Why us? Why my baby? Why did this happen?...I have spoken those words in conversation, screamed them at the top of my lungs in anger and frustration, written them down while trying to see through the tears falling out of my eyes in the attempt to just get them the hell out of my head already, and simply thought them while trying to fall asleep at night...my head on the pillow...praying with my whole heart and soul that I would wake up the next day and this whole life with diabetes would turn out to just be a bad dream.
Well, this afternoon I caught a glimpse of the reason why. Emma and I went to a luncheon at the Business Trades Union here. Every year the Union holds a golf tournament to raise money and support JDRF. Over the past 5 years they have raised around $100,000. Emma was invited to give a speech to the members so she could express to them how greatful we are for their involvement and support. Also to sort of put a face behind it all and explain to them what life is like with diabetes...and what a cure would mean to her.
We arrived and Emma started telling me that she was nervous to go up to the podium and talk in front of everyone....but that she really wanted to do it anyway. She is amazing to me...she's only 7 and she is so full of determination and perseverance. I tried to talk with her and ease her tension and make her realize that it would be ok...there was nothing to worry about. I usually resort to humour in situations like this...so I actually got her laughing pretty good. Anyway, when they called her up there...I held her hand and walked up with her. It struck me at that moment...seeing her little legs marching up the steps and walking to the podium...standing on top of a step stool so she could see over the top of it and reach the microphone. She is so little...so young...and so brave beyond her years. She began talking and got very nervous, so I wound up helping her out and reading the rest of the speech for her while she stood next to me with my arm around her. I finished reading it, said thank you, and finally looked up from the piece of paper the speech was written on....everyone was standing up...they were all applauding for her...for my sweet brave girl. The Union then presented her with a cheque for $14,000 for JDRF. Amazing! So proud of her for her first attempt at public speaking. There have been countless times over the years where I have fought back the tears stinging my eyes...blinking and blinking trying to stop them from coming. Well, it took everything I had not to let the tears fall today...standing there seeing all of those people who don't know us...they don't know my girl...they don't know what she goes through every day with this stupid disease. Yet, there they all were cheering her on and supporting her.
That sight and that moment showed me exactly why us...why my baby...why this happened. We are here on this Earth for such a short amount of time really. While we are here, we need to do whatever we can to make it a better place. I think diabetes has given us the chance to do that. Emma has never been one to sit back and let things happen around her. I am so beyond proud of her for what she wants to do with her situation. Diabetes is hard. She could easily just sit back and do nothing except hope for a cure to happen one day. Instead, even though it may seem too hard or scary or intimidating...SHE is choosing to be a part of things...she is trying to make a difference. I am amazed by her and I can't wait to see what she wants to do next.