Sunday, June 8, 2014

Counting My Blessings

Yesterday's 2014 Erin Potts Memorial Blood Drive
was a tremendous success!
Thanks to all who chose to make time in their busy day
to stop in and extend an arm.  
Seventy units were collected, and that raises our total number of donations to approximately 700!!! 
This number includes our memorial drives, as well as units collected at LifeSource facilities by now-regular donors who stop in to remember Erin with our 556C Group Code. 
Earlier today, Keenan and I headed to Bronswood.  I had to eat a cookie with Erin.
Thank you Karen Licitra of Sugar High Cookie Company.
 It's beautiful out there at this time of year when the grass is so green and the flowers so fresh and bright.  The sun shone brightly, the breezes blew the wind chimes, birds chirped, squirrels ran from dog in pursuit and, thankfully, no skunks interrupted our visit!
I relaxed and let all of yesterday soak in.
Just as every Volleyball Invitational is different,
such is the case with each of our Memorial Blood Drives.
The cast of yesterday's characters played in my mind, and I must say I think this was the most eclectic group of donors to ever grace our event.
Seasoned veterans as well as first-timers walked in the door.
We had -
  • family members - Erin's siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins
  • neighbors from my childhood home on Kensington Ave
  • Erin's friends/volleyball teammates and their families
  • neighbors from our present 'hood
  • former co-workers from St. Cletus School and the LaGrange Paulson Center
  • friends of Erin's siblings
  • our favorite volleyball referee
  • St. Cletus parishioners/school families who had seen our notice in the Canticle
  • a couple from Compassionate Friends who walk a similar path to Dave's and mine
  • my best friend from grammar school
  • young adults, who were students (little kids!!!) when I left St. Cletus in 2006
  • LifeSource donors who stopped in because our location was convenient
One such donor, whom I'd not met until yesterday morning, rode back on his motorcycle a couple hours after making his donation with the gift shown in the photograph below.  He told me he makes rosaries (decade bracelets) for people who've lost loved ones, and he wanted me to have one.  Oh my, yes, thank you! (said, eyes brimming with tears)  How amazing and touching and grace-filled.    

I was just recovering from that gift when another gentleman, a patient actually, who I met three years ago while working in the Paulson Center and who I registered just this past March at Hinsdale Hospital, walked in the door with a platter filled to the brim with fall-off-the-bone, sticky, gooey, heavenly, hot ribs.  After a conversation three years ago about blood donations (and Erin - not sure how we got there), he's been using 556C at LifeSource on a regular basis.  He wasn't eligible to donate yesterday, but wanted to "help out and be part of the drive in some way".  I've spoken with this man maybe four times in my life, including yesterday.  Again, tears!

Those of you who know me well are used to hearing me say, my grief has to go somewhere, and I make the conscious choice to channel it into actions that help others that currently face the challenges we once did when our world blew up with Erin's cancer diagnosis and ultimate death.  
The success of my endeavors is possible, only because
of your ongoing generous response to my pleas. 
I ask for money for Scatter Kindness, and you open your wallets.
I ask for blood donations, and you extend your arms.
Blessings show up, unexpectedly, in the form of rosaries and barbequed ribs
offered by virtual strangers. 
Yes, talk about Scatter Kindness.
It's everywhere, isn't it?
Today, I'm counting my blessings,
and I can do so on my lovely pink beads. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Be the Giving Type

Please join us again this year for our
5th Annual Blood Drive.
If you haven't donated with us in the past,
please consider doing so on Saturday.
Remember, I LOVE first time donors! 
  • You're eligible to donate if you are 17 years or older (16 with a signed parental consent form) and weigh at least 110 pounds.  Calling all young and healthy kids!  Start the habit of giving now. 
  • There is no upper age limit.  Our most senor donor was a Sister of St. Joseph who joined us last year.  She was 84!   
  • Less than 10% of the national population donates blood.
  • Someone needs blood every two seconds.
  • One unit of blood can support up to three lives.
Come and kick off the beginning
of the summer months with us.
Stop in and donate before heading
out to the hustle and bustle of the weekend.
Bring family members, co-workers and friends.
Whether you're Type A, B, O or AB...
Be the Giving Type!
It's so easy to Make a Difference.

We're Group Code 556C.
Looking forward to seeing you
in Morrissey Hall! loving memory of "e"