It worked. On early Wednesday morning, in hospitals around the country, there are 8 people who will be giving or receiving their kidney. Alex’s kidney will be on a jet to Virginia, and Art will be receiving one from Pennsylvania later that day.
It’s been a year in the making, months of testing and phone calls and delays and anticipations and more delays.
Alex, in his ever-endearing nonchalance, doesn’t think it’s a big deal. His usual response amounts to, “I have two kidneys. I only need one. Someone else needs one, so I’ll give mine away.”
I mean, duh?
Sure, there are consequences to the surgery for Alex. He has to inhale some laughing gas for a few hours, eat hospital jello for three days, endure the pain that most women feel after a C-section (perhaps something all men should go through?), sit on the couch for two weeks while playing on his mom’s ipad, and bear the at-times exhausting and painful effects of one kidney taking on a two-kidney job. But there have been worse things.
The irony is that Al’s kidney donation has not seemed sacrificial. Rather, it’s been a huge gift in our lives. We have formed intimate relationships with Art and his family. We have been moved to tears at their strength and gratitude. We have looked forward to this day as a day of celebration of thanksgiving.
That’s the irony about giving. Just when you think you’re giving something up, you realize you’re getting something more in return. If that’s not a good investment, I don’t know what is.
I don't know much about the stock market. But I do know that investing in giving guarantees huge returns.