Everyday Heroes

My father passed away 25 years ago last month. Some days I can clearly remember playing with the tools in his work truck, or eating ice cream after dinner together. Other days it feels so removed that it may have been lived by a different person, and even looking at photos can’t spark the memory. Yet the void remains, as it always will, and every day brings different reminders of his absence.

The Thanksgiving before he passed, an ulcer ruptured in his stomach, and he lost a great deal of blood. We spent the holiday in the hospital with him, his life saved after he had received significant transfusions. We didn’t realize at the time, but the wonderful people who donated that blood bought us three more precious months with my dad. Those beautiful souls, who will remain forever anonymous, took half an hour out of their day and gave us one last Christmas. Talk about paying it forward…

The past several years, I have felt it appropriate to donate blood during the month of February, in honor of my dad. As homage to the people who donated to save him, and as an affirmation for me, knowing I can help save someone else. It costs no money, and very little time, and as the American Red Cross states, “The need is constant. The gratification is instant.” The month of March has been deemed Red Cross Month since 1943, and they look forward to recognizing and celebrating the everyday heroes in our communities – those who help their neighbors by donating blood, learning a life-saving skill, volunteering, or making a financial contribution.


One pint of blood can save three lives, or at the very least give a family one more holiday. I encourage you to be an everyday hero, too.


A native New Yorker, Michelle fell in love with the Farmington Valley after graduating from UConn. She claims to know " a little about a lot", enjoying gardening, woodworking, baking and most any craft. A vegetarian since she was 11, Michelle is raising her daughter vegetarian as well. Together, they enjoy dancing, yoga, walking and bike riding to keep their minds and bodies strong.

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  1. LisaG says

    Such a precious gift time can be, any amount. You never know when you or someone you love might need a blood transfusion. At 18 yo I was admitted to the ER missing approximately 4 units of blood and required emergency transfusions. I took 6 units of blood that week I was hospitalized due to an silent bleeding ulcer no one realized I had. I am thankful every day that people took the time to donate.

    • Michelle says

      By the good graces of total strangers, you were given the support that you needed. That must have been terrifying , I hope there were no lasting repercussions. xo

  2. Candace Fitzpatrick says

    It truly is “the gift of life.” Thanks for sharing your story. I hope others are inspired to give!

  3. says

    What a great post! I lost my mom 22 years ago and I have similar feelings about her memories being very vivid at times and others, so distant. Although blood donations did not play a role in her illness, I worked in a Children’s Hospital in college and, because of that experience, I used to donate ALL the time. I’ve since gotten away from it but you just gave a me all I need to start doing it again!!! Thank you.

    • Michelle says

      So sorry for your loss, Allie, and thank you- for your past donations, as well as the future ones. I’m glad I could help spark the motivation again.

  4. vtnative says

    Great post, Michelle. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to think of others!

  5. says

    It is a true act of being a hero, for sure – Not only is it a constant need, but specifically a need for all blood types! Great post Michelle!

  6. Jenn says

    Very touching post and beautifully written. I haven’t donated blood in a number of years, but you have inspired me to donate at the next opportunity…and to try to incorporate it back into something that I just “do”. It takes so little time and barely any effort, and just the knowledge that my blood could potentially help someone is a huge reward. Thank you!