DEAR ABBY: I am 17 years old and have had my driver's license for a year.
While growing up I considered donating my organs, but my mind wasn't made up until I saw a letter in your column.I would really appreciate it if you would run that piece again. It changed my outlook on donating organs, and maybe it will change someone else's. - JOLYN OWEN, NEWARK, OHIO
DEAR JOLYN: That letter came from the father of a boy named Michael, and now is an appropriate time to rerun it because this is National Organ/Tissue Donor Awareness Week:
DEAR ABBY: Last May, our 22-year-old son, Michael, was involved in a motorcycle accident. He was pronounced brain-dead three days later. Because of an article in your column, he carried an organ donor card in his wallet. The Lord took our precious son 10 days later, but we were comforted knowing that Michael gave two blind people the gift of sight, and a young father who had been on a kidney machine for three years is now living a normal life.
Abby, please let your readers know how to will their organs after death. - MICHAEL'S FATHER
DEAR FATHER: My heart goes out to you and your family on the loss of your beloved son. May I again offer this beautiful essay written by Robert N. Test:
TO REMEMBER ME
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." Call it my "bed of life," and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to a 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 has been 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 someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her windows.
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 my prejudice against my fellow man.
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 you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.