Dear Ann Landers, I am writing about Bruce Conway, a strong, effective leader who steered the Living Bank through its third decade as the nation's only free organ donor registry.
Last October, Bruce died unexpectedly after complications from kidney disease. Bruce was a big fan of the essay "To Remember Me," which appeared several times in your column. Please print that piece again in memory of Bruce and remind your readers to become organ donors and give the gift of life by registering with The Living Bank, P.O. Box 6725, Houston, Texas 77265. Thank you for your continued support, Ann. -- Jon Eiche, executive director, The Living Bank
Dear Jon, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to honor the memory of Bruce Conway, who graciously handled all our questions on organ donation for many years. His input was invaluable. Here is the essay you requested:
To Remember Me
by Robert N. Test
The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment, a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.
When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my deathbed. Let it be called the Bed of Life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman.
Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body, and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
Explore every corner of my brain. Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, some day, a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her window.
Burn what is left of me, and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all prejudice against my fellow man.
Give my sins to the devil. Give my soul to God.
If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs it. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!
Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:
Dear Readers, , whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.