Write On! Harvest, full moon

Published 9:08 am Thursday, October 21, 2021

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The Write On! program sponsored by Davie County Public Library gives local writers the opportunity to share stories with others. Participants meet virtually once a month to read aloud their original stories written in response to the assigned prompts. The next meeting is Monday, Nov. 2 at 4 p.m.; interested persons can link in by going to the library Facebook page and clicking on the meeting link or contacting Jazmyne Baylor at jbaylor@daviecountync.gov. The November prompts are: “Lost in the Forest” and “Veterans.”
The October prompts, “harvest” and “full moon” yielded the following two stories.

Harvesting Life
By Jane McAllister
The horrendous accident killed three people in the vehicle outright while the fourth, whisked by ambulance to the hospital emergency room, underwent evaluation by the surgical team preparatory to performing whatever medical measures they could to save his life. Sadly, a brain scan soon revealed an acute subdural hematoma had already rendered the brain beyond repair. The lead surgeon informed the parents that their son was not coming back from his brain injuries and that only the life support system was keeping him tethered to life. While the shattered parents sat by their son’s bedside, hospital staff informed the local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) representative of the situation.
The OPO representative met with the parents to discuss organ donation. She determined that the patient had not registered as an organ donor and asked the parents if they had considered organ donation. Despite the scale of his injuries, several of his organs potentially could be transplanted into other people, people facing life threatening situations themselves with no options available to them other than organ transplantation. In this way, a tragic loss of one life could give new life to several others. The parents consented and after saying good-bye to their son, the life support system was shut down. Their son left them within hours. The transplant team, having determined which organs and tissues could be donated, matched them to potential recipients in the national database based on such factors as blood type, geographic location, and wait time.
Later that day, Kelly underwent a kidney transplant in a hospital two hours away. She had been waiting anxiously for two years for this opportunity, her only chance to be able to watch her two children grow up.
Shawn’s heart transplant surgery took much of that night in a hospital six hours away after the donated heart had been airlifted to that location. Shawn could feel the difference immediately upon waking and wept tears of joy at being given a new start.
Gretchen had lost her sight in a freak accident three years earlier and missed seeing colors, facial expressions, and words on a page. The cornea transplant she received brought back her sight, and she picked up gratefully where she had left off years ago.
All three organ recipients wrote letters of sympathy and of appreciation to the next of kin of the organ donor, which were delivered by their respective hospitals to the original hospital and then forwarded to the parents. Their decision, amid their heartbreak and loss, had a multiplier effect for others. Somehow, knowing that their beloved son’s death had enabled new and restored lives for others, helped to ameliorate their grief.

Autumn Traditions around the World
By Linda H. Barnette
Autumn, fall, the cooling season, whatever it is called, is celebrated in many different ways around the world. In this article, I will share a few.
In Scotland, Halloween, for example, is celebrated on All Hallow’s Eve, the evening before All Saint’s Day in October. It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until Halloween Eve, which was the last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before going to the next world. So they would wear costumes to “disguise” their identities. Trick or treating is called “guising” in that country. Also, children only go to homes that have carved pumpkins outside.
The Halloween “Jack-o-Lantern” dates back as far as the 1500’s in Ireland. A blacksmith called Stingy Jack made a deal with the Devil to never claim his soul, but when he died, God wouldn’t let him into Heaven. Therefore, Jack was doomed to walk the earth for all eternity with a burning candle to light the way, hence the name “Jack-O-Lantern.”
In Mexico people celebrate what is called “The Day of the Dead” on November 1 and 2. Relatives put food, flowers, and clothing on the graves of their loved ones in a tradition that some say dates back to the Aztecs. It is somewhat similar to what people here did in the old days, called Decoration Day, when families put new flower on their family graves. Some of us still do that with each new season.
In Korea people celebrate what is called Chuseok, a harvest festival in early fall. This is a time of reuniting with families and can include traveling to ancestral homes. Families decorate the graves of relatives, play games, and enjoy special foods. It’s a special holiday to honor ancestors and goes on for a period of 3 days.
In Africa there is what they call the Festival of the Yams, which is a yearly celebration of the new yam crops. It is a time for thankfulness and hope that there will not be a famine in their land.
On the 5th of November every city and town in the United Kingdom have bonfires, fireworks, and general celebrations of the fact that Guy Fawkes instigated a plot to overthrow King James I. The conspiracy failed, and Fawkes was arrested. Each year at the celebrations, people throw a scarecrow representing Fawkes into a huge bonfire.
Here in America, Thanksgiving has been a special autumn holiday since 1780 when a group of native Americans and 50 surviving Pilgrims from the Mayflower started this tradition after their first harvest in 1621. Families still get together for big Thanksgiving dinners every November.
It is interesting to know the various traditions that some of ours derived from.