So many of my blogs bring to mind (or spring from) a song. When deciding to blog about the death of my father, I had to really think if a song title was appropriate but I feel this is. This is not going to be some lengthy eulogy to the man that set the example for my work ethic, but a short bit on how he gave – starting with blood.
Being about my dad, I would never dismiss the 5 gallons of blood my mother has donated, yes, 40 pints from the woman that gave life to me – and to many others through that gift. My father gave 164 “units” of blood – yes, more than 20 gallons of life-giving fluid drained from that man in his silent way of giving back. What a cool act, there is nothing selfish about letting an attendant transfer life to a bag to be shared with someone in desperate need of it. So why is this even more significant, because he died of multiple myeloma – basically “blood cancer”. Some ironies in life are less humorous than others with this leading the way.
As a volunteer member of a number of charity boards, I am asked to submit my volunteer hours for their (and the government’s) records. It would have nearly been impossible for my dad to do that; with the First Baptist Church of Kingsville, OH and Camp Koinonia being two of the biggest benefactors. He did not keep track of his hours for those or any of the countless scores of individuals he personally helped through manual labor and his acquired skills. As the designated King of tree toppling at camp to the countless times he was Chairman of the Trustees; he epitomized “giving back”.
Sure, as a very young man I was angry at how much hard labor I was expected to perform – but that resentment has left in favor of fond memories of the “free time” I had to fish at Village Green Park, collect errant golf balls, trap muskrat, ride my bike, and the many other “more traditional” youth activities that seem to be lost on so many today. Then there was his love of Cheerios (pronounced Cheery-Oats); it was great, per-se, but paled in comparison to his love of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This blog would be 100000 words if I allow myself to write the details of why he was special; but those words I’ll save for another time.
I am proud to call Alice and Fred my parents; Fred Noss died on Thursday, May 16, 2013. He was my dad and his legacy is that of working hard, loving God, his family and friends, and helping others – most of whom never met him but are enjoying the fruits of his labors to this day. Happy two years in heaven dad.
If you are able – donate blood and think of my dad for a moment.