Apple didn’t fall far from tree
by Chris Collett
March 03, 2013 12:00 AM | 1592 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Collett<br>Columnist
Chris Collett
At lunch the other day I ran in to Clay and Evelyn Poole. I have known them and their children all of my life. I went to church with the Poole family at Chalcedonia Baptist, where Clay has been a deacon for many years.

But this particular column will dwell on something I discussed with them that day.

Up until last fall, Chalcedonia had a pastor that unfortunately had some serious health issues. To say serious health issues can mean a lot of things. So let me say his issues involved being on a kidney transplant list and having to undergo dialysis every day.

This man is not the only person I know in this position and it is undoubtedly tiring both mentally and physically on those that have to live like this as they wait for a phone call.

Now understand that this pastor was not related to the Poole family or any other member of the church that I am aware of. He was simply a man doing God’s work in need of a bodily organ.

Robert Poole is one of the children of Clay and Evelyn. Robert and his wife, Cindy, not only attend church regularly, but they also are instrumental as leaders in their church.

Robert knew what his pastor was going through with his medical issues. So what did he do?

Did he say, “I’ll be praying for you?” He may have, but he didn’t stop there.

Did he say, “Let me know if you need a ride to the doctor and I will take you?” It is possible, but he didn’t stop there.

Robert Poole simply did something that some people might do for a close relative. And I say might do because not everyone would do what Robert did even in that situation.

Robert told his pastor that he wanted to donate him a kidney so he could be healthy again. This is not like offering someone a tooth. This is a major organ that is essential to life.

Now, I know we have two of them. But if we give one away and the remaining one goes bad it could mean lights out.

After much testing was done, Robert found out that his kidney wasn’t a match for his pastor. This would have really been a good time if one would have been inclined to say, “Well, I tried.” But he didn’t stop there.

No. Robert still offered up a kidney to the hospital in exchange for his pastor getting one in return. Unfortunately, even that doesn’t happen by merely being willing. Apparently a lot of things must fall in to place first.

But when I saw Clay and Evelyn, I felt inclined to say something to them about this act of kindness their son had done. Parents are often proud of the accomplishments of their children. But Clay and Evelyn must have known in their hearts when Robert told them of his plan that they had done something right in raising him.

They may have even questioned his decision. I think most parents would. But they had raised him to do right. And what he was doing is as right as it gets.

I have been on this earth for over 50 years now. I have seen a lot of good and a lot of bad during my lifetime. But Robert Poole offering a bodily organ to someone of no natural relations was the most selfless act I have ever seen.

Robert and Cindy Poole are not attention seekers now, nor have they ever been. As a matter of fact, this is only the second time since I started writing for the Tribune that I have called and asked permission to write about someone. I needed to make sure he was comfortable with seeing his name in print.

But this story needed to be told. I have met lots of people who have felt their self-worth and importance. I have met lots of people who believe they live lives beyond reproach. They tell you how good they are and gossip about those they believe don’t measure up.

But you won’t hear those kinds of comments come from Robert and Cindy Poole. They just go through life doing the right thing and keeping it to themselves.

As I spoke to Clay and Evelyn about Robert, they weren’t boastful. They were humble. I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.

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