I was just now thinking about the first time when Lois and I went to visit my transplant clinic. It was May 22nd and it was on a Thursday. It was a year and a day ago. Everything was still so new to us then. I was in the process of switching transplant clinics and we were just getting familiar with the new doctors and transplant coordinator. Lois was asking the doctor a bunch of questions. She had just asked him how many people were on the waiting list in our region. I remember the doctor reaching into the upper left hand pocket of his overcoat and fumbling with a small notebook and a pen and some glasses until he found what he was looking for -- it was a 4 x 8 sheet with dozens of names and numbers on it. I remember thinking how tiny it was. The doctor held it up and you could see everyone's blood type. On one side of the list he had scribbled all of the O's. O positives and negatives. On the other side there were A's and B's and AB's. He was explaining to us how nothing could be certain. People were put on the list and taken off of it all the time. The only thing constant about it was that it was always changing.
Somehow the conversation had changed and we were talking about the doctor rotations and who was on-call that weekend. It was his weekend. The Long Weekend he said. At first I didn't get it until my wife mumbled something. I thought he was talking about working a four-day weekend. But that wasn't exactly what he was saying, either. He was saying that this was The Long Weekend. One of them. And then I understood. This was That weekend. The one where people go away and don't come back. Where the interstate can be a very dangerous place to be. Where inattentive or impaired drivers can change the mortality rate. He was saying that this could be a very busy weekend.
I remember feeling a shiver run down my spine as that realization hit me. For some people a weekend like this could be a good thing. A new lease on life. And for other people it could be devastating. So plainly put, this information had me wiping tears away from my eyes.
Be truly safe everyone.