During our travels today, Emma and I went to Chapters (Canada's version of Barnes and Noble) to take a look around and try to find some new books to read. They have a really neat kids section of the store actually and Emma made a quick beeline for it as soon as we walked in. She found one of those plasma cars hanging about and hopped on to ride it around the store and browse the shelves. As I made my way around following her, I happened to glance up and see a grandmother pushing her grandaughter around in a stroller. The little girl appeared to be around 2 years old, her face was very swollen, she had no hair, and there was a nasty looking scar going all the way across the top of her head. My heart hurt instantly. I don't know what was wrong with the little girl, but I am assuming she had cancer. I noticed Emma stop dead in her tracks and sit there on the plasma car silently checking out this little girl. After about 30 seconds of looking at her, Emma continued on about her business in search of a special book. I didn't say anything to Emma...I was waiting to see what she would say to me actually. After a while we both made our way to the grownup section of the store so I could find something. As we were walking along, Emma finally said to me, "Mommy? did you see that little girl with no hair? What's wrong with her? Why doesn't she have any hair?" I looked down at Emma and saw a complete look of innocence and curiosity in her eyes. I told her that I wasn't sure, but that I thought the little girl probably had cancer. Emma accepted the answer and ran ahead to see what else she could find. I looked around and caught a glimpse of the little girl, her grandmother, and her mother all sitting in this cute little teacup shaped chair reading a book. I couldn't help but watch the mother. I saw her with one arm around her child, reading this book...she had a huge smile on her face and was reading very animatedly to her baby girl.
I know that diabetes is not easy...it is the hardest thing that I have ever had to handle in my life. I would never in a million years want to seem like I am belittling (SP?) this disease. At times I have felt like I have been through hell and back dealing with it. I look at my child and think Why her? Why not me? I pray, I fundraise, I educate those who ask, I try to be a good person, I try to teach my daughter to be a good person. I learn every single day...I try...I do my best. I saw that mother and my heart ached for her. On some sort of level I could relate to her pain and anguish....but I know that I could never FULLY understand or relate. Her child may not live to see tomorrow and there is absolutely nothing she could do to prevent that. There is no managing cancer...there is no carb counting, blood sugar checking....there's nothing she can do or change...she simply has to give all the control over to doctors..people who she doesn't really truly know. I could never relate to that feeling. I wanted to go to her and hug her...from one mother to another...I wanted to hug her and tell her that I am sorry for what she is going through. I wanted to tell her that I am in awe of her strength..sitting there living in the moment...simply reading a story to her child...enjoying that time to the fullest extent.
I didn't go up to her though...I didn't want to interrupt her special moment. I didn't want to ruin it for her. So, I just smiled at her ability to live in that moment and enjoy her time with her daughter. I left the store and drove home with a new found appreciation for my life. As I sit here writing this...I know that Mom will never ever read my blog...I know she will never see this. But if she did somehow someway...I would want you to know that I admire you...I want to tell you that you made an impact on me today without even knowing you did. I want you to know that I think you are the definition of strength. Thank you for sitting there reading to your little girl. I wish you the best and I wish your daughter well.