All my life I've seen and heard the ads. Give the gift of life.
My sister has been giving blood for years. A colleague at work has been giving four times a year for over forty years. It's in you to give.
Oh, I've had good intentions. I've encouraged others to give blood. I've thanked and praised those who have. Yet, for some reason I have never have. I've never had a reason not to give, though somehow I've managed to miss the actual doing.
Until last Sunday.
A simple visit to the Canadian Blood Services centre on Oak Street. A warm welcome and a bunch of forms to fill out. A complicated set of questions related to my world travels and personal sex habits made me pause somewhat briefly. As did the request to see my arms for evidence of needle marks. Pausing even briefly at this sort of thing is not a good idea. Friendly yes, funny no. Apparently. Giving blood is a serious matter.
Anyway, my feeble attempts at humour aside, or political outrage depending on the question, I managed to pass the screening tests and was again welcomed warmly as a first-time blood donor, and ushered into a room next to an area full of juice and cookies. And salty snacks too it turned out.
It all went rather quickly, and I didn't feel a thing. In fact, it was all so easy, I'm going to make this a regular habit. Every few months I will give blood. It won't make up for all the years I've missed, but it's a start.
Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2016 by Jim Murray.