Word Count 422
By Nan Ressue
There was the envelope resting quietly in the mailbox. It was one of those long official looking
ones with the Albany Medical Center logo stamped in the upper left corner. My hands were
beginning to tremble and my stomach seizing up as I gingerly removed it from the mailbox.
I knew what this was about but I what I didn’t know was the decision it contained.
“You better sit down first before you open this letter,” I counseled myself. ”It could be
acceptance or rejection.”
“How would you feel if the answer was No? Relieved? Disappointed? Happy?
How would you feel if the answer was yes? Strange thing…the answers are all the same.”
I summoned all my courage, ripped open the envelope, and unfolded the crisp page:
Albany Medical Center is pleased to inform you that your kidney and blood type are an
acceptable match for your proposed donation. An appointment for consultation and surgery is
enclosed. Please contact our office at your earliest convenience to confirm these arrangements.”
Beads of perspiration stood out on my forehead as I tried to envision all that this entailed. Yes,
she would die without a new kidney. Yes, you can continue to live a normal life with only one
kidney. Yes, I am a match for this fragile dear friend. And the deepest, clearest memory of
all…I told her I would if I could.
There it is again. It’s the fear raising its ugly head, calling out, reaching to crush my generosity.
It’s selfishness getting in the way of a life giving gift. Do I have the courage to allow somebody
to subtract a piece of my body and give it to somebody else?
The blessing of insight suddenly explains that a woman can give new life twice: once with giving
birth to a child and again with sharing organs with the dying.
I fumbled in my pocket for my cell phone and carefully touched the numbers which would bring
me her voice.
“Hi Annie…The letter came today with the news we’ve been waiting for. It’s a yes, my dear
friend, with you and I as a match. Please don’t cry. Be happy that both you and I will now live
to see another day. I’ll call you again tomorrow.”
I put my phone back in my pocket and leaned back in my armchair, closing my eyes.
“Yes, you did the right thing,” praised my conscience.
“Just keep telling me that will you please?” I begged “Tell me over and over and over.”