospitals.

And this is where you come in.  Where do you think the blood will come from?  YOU!  This weekend there will be a great deal of traffic on the roads.  More traffic means more accidents.  More accidents means more need for blood.  It only takes an hour, folks.  Please take the time to donate a pint of blood.  And remember that one pint from you could potentially save three other people.

And also remember that the life that could be saved could be yours.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.

added on 06.27.16

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