Clocking Out

Every person’s life changes the world.

The impact a person has sometimes is obvious, but sometimes it is immeasurable.

What we choose to do for a living is normally based on one of two factors. Some people select their jobs based primarily on money, while a rare few put aside the goal of a high salary to truly make a difference.

She was in junior high when she knew that she wanted to work in the medical field. She thought she wanted to become a nurse, but the sight of blood didn’t sit well with her. So she became a medical technologist.

Med techs, as they’re called, are laboratory scientists. They analyze and test fluids and tissues. Med techs don’t make nearly as much as nurses or doctors, but they do make the world a better place.

Part of her knowledge she shared as an instructor at the college level, part of it working in blood banking. The rest she spent toiling for years in a lab to do the important work that is required for a kidney transplant program to match up kidney donors with kidney recipients.

Thousands of people in America are on a kidney transplant list. The reasons that people need a new kidney can vary, but for most, dialysis keeps them alive until someone’s family donates their loved one’s organs after death, or a living donor gives up one of theirs if they are a match and choose to do so.

Kidney transplants don’t happen 8-5. They happen when a donor kidney is available. So, days, nights, weekends, and holidays, while others were basking in the sun on a boat, or enjoying a beverage on the patio, quite often, she could be found in a lab coat doing the scientific work required to match a donor and a recipient.

Most of us would be terrified of that responsibility, but not her. She embraced it.

When someone would ask her what she did for a living, a smile would cross her face and she would excitedly tell people of her work. She never told them that what she did allowed people she’d never met to have another birthday, celebrate another Christmas, watch a child graduate, or see their grandchildren grow up.

No, she talked of her work, but not of its amazing reach into the lives of thousands of people. People she didn’t know, nor would she ever meet.

Most folks complain about their job. They pick a field for the money, or they simply settle for a career that they don’t like.

She was one of the rare few who not only liked her job, she loved it.

She never did it for credit or recognition; she did it because she excelled at it, and because it helped people.

Tomorrow, she hands off the baton to someone new. Someone, who, like her, chose this profession.

She’s given a lot to many. Now, she will turn a new page in her life. From now on, her time is her own.

Yes, we all change the world. But, some of us do it selflessly and with joy.

My wife has made a difference. And I couldn’t be more proud of her.

©2015 John Moore

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