I am a list maker, I make list for everything. I make lists at home, I make lists at work. There is a list for the week, a list for each day of the week. A grocery list, a Christmas list, (okay, I make a spreadsheet for Christmas). An order list for all the ongoing projects. I need to be prepared for everything, days before they happen. I don’t like surprises or changes. I need things to be in line and on time. Even when I go to “town” I need for destinations to be in logistical sequence. I don’t like crossing traffic to enter a parking lot when I am going to pass by the same parking lot on my way back from destination number one. I like going from A to B with no sub a’s or b’s getting in the way. Don’t misunderstand I am not OCD, I am organized. To prove the point that I am not OCD, if I am on vacation the lists go out of the window, A to B turns to B to A. It seems the older I get the more I need the list to empty out my brain. They say there are six parts of the brain that store memory, sometimes I feel like all six are in overload, hence, the lists. My list are like external hard drives to a computer when the memory is full. The bottom line is I like to be organized and I like to be prepared.
There is one thing that never made any of my lists, one thing I was never prepared for, one thing that never entered those six parts of my brain. One thing that all the organization or all the lists did not prepare me for, the loss of a child. Losing a child, no matter their age, is something that cannot be prepared for, it is devastating. After Lindsay passed away, being who I am, I started a list, a list of all the things I would never get to do with her. The one that hits me the hardest is never being able to answer the question, “Who gives this women in marriage?”
I wrote the above to lead into what we already knew about Lindsay and what we came to find out after she was gone. This young lady was a list maker, she was a planner and she was prepared. Lindsay had so many plans. She had plans for her senior year, plans for after graduation, plans for college, plans for the rest of her life. She had lists for her senior year, including a list for 3 different outfits, shoes and hair styles for senior pictures, and a list for an after graduation trip to Mexico (that one was a surprise to me). She was prepared to practice for hours for cheer, she was prepared to study late into the night for good grades and she was prepared to do what ever she had to do to become a doctor and save lives. The one thing that sticks in my mind about her being or getting prepared was one of her plans to pay for medical school. She came to me and said “Dad, I have it figured out. I am going to go into the Air Force ROTC at Chapel Hill. After four years in school I will have to spend two years in the Air Force and then they will pay for medical school.” One of the lists she had in her phone was all the things she needed to do to apply for ROTC and when her application was due. She was a planner, and I like to think she got that from me. Being who she was, it should have been no surprise that she was an organ donor. Not only was she planning for her future she was planning for the future of strangers.
If you are not already organ donor, I am asking as a donor father, that you put that on the top of your list. Make sure your family knows your wishes, and plan for someone else’s future.