Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Loving Sacrifice

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website,, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

Now on to today’s post…

“Amy Jo enjoys many memories of things her dad has done. When she was young he would lie on the floor and let her walk on his back, and some days he would bite in the air trying to get a mouthful of “witch’s claws,” the Bugles Amy Jo wore on her fingers and waved in front of his face. When she was a teen he spent hours trying to teach her how to pitch a softball. He cried at her wedding, and again, but more profusely, when his grandson was born.

But the memory of her dad’s actions that Amy Jo treasures most is something he did that he has attempted to hide. He doesn't talk about the fourteen inch bright red scar that starts just below his left nipple and crosses over his belly; a scar he has borne for nearly ten years.

Her father, Dan, was the second born in a line up of seven boys. All the brothers played hockey, but her dad was one the most talented and well known in town for his skill on the ice. During the winter hockey season he and his brothers packed down the snow in their back yard and practiced skating on their makeshift rink.

Amy Jo remembers being a child and getting bundled up against the Pittsburg cold so she could go outside and watch her Daddy play hockey. Even as an adult, the sport was still a large part of Dan’s life.

When she was a junior in high school, Amy Jo learned of her dad’s brother’s kidney disease, a condition he had dealt with for years but which had suddenly worsened. He was placed on a kidney transplant waiting list and began to take steroids to keep his systems from shutting down. Concerned for his brother’s life, Dan volunteered to be tested to see if he were a donor candidate. They were a near perfect match.

Amy Jo’s uncle told his brother to take some time to think over the possible consequences of being a donor, but Dan didn't need time; his mind was made up. A few hours later, the surgery was scheduled.

The surgery was a success and Amy Jo stayed home with her dad for a few days after he was released from the hospital. He recovered quickly and by summer, when his daughter was preparing to leave home to attend college, he was back in tip-top shape.

Living in the college dorm was Amy Jo’s first time being so far removed from her family; she called home almost every day just to hear about familiar routines. One day in late fall, when avid hockey players are usually on the ice nearly everyday, it occurred to her that no one had mentioned her dad's hockey games.

Her mother quietly told her then that her dad wasn't playing anymore. Since he now had only one kidney, he wasn't supposed to play contact sports for fear of sustaining a life-threatening injury himself. Amy Jo asked if he knew of that limitation before he agreed to the operation.

‘It was one of the first things the doctors told him,’ her mom said.

Her father had not only willingly given away a part of his body, he also forfeited an important part of his life for the benefit of someone else. Inspired by her dad’s example for loving others before your self, Amy Jo has become an organ donor, and now more than ever, understands the rewards of self-sacrifice.

Her uncle now lives a normal life, completely free of disease.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

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