(It’s still the Second Annual DBlog week and today’s prompt is “Friday the 13th and what it does to blood sugars.” Just kidding. Today’s prompt is: What’s good about diabetes. I’m happy about this one because yesterday was inspiring but sometimes sad. Here goes:)
I thought I knew exactly what I was going to write about for this one. In fact, it was the one prompt of the week I had pretty much nailed before we even started all this. But last night I went to a coffee here in my area (that’s what we call support groups). I had not been to one in a long time. Almost immediately, I remembered why I always loved them. And almost in an instant, I knew my topic for today had changed.
Because what’s good about diabetes was surrounding me in that lovely, comfortable living room: the people we share this journey with. I knew a few of the women already (I’d delivered Bags of Hope to a handful of them; others were facebook friends). But some of them I met for the first time last night. Each was unique; each had their own challenges and strengths. I don’t want to use their real names in case they want privacy, but I’m going to highlight a few of them. Because they really are what’s good about diabetes. I hate that I have to watch my daughter deal with this. It breaks my heart every time I hear of a person joining “the club.” But it is such an honor to know the remarkable women I know in this world. Here are a few I spent time with last night (and I might add: the coffee was slated to run from 7-9 p.m. At 11:15 we were all still talking a mile a minute. Since I was from the farthest away, I was the first to leave. They might still be talking now!
*Supermom with Type 1 and with a child with Type 1:This mom has more on her plate than almost any of us. She’s had to face all this on her own ground and on behalf of her son. But she was the first person in the room to say, “Any way I can help any of you, just call me. Any time.” She talked about how she’s been determined to show her son how to just make this all a part of his life. She shared how she runs triathalons now (and spikes after almost every time). She was gracious and insightful. What a hero. (Did I mention she’s fabulous looking on the outside too? How annoying. Tee hee).
*BraveMom of an itty-bitty one: This mom had to be the youngest of all of us. Her daughter – her first child – was dx the day after her first birthday. She’s three now and on a pump. She said this to us without crying: “She bounces down the stairs on her tiny bottom and I’m thinking to myself ‘The pump! Be careful of the pump!’ But I try not to say it.’ Talk about brave and beautiful. She really amazed me on so many levels.
*The Mom with the Aura: One mom told us right away her daughter was newly diagnosed. But it wasn’t her first diagnosis. She has severe Autism too. The mother listened to some of us talk about our teens and their struggles and she said, with all candor and confidence, “You know, in a way I’m lucky. She’ll never be independent. She’ll probably never marry. She does not have friends. She has me. And in a way I’m lucky with that.” It took all our breath away; this mom’s ability to take the incredible challenge she’s been handed and turn it into a blessing. Driving home I said to another mom, “How amazing was she?” and my friend said, in all seriousness, “ You could actually see the halo over her.” Wow. What a woman. I was humbled with respect and admiration.
*The Host Mom: I happen to have known the host mom since we were kids. Her daughter, a young teen who sat in on the group and regaled us not just with teen insights but with some pretty funny comments (like imitating Wilfred Brimley. Die-ahhh-beeet-usssss!”) just shows what kind of mom she is. She opened up her lovely home to each of us, not only giving us a reason and a place to meet up, but making is so very comfortable. No wonder her daughter is doing so well. She takes each day as it comes and rises up and does what she has to, not just for her family and her daughter, but for all of us.
*The Doer Mom: This mom sat and talked to us on the same level as all of us and never even mentioned that she and her husband were the honorees of our chapter gala last year and raised just under $2 million in one night. It’s just what she does. Incredible.
*The Confident Mom: The mom I drove with is less than a year into this. It was only months ago I brought her the Bag of Hope. She was a bit scared and confused then, grappling with all the things you have to figure out. But now, she already has some special kind of grace. She is in a good place with diabetes now. Someone asked her, “Why aren’t you crying? I was a mess in the first year!” (Which most of us agreed with). She said she’s just taking it as it comes and taking the lead from her second grade daughter. I felt so proud for her. I have a feeling her confidence will continue, and be such a gift to her child.
*The Coincidence Mom: This one gave me chills. Last week my mother called me and told me to go on line to the local paper’s obits. There was the announcement of the death of a very good childhood friend of mine. I had not seen her in years, but our families grew up close. Her mom had my baby shower, for goodness sake. (her mom and dad have passed away). She had a younger brother. So I meet the mom of a newly dx boy at the coffee. I should add this coffee was in the neighborhood I lived in with my parents. Just for conversation I pointed to my old house and said to her, “I used to live right there.” She said, “Do you have a sister named Erin?” Ummm, yeah I do. Then she said her husband’s name. My recently deceased friend’s little brother. I mean, what are the chances? She lives in a town not near mine and this coffee was in a town not near either of us. I cannot wait to see her husband and give the family my friendship and support. Gave me chills.
There were so many more there. Everyone had their own take; everyone shared tips, laughs, a few tears and offers for more support in the future.
That’s what I think is good about diabetes today: The people I get to share this with. I just wish we’d all met in a wine tasting group instead.