It was 1994, I was 14 years old at the time when one of the most horrifying events transpired in my life. The dreaded phone call that no one wants to receive. If I remember correctly, it was a Sunday morning and I was still asleep when the call came. My grandmother was hit by a car the night before at a high rate of speed and things weren't looking good. My mother and I rushed to the hospital where we were notified that it would be the last time we would be seeing her.
My grandmother lived on a very busy section of Granville in south Vancouver and it was when she was crossing the street she has crossed countless times before that she was hit at a high rate of speed, one foggy night. Her injuries were horrific, to say the least. Both her arms and legs were broken, she had multiple broken ribs, and the back of her skull was basically broken. When we were finally allowed into the dimly lit ICU ward, I couldn't even recognize her. Half of her pillow was soaked with blood and I didn't want to touch her for fear of hurting her. At that point she was already declared brain dead, but I thought.. "She must be hurting.." That would be the last time I would be seeing one of the very few people in my life who actually cared about me. I was in such shock, that I felt numb. I didn't cry, I just felt empty and lost. I didn't say anything to her, I didn't touch her, I just stood there in shock, looking at her pillow. I can't remember how long we were there for, but it was brief. The time came and went and then... the shutting off of life support. That was the last time I saw her and I regret not telling her I loved her. Not many people know what love actually is at that age.
I regret not seeing her more often. I miss the elaborate dinners she would cook whenever we visited. She was the most quiet, humble, caring person I'm my life, and probably still is. But the thing that bothers me most is that our relationship never had the chance to develop. As a young kid, you just say "Hey Mahmah!! (grandma..!!)" I never really had any meaningful conversations with her at that age.. And I never will.
While I didn't realize at that time that she most probably received blood products, she was the woman who made me realize the significance of being a donor. While the blood she received didn't save her life, it bought enough time for us as her family to see her one last time, and that is just as important as a donors blood saving another's life. I can't say I started donating right after that (I only started last year), it was only as an adult, thinking back to that day, that I knew the significance of what a donor can do. And because of that, I am grateful. Because of that, I will be a donor for the rest of my life. I only hope that I can make a positive, tangible difference and impact in someone's life and for their family when they need it the most.
I miss you Mahmah..! Love you.