44. Victory on the mountain
Sunday September 15th I declared a date for a celebration. It was the first Sunday after Sept. 11th and a perfect day for a ceremony to commemorate the victory I had won. Five years earlier it may have felt like a defeat when I was forbidden to just mention to my clients that God loves them. I had been tempted to provoke an industrial dispute over my gagging. How glad I felt now that I had not insisted on my rights of freedom of speech or expression etc. at the time. God knew best.
The eternal truth about God and HIS son would not be squashed forever. John 3 and Verse 16 flashed across the screens of thousands of visitors to my website from around the world. The animated proclamation in between car crashes made up for all my years of silence. It made an impact far beyond my wildest imagination. There was no doubt God’s will was being done.
Months earlier I had suggested to my ex-MCA workmates, for the outing on May 26th to choose Victor Harbour as destination and to invite our ex-boss to join us. As a grand finale I pictured us climbing “the Bluff”, a prominent landmark with million dollar views over Encounter Bay, and sharing a bottle of champagne to celebrate a win for all.
September 15th turned out somewhat similar. It was my personal victory celebration on a smaller scale. I had offered to take one of my students and his family on a picnic in our family car to Victor Harbour. It was a refugee family, Jacob and Rebekah from the Sudan, and their three cute little girls, aged 5, 3 and 5 months. My wife Isobel made a picnic basket for us, but did not join. She had a headache and enjoyed a break from her active husband occasionally. We would have had to take 2 cars also.
The weather wasn’t perfect; it was windy but not cold. The kids played on the old steam locomotive at the foreshore by the beach. Jacob and I gave them a ride in the electric cars by the beach. We walked up to town along the main street and bought the kids an ice cream. The girls liked me, especially the 5-year old, I could tell. She wanted me to give her a picky-back, so I did having had plenty of experience from 25 years earlier.
While walking around Victor Harbour I thought I recognized a young lady, the one that lead the music at our previous church. My memory for remembering faces seldom fails me. The next day a photo in the Advertiser showed our tennis star Lleyton Hewitt, the world’s number 1 player, give a picky-back to a young child. He is not even a father. I didn’t know what to make of that? What did it matter anyway?
Jacob and Rebekah with their lovely children at the Police Academy's Open day on 2/3/03.
The wind stopped us from venturing onto Granite Island, a picturesque island just off-shore and connected to the mainland by a long wooden walkway. Despite the wind, which blew even stronger on top of the Bluff, I would not miss out on my symbolic victory toast. It was not Champagne nor did I share it with the person originally planned for. Nothing mattered as Jacob and I posed for a photo, taken by a tourist, as Rebekah stayed in the car with the three children. It was fun trying to find a little shelter from the wind and to drink the fruit juice I had carried to the top for that purpose. Jacob giggled in typical African fashion as he and I spilled fruit juice all over us.
I wondered what Jacob thought of all this. The object was achieved, the family to have a nice excursion and I to have my celebration. On the way home Jacob took over the wheel for the last 30 kilometres, giving him extra driving practice.
In the weeks following the upload of Crash 7 on the internet I noticed unusual ads and linked them. At least two advertisements mentioned ‘cutting corners’. One was a huge sign above the Britannia Hotel near Adelaide’s worst traffic hazard. The Britannia Roundabout, an intersection of five roads with an odd shaped roundabout in the centre. The billboard was so large and conspicuous it was claimed to be a distraction to drivers, according to the TV news.
In the Advertiser on Monday 16/09/02, page 43 I read a report about Australian golfer Robert Allenby competing in the Pennsylvania Golf Classic Tournament. He was extremely lucky scoring a hole-in-one at the 17th with a 5-iron, 210 yards drive. I noticed the figures and wrote in my diary: “Surely, they don’t make this up?” By this time I was in control of my life. What may have stirred me earlier to react and send an email to highlight such ‘co-incidence’, I now just accepted it and left it at that. To me it was a sign I was healthy again.
Since we had the Advertiser newspaper delivered I spent a few minutes reading it during breakfast and at odd times during the day. One morning an article together with a photo caught my attention. A girl desperate for a transplant advertised in the newspaper for a volunteer to come forward to donate one kidney. She was prepared to meet the medical costs associated with testing for a matching organ. The only stipulation was the donor had to be either blood type A or O.
My first reaction was one of compassion. I emailed an interest and visited the websites given as reference. I had a habit of volunteering, saying yes I can do it and later questioning my wisdom of sticking my neck out. This character trait got me into a few dilemmas, but also kept boredom away. To highlight the young lady’s plight even further the newspaper published a follow up article a few days later.
During one of my prayer sessions doubts started rising in my mind. A few facts did not quite add up. The girl’s name Nancy can be scrambled to ‘Y an ‘n c’? The photo in the paper showed Nancy’s mother crying in the background as she sat next to a piano. Further, the blood group A or O, like the letters of her name, were my special letters. I sensed something odd, took a gamble and emailed a letter on the morning of 17/9/02: (An email address had been supplied. I sent a copy to Rebekah at the Advertiser).
