Just another normal day of . . .

. . . teaching a Life class at Montgomery Community College in Pottstown, PA, with a special lunch after.  This is the second year of sharing the life experience of organ donation and heart transplant with a class of young people trying to prepare themselves for living life beyond school.  Today’s topic was “Surviving a Chronic Illness.”  This passionate young lady professor delights in having an outsider come in to lift the subject off the textbook pages by sharing their real-life story.  Given the classroom technology these days, I was able to connect to this blog site and project it for use in my teaching.  How neat!  They were able to view the same TV and web videos you can on this site.  They navigated the blog postings and book links as we talked about heart failure and Roberto’s tragic murder and his heart standing now in front of them in this Pottstown classroom through the gift of organ donation and the miracle of modern heart transplant surgery.

Blog screen

Blog screen

One student empathized deeply with my story, sharing his own close encounter with death in an auto accident (without seat belt).  Eventually coming out of his coma and with long road of recovery with physical rehab, learning to walk all over again, he admits to seeing life very differently today.  Andrew, in offering such testimony, brought the lesson even closer to home in the realization that this can happen to any age, even young adults like themselves.

Closing with the usual challenge of . . .

  1. make your own decision about being an organ donor upon death (“don’t donate to the ground, donate to save someone’s life…”)
  2. tell your family about your wishes (“since you wouldn’t  be answering any questions at that point”)
  3. and finally, take action by signing up on-line your decision with the state’s organ donor registry (typically with the driver’s licensing agency)

    granddaughter, Avery

    granddaughter, Avery

. . . and then it was off in the falling snow (so beautiful) to enjoy lunch with daughter-in-law, Kim, and the ever captivating, red haired (in pig tails!), granddaughter Avery.  Son Mike had suggested this really creative restaurant, a big bank building converted to new use as a beautifully decorated for Christmas eatery.

Brick House bank/restaurant

Brick House bank/restaurant

We sat near the huge vault and enjoyed a tasty meal (Avery was SO GOOD! – a real lady out to lunch…) and family conversation, Kim obviously enjoying the opportunity to get out like this.

What a delightful way to mix business – that talk on organ donation at the college – with pleasure – the lunch with family.  Yes, life is so good…  and then to top it off, on the way home (about an hour plus drive east) I stopped in to visit with a fellow retiree from Unisys, my good and long time friend, Jim Dougherty in East Norriton.  We commiserated over the Unisys stock situation which had closed at a new low of 40 cents a share, so far from the hey days of a proud company when stock was at $120 and more.  We are both so glad to be retired now and just watching from the sidelines, feeling sad for some of our friends who are still working in such trying environments.  Leaving Jim’s I remembered that a local deli is famous for their “tomato pies” – big square crusted bread with red sauce spread all over, served cold (“ugh!” – I like my “real” pizza served hot).  Pam’s family, especially her 82 year old dad, reported loves those pies, so I stop and get this huge treat and deliver it to them on the way home.  Well you’d have thought I was delivering prime rib, they were so delighted – or maybe that was just because supper didn’t have to be made that day (smile!).

And so ends another day of “typical” living in this good life we share.  I hope your day was as interesting and fun.

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