I came across a video posted online a while ago that really resonated with me. It was basically a bunch of people speaking to the 16 year old versions of themselves before the were diagnosed with cancer. I thought I would do a little spin-off of it and write a letter to the 16 year old version of myself. Just a side note though to say that I am in no way shape or form comparing my life as the parent of a type 1 diabetic to that of someone with cancer. It is a completely different life. Total opposite ends of the spectrum. So I mean no disrespect to any who may come across this that are living with cancer affecting their lives somehow.
Dear 16 year old Amy,
I know that you think you have all the answers right now, but let me assure you that you haven't got a clue. That boy you like and would do absolutely anything for? Well, he will turn out to change your life in a whole new direction. Yes, many good things will come from it...but so will heartache. You will feel like your world is ending and that no one could possibly understand the things that are going on in your head. You shouldn't spend so much time concerning yourself with what others think of you. Don't put so much value and importance on their opinion. You have this thought stuck in your head that you aren't pretty enough...not smart enough...not funny enough...not cool enough. One day you will realize that none of those things matter. You shouldn't get so upset and angry at your parents and think that they are being too hard on you and too strict with you. You shouldn't compare them to your friend's parents...because they are not your friends parents...they are YOUR parents. They do the things they do and they may seem strict with you because the love you. They love you with every fiber of their being and they want to protect you...so cut them some slack. One day you will meet the love of your life by a one in a million chance occurance. You will move to another country to be with him and you will feel like you are home...like you belong. One day you will marry this man. One day you will get to experience the most beautiful thing on the planet...you will become a Mommy. One day you will hold your tiny baby girl in your arms and stare into her gorgeous innocent eyes and you will know what true love feels like. It will all come crashing down on you at once. You will look at her little round face, see her chest rise and fall with each sweet breath she takes, listen to her strong heart beat a perfect rhythm from within...and you will know. You will understand why your parents did all of the things they did. You will get it. One day you will find yourself sitting in a small little hospital room, holding your 4 year old little girl on your lap, trembling with fear, heart racing, feeling like you are slipping over the edge. One day a doctor you have never met before then will walk into that room and tell you very abruptly that your sweet precious angel has type 1 diabetes. You will want to run...you will want to scoop her up and bolt from that room and curse the doctor on your way out. You will want to leave those awful words behind and pretend like they were never uttered. One day you will look in your daughter's beautiful brown eyes...you will stare at her tear streaked cheeks...and you will have to make a choice. You will find the strength from deep within. You will find it because you wil be holding it in your arms. She is your strength. She is your reason for being. She is your heart. There will be countless days where you will feel like you just can't do it anymore. Days where it will seem like the tears just won't stop falling. Days where you will look at your friend's children, kids at the park, classmates of your child...and you will feel a deep burning jealousy. You will envy their seemingly easy life. You need to remember that they do not have easy lives either. You need to remember that everyone has to carry their own burden in this life. You need to wash away that jealousy with compassion and understanding. You will feel exhausted on a daily basis because you will have to stay up and get up all hours of the night to check your daugter's blood sugar to ensure her safety. You will be afraid to sleep at night because you will be afraid that she will die. One day you will meet some amazing friends who also have diabetes living with them. You will feel an instant bond with them and you will now be a part of a new unbreakable family. Don't be shy or scared to talk to them. Don't worry about what they will think of you. Don't be afraid to open up and let it all out...because they know....they get it...because they live it too.
So, enjoy your time while you have it. Enjoy your days and enjoy your nights. Sleep longer, smile more, laugh more, be more carefree. Make it a point every single day to tell someone that you love them and tell them how much they mean to you. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Believe in yourself...because as I sit here today...18 years down the road from where you are now...I am telling you that you will experience some of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring, incredible things in life. There is much in store for you and you will deal with it and learn from it and enjoy it so much more if you choose to believe in yourself right now.
Take care of yourself and remember that I love you always,
P.S. It might be a good idea to not go joy-riding on the highway 3 months after you get your license....just trust me on that one...:o)