5/10/2020 0 Comments
My mother was a universal donor.
I remember her telling the story of how when she was in college a boyfriend asked her to marry him but said that before she gave him her answer she needed to read a 70-page missive that he had written by hand.
He planned on being a pastor and so much of the letter was about his expectations of her as a "good pastor's wife." One of the requirements was that she play piano in his church. My mother was in turmoil. She thought she ought to marry him but wasn't so keen on all the requirements, nor was she so keen on him. She found him a bit arrogant and he was very invested in the idea that women should be silent and subservient to their husbands.
My mother wasn't the silent type. She was also peeved that he thought her fitting, in part, because she played the piano. Finally, after much prayer and heartfelt conversations with my grandmother, she gathered her courage and told him no.
And then she found my father.
My father was very shy and my mother was extraordinarily outgoing. She basically organized the relationship and eventually, they were married.
He was a doctor headed for the Amazon and, by good fortune, she had O- blood and was a universal donor. My dad had married a walking blood bank.
In Shell, our family lived across the street from the hospital. We didn't have a telephone and when emergency patients came in at night the nurse would cross the street and throw pebbles at my parent's window to wake my father up. Frequently, if the patient needed blood, my father would return, gently wake my mother, ask my mother to stretch out her arm and take her blood.
It always made me smile that my mother was annoyed by the pastor who assumed she would play piano in his church, but not phased by the doctor who would take her blood whenever a patient needed it.
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