After sending you my last email I read the second article in the Advertiser. It shows how desperate you must be.
It’s disappointing that not more men have replied. That father of four who responded may need his spare kidney for one of his children one day.
I talked to my GP last night and consulted HIM about becoming an organ donor. Before I go into HIS advice I would like to answer a few questions. Why did the Advertiser still run such a huge ad on page 21, when they virtually gave you all of page 5? I hate seeing you spend more money. It must be costing you a fortune already these tests of possible A's and O's?
We do have something in common, Nancy. I also travelled at age 19 years, filled with hopes and ambitions. The dreams came a bit later. But that fact is unlikely going to help us match our kidneys.
When I mentioned to my daughter (she trained as a nurse for 3.5 years) that I am thinking of volunteering to donate one of my organs, she questioned my motives. I can't blame her. So many things happened lately, that I am feeling the pressure to save the world. I can really identify with old Philip Ruddock, who (co-incidence) once went out with my first wife Isobel in the 1960's).
It must be demoralising, having had two failed attempts for an organ transplant. I bet all your hopes rest on this third try. Don't they say - third time lucky?
I did visit those websites you suggested, very informative. Another 52 year old donated his organ. One thing against my suitability would be my intake of beer, even though I only drink the low-alcohol variety (0.5%).
We are all worried about my mental health, if I don't follow the call to become an organ donor. You know best that once the seed of an idea is sown nothing can squash the passion growing inside. So as a win/win alternative we have decided that I ought to keep my spare kidney, but offer you our organ instead. It would fit nicely beside the Piano into the spot where your mother is crying her eyes out on your behalf.
To facilitate your top spot on the organ donor list, please fill in the following questionnaire and send it back to me immediately:
Your name: ....... (Names do play a major role in our organisation. We may decode it, but will keep it confidential)
Your postcode: ..... (Please confirm it is 5069, we lived there once, now we live in 5096 - it is so easy to switch numbers by mistake)
Do you have a pet and what kind? ..... (It may sound weird, but the organ to be donated makes cats shriek terribly. Anyone singing while playing makes dogs howl).
What keys will the organ be played in mainly? ..... (It has never played the keys of C and N before. Don't ask us Y).
Have you ever had an organ donated before? ...
(This is to ensure that you are not the same recipient as the one we donated to four years ago. We attended a church at the time. By co-incidence, I bumped into this pastor's ex car VLG 825 yesterday but no damage done).
Do you think it's possible that Christian men hate non-Christian woman? ..... (This question has less to do with the organ transfer, but to ensure that the donors motives are not misunderstood)
Again, my apologies for not being led to donate a kidney at this time. Please consider accepting an organ instead. Kind regards
Dieter Fischer, also known as
Bob D. Fischer
Driving Plus Motor School
Your safety is driving P L us
PS. Ms. Rieniets, featured in Sat. Advertiser lives near you. Her positive attitude to life may persuade her to help you on this occasion. (But then, she had four children...) You could try Terri Irwin. If not donating a kidney, with being seen in 35 countries, having made 50 programs earning $ 30 Mill. annually, they perhaps could donate some cash? I wish I was that rich; but I am ...
A whole file of codes was crammed into this letter. It was fact that the day before I was about to exit a car park when I spotted the vehicle of our ex-pastor at the Tranmere Motor Registration office. I drove back into the parking bay and asked the lady driver, still sitting in her vehicle: “Excuse me, where did you buy the car from?” She said she had bought it at a car yard and confirmed my memory; it was owned by a tall man, a pastor.
It was also fact that we had donated an organ some years earlier to a person, who had advertised in the church bulletin, to receive an unwanted organ as donation.
Within an hour after sending this email letter I happened to see the same Nancy on Melbourne’s TV program “Today Show”. She explained her case and her plea for an organ donor to a television audience numbering millions. I felt silly all of a sudden. If I was wrong in all of this I had just sent a very insulting letter to someone already in deep distress. Had I goofed up? What a fool had I made of myself? How disrespectful of me to make fun of this girl! Doubts were my constant companion.
Yet I never heard anything about Nancy, her organ transplant or my ‘’funny’ email. To this day I don’t know the truth of the matter. But as I prayed to God many times: “Lord I do what I feel you want me to do. Please keep me from making silly mistakes.” If anyone wanted to call this “passing the buck” I had to agree with them that it was, in a way. Yet, I was convinced HE could even work magic utilizing my mistakes. The risk of being disobedient, in my opinion, was greater than that of making a fool of myself.
Autobiography - Dieter Fischer
1. More in number 2. A sound mind 3. Now I'm found 4. Candle and the Wind
5. Realm of Nature 6. All in his Hand 7. The Wonder of it All 8. To Think God loves