Chillin’ with Adam with Alison Ailfinn Allan & Special Guest: Anne Frank
“One way or another the Nazis tried to take away our freedoms, but you cannot take away the freedom of thought. Nobody can take away your freedom in your head. Nobody. Only you can do that.” – Anne Frank
I’m a self-confessed chicken. 🐣 🐥
That’s me on the left, too afraid to get all the way out of the egg.
Knowing how the Holocaust turned out for the Jews, I never read Anne Frank’s book, “Diary of a Young Girl,” written from age thirteen to fifteen during the two years Anne spent in hiding with her family. I’ve also never seen “The Titantic” or “Schindler’s List.”
It seems I put the tragedy I was to experience in my Soul Contracts.
Like Anne, I know that no matter what happens, I signed up for it, with a pledge to plant whatever’s on that flag on the highest mountaintop.
My oldest son, Adam, died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident. The day Adam got his driver’s license at age 26, he asked me about becoming an organ donor.
Who waits until he’s 26 to get a driver’s license?
Adam. He did everything his own way, no matter how anyone else did it.
Once Adam made up his mind to get his license, he studied the driver’s handbook, went to the DMV and took the test. The same way he graduated from high school at age fifteen. He studied for the California High School Proficiency Exam and went down and took the test. I’ll admit, I was surprised that Adam passed both tests on the first try. Not that Adam wasn’t smart, his non-verbal IQ was off the charts. He just didn’t spend a lot of time studying.
I smiled when Adam asked me about becoming an organ donor, thinking of Sara, a former client. Sara and her husband, Abe, were in their forties when I knew them. I taught independent living skills to adults with developmental disabilities. Sara and Abe lived together in a one bedroom house near where Sara worked. Abe took a bus down to the port of Stockton, where he made good money. Good natured Abe rarely missed a day. Sara was not as good-natured as her husband. She leaned a little toward the cranky side, which made making her laugh especially rewarding.
I met with Sara and Abe a couple of times a week to assist them with grocery shopping, meal preparation, and paying bills. The day Sara and I visited the DMV to get her California Identification card, I filled out the application for her while standing in line.
When I asked whether she’d like to be an organ donor, Sara replied, “What’s that?”
“An organ donor is someone who saves other people’s lives by donating one of their organs when they don’t need them anymore;” I replied, “like your heart.”
Sara looked horrified.
“My heart!” she exclaimed, loud enough to cause the folks in front of us to turn around and stare at me suspiciously.
Before I could explain further, Sara relented.
“Well, okay,” she said resignedly, “but they won’t like it.”
Suppressing a laugh as I realized the full scope of Sara’s answer, my heart swelled at her generosity. She was willing to donate her heart if it would save someone else’s life, despite the grief the goddam thing had given her!
Adam was an organ donor. His pancreas, liver, and kidneys greatly improved the lives of three individuals; and saved the lives of a man and woman in need of life-saving transplants.
What is Adam’s Gift?
Adam’s first gift was letting us know that he is still here.
Adam’s second gift was the decision to become an organ donor.
An organ donor myself, I strongly encouraged Adam to check the box next to, “YES.” Because of Adam’s generous gift, the mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, wives, husbands, children, and friends of Adam’s recipients still have their loved ones.
Here I sit in reverence of modern medicine; marveling over the fact that organs that were once inside of me are still taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide, filtering blood, producing insulin, enzymes, proteins, and bile.
When I asked Adam if he is aware of his recipients, he said, “I can feel their gratitude.”
So can I.
Adam’s on-going gift is his strong desire to assist others; thus our blog, Chillin’ with Adam YouTube Channel, and our upcoming book, Adam’s Gift.
Our journey down the rabbit hole should come with the warning label, “Leave mental bread crumbs to find your way back out.”
I have a hard time getting my head around some of it myself.
My new definition of crazy has more to do with not denying my own reality than any criteria in the DSM-V. In this lifetime, my flag might say, “OUR DEPARTED LOVED ONES ARE STILL HERE.” In the 1400’s, it might have said, “THE WORLD IS ROUND.”
There have always been trail-blazers and there will always be naysayers.
According to Adam, “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you love yourself.”
When asked whether there are any last words she’d like to share, Anne left us with the following:
No matter what you think your prison is, and a lot of people do think they are in prison. They think their lives are imprisoning them. That is a fallacy. No matter what your circumstances, you’re not in a prison. Only in your head can you be in prison. Your thoughts should set you free. No matter what your circumstances, your thoughts should set you free. Try not to think of yourself as a victim of your circumstances because you’re not a victim of circumstances. You are a sovereign being who’s made choices that did not serve you, possibly, and so you also have the right to change those choices to things that do serve you. That would be my only gift.
My parting words would be:
“Make choices that serve you, rather than choices that don’t serve you. You’re not in prison no matter what you think is going on. You are free to do whatever you want to do in the life you have chosen.'” — Anne Frank
Next up with Emma: Wyatt Earp & Doc Holliday
Next up with Alison: Marie Curie
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