December 17, 2012
My name is Erin and if you want the short version skip to the last paragraph. I grew up knowing that if my mother wasn't home one morning it was just as likely she was donating blood as anything else. It was something as routine as grocery shopping, every two months mom would donate blood, and thats just the way it works. At one point I asked my mother why she donated blood. She told me that when her brother and father died in a plane crash her dad died instantly, but her brother was alive. Although her brother didn't make it the blood bank used up alot of blood trying to save his life. My grandmother couldn't repay the blood bank, so my mother's highschool held a blood drive and refilled what my uncle had used and then some. My mother was 16 and that drive was the first time she donated and had been doing it ever since. When I was a Sophmore I learned my highschool did blood drives two or three times a year. I marched up to the office and tried to sign up only to discover I was too young. My solution was to hassle everyone I knew into donating. When I was finally old enough I was so excited. I saw my peers all anxious when to me it felt akin to a birthday, a right of passage. When it came time for my pulse to be taken a second woman had to be called in to find my pulse. I discovered I had been, without a doubt, cursed with my father's tiny veins. Once I was on the table, my tiny veins and newly found nerves of failure came to haunt me. My vein was missed and was too displeased at the digging in attempts to find it to yeild enough blood fast enough. I went back to my class, sat on the floor, and cried silently into my hands. I felt like a faliure. No one would be helped by my blood. I felt like I had let down the uncle and grandfather I never got to know. People told me how many more chances I would get but was most interesting was my mother's reaction. After I told her what happened and how I felt, She looked at me confused and just said, "Your uncle and grandpa wouldn't have cared that it didn't work." Over the next couple weeks I wore my bruise like a badge of honor. I did try again and my second time was a success and I was so happy. I keep trying again and again and sometimes everything works out and sometimes it doesn't but I keep trying. Giving blood is my connection to family I'll never get to know. It's a way I can help and make a difference and for me it's in honor of my uncle and grandpa. To be honest I love giving blood and I'm going to keep donating as long as I still have blood to give.