Don’t Waste Your Pain

blood drive2013

If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing nothing for nobody.” ~ Malcom Bane

My chair had to be leaned all the way back with my feet in the air.

Nausea hit me. Hard.

“You are a fast bleeder”, she reminded me. “Breathe deep”.

And I breathed deeply and smiled thinking of Zack laughing at me saying “Mommy I can’t believe you feel sick from giving a little blood.”
And I thought of the color returning to his face after a blood transfusion and kept squeezing the thingie in my hand.

My friend in the chair next to me was having her own issues with the needle going in. And I laughed at her. And she laughed at me. And Mayo kept taking my picture.


We were the last of the blood donors at a drive that honored the memory of our 12 year old son, Zack. I spent the day humbled by the overflow of love from friends, family and strangers who came and waited and gave so that another might live.

A precious technician named Cynthia came over to check on me and shared her story with me. Her teenage son was murdered. His name was Rodney. It was in her darkest days, she explained, that she grew close to God. My heart hurt and rejoiced as she shared her precious story with me.

Because don’t we all have a story to tell?

Tragedies. Disease. Financial troubles. Prodigal children. Job loss. Relationships.

Some stories we share with the world.

Some stories we keep secret.

And if you have not been broken by someone or something – just wait – because eventually, you will have a story.

You can’t really plan for them.
They sneak up in the middle of our nights, or they steal our happiest moments, or they destroy our happy ending.

But if we seek comfort from the world rather than from God, our trials will surely be wasted.

And our hurt is healed best when we reach out to others who are hurting.

The apostle Paul wrote that God who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:4-5
Don’t waste your pain.

God can use me.

God can use YOU.

To help someone else.

He can open up our heart and give us opportunities to minister to people in ways we never have before.

Giving blood – giving life – in the very room where our sweet Zack graduated fifth grade fills my heart with joy. It was the last day we would share as a family before our journey with liver cancer began.

Watching others give their own blood, in honor of his memory, assures me he has not been forgotten. And his memory will flow through the veins of others.

Thank you all for remembering with us.

Be blessed.

~~~ Thank you to Parsley Elementary School and Principal Robin Hamilton for allowing us to hold the blood drive there. Thank you to WECT and TV14 for promoting the drive. Thank you to all the family, friends and strangers who donated here. We collected 118 units of blood!!

Zackery Ernest Mayo 9-17-1998 ~5-28-2011

Zackery Ernest Mayo 9-17-1998 ~5-28-2011


carolyn cline

carolyn cline donated near her home in Charlotte. I have never met her but she is very precious to our family!


a little brothers delivers fliers promoting a blood drive in memory of a big brother

blood drive

blood on the way to save lives…

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6 thoughts on “Don’t Waste Your Pain

  1. hi there~ I have foliowed ur story from the beginning and still follow ur journey entries and think of u often. i wanted to donate in honor of zack but due to some health issues I am on a break from donating. next year hope to be there to support . bless your family and your strength, Erin

  2. I will remember Zack every time we give. I hope to know you better by next year’s She Speaks and hopefully we both are led to attend. You have a beautiful spirit, Wendy…. 😀

  3. Wendy – So thankful much blood was received at the blood drive. What an honor and memory of your dear Zack that so many came and donated. You have ministered to so many during these two years since Zack’s death and inspired numerous people. I always look forward to hearing from you through these sites, and hope someday to pick up a book authored by you. My brother lost his 22 year old son 2 1/2 years ago but has never used his pain the way you have, and I pray he will someday minister to others through the pain he experiences every day at the loss of his only child. You are such a blessing!!! Thank you for sharing YOUR story and Zack’s!!! He will always remain in our hearts and you and your family in our prayers.
    Linda Norton

  4. Hi, Couldn’t give this year because of feeling poorly. Will give at a later date in Zack’s name. You can give blood in memory of someone at any time and Red Cross will mark it plus give you a card to send to the family. I never seem to send my card to you so I don’t know if they notify the family or just expect the donor to do that. I ride by Parsley and your neighborhood everyday and think of your precious angel, Zack.