So today was the big day...Emma's 4th annual Hot Chocolate Sale for JDRF! It was definitely one for the record books. Unfortunately Emma didn't get to meet her personal goal of raising more money than the first year we did this...but all in all she did a fantastic job raising $775. I am so beyond proud of her for doing this. She was a little disappointed at not meeting her goal, but I reminded her that she raised that money in only 3 hours time...and that in all 4 years combined she has managed to pull in $3775 for JDRF. That quickly put a smile on her face and a sparkle in her eye. I love seeing that sparkle...it is incredible to see your own child beaming with pride in what they have accomplished...pride in what they have made happen...pride in knowing that they have made a difference in the world.
I say that this year was one for the record books simply because I was reminded full force of how blessed we are in the friend department. I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I have some of the most amazing friends on the planet. Our local group of D-Momma's were all there ready and willing to lend a hand. They made delicious cupcakes to sell and included the carb counts for every single one of them. They stood outside in 50km cold winds waving signs to try and draw in the customers. They helped us set up and take down the table and supplies. They bought their own cups of hot chocolate and told Emma how proud they were of her. They took pictures. They hugged us. They supported us. They were there for us. These women and their families mean the world to me and my own family. They lift me up when I am feeling down, they are there for me at 2 in the morning when I am struggling to hold back the tears from exhaustion and frustration while fighting off low blood sugars, they cheer us on in our victories, the console us in our defeats....they are more than just friends to me...they are my 2nd family and they all hold a piece of my heart. I would be lost without them. I hope they know just how much they mean to me.
I also had the opportunity to meet a D-Mom in person for the first time. We became friends on Facebook years ago shortly after Emma was diagnosed. Lindsay will always hold a special place in my heart. She drove with her family over 2 hours just to come to the hot chocolate sale today. I actually got to hug her in person today...I got to look in her eyes and feel the same same there...I got to meet this woman who means so much to me and has been there to support me online for so long. She is one of those few truly honest to goodness special people out there and I am so greatful to have had those moments with her today.
I got to meet a local Mom today who has a daughter that was fairly newly diagnosed. I saw that look in her eyes...that fear...that sadness...that overwhelming-ness and my heart broke for her. I wanted to hug her and comfort her...tell her that even though it doesn't feel like it right now, that she will be ok...her daughter will be ok. I wanted to tell her that it's not an easy road by any means...but she CAN do this. I didn't want her to think that I was some crazy lady though standing there with hot chocolate spilled down the front of my shirt (oh yes...I was styling...lol) trying to swoop in and overwhelm her even more...so I held back all of the thoughts running through my mind. Instead I told her that if there is ever anything I can do to help her to please let me know...I am there for her...I will help in any way that I can.
It's such a bizarre thing to do this fundraiser. It's such an emotional roller coaster ride for me. I sit down, strap myself in for the ride, and try to deal with it as best I can. I meet some awesome people along the way...new to this life...old pros...supporters...friends...family. I meet some that have a touch of the ignorance in them and I do my best to set them straight about this disease. (btw...this is the first year that I didn't have to hear someone say to me, "well WHY are you selling hot chocolate and sweet sugary stuff if it's for DIABETES? PFFT!" I am truly greatful for that not happening this time around!) I get to stand beside my amazing daughter and witness first hand...up close and personal...just how unique she is. I get to see her face light up as a customer walks up to the table. I get to see her relish in the moment...enjoy the day...see the fruits of her labor. I get to see her being proud of herself. It's one thing for a parent to be proud of their own child....but it's a COMPLETELY different feeling to see your child be proud of themselves. I get to feel the sadness that we are still out there doing this and there's still not a cure. I get to feel the despair as I realize that the diabetics in the room far outnumber the non-diabetics. I get to feel the broken heart and overwhelming pang that comes with seeing all of their faces...gathered together...fighting the same fight that we do every single day...day in and day out...over and over again. I wish that I was smart enough to be able to cure them all. I wish that I could take this from them all and deal with it for them. I also get to witness some sweet moments too. Seeing all of the D-kiddos laughing and playing, holding signs, asking people that come in the store to support JDRF. I get to see them drinking hot cocoa and eating cupcakes. I get to see them being kids. One extra sweet little boy (the son of a local D-family) actually walked up to me and gave me a hug before he left at the end. It melted my heart. It made me feel good...proud...included...part of this amazing family of diabetics. It made me see that this is an important thing for a lot of people.
So, yes...this day was definitely one for the record books for me. I am honored to be a part of this group of people. I am honored to be in their corner...on their team...fighting for a cure. I am honored to be Emma's Mommy. I am blessed to have the chance to spend my days with her. She is truly a remarkable little girl and I am so proud of what she has done.