Sometimes I feel like I was robbed. I feel like a ski mask wearing burglar snuck into my house in the middle of the night on June 25, 2008 and robbed me. I feel like up until that point I was floating along in this blissful easy cheerful "normal" land. Spending my days playing with Emma, laughing carefree, going to the park, teaching her all of these new and exciting things that the world had to offer. I was one of those Mom's you see at the park...putting sunscreen on their kid, giving her a juicebox, splashing through the sprinklers, and giggling along with her. I was one of those Mom's you would see splurging at the movie theater and treating their kid to a big bag of popcorn and candy with a slushy to drink. That Mom was me...happy and for the most part free from true honest to goodness stress and worry.
And then I put my daughter to bed on the night of June 25, 2008. Little did I know that would be my last day of easy...my last moments of floating along in the free and happy land of the simple life. That life was taken from me while I laid my head down on my pillow and fell asleep...my last truly good sleep ever...my last worry-free, panic-free, anguish-free, stress-free sleep. I hope that I enjoyed it...and I wish that I could have been able to know somehow that it was in fact my last "normal" sleep...I think I would have enjoyed it even more then. You see, diabetes broke into my house that night...it stole a huge chunk of my heart...it robbed me of that safe and happy feeling...it took my comfort...my ease...my peace. Unfortunately it didn't just steal from us...it also left behind a gift that I really could have done without. It left behind a piece of itself in my daughter...my baby...my heart.
Diabetes took away that "normal" childhood. It robbed me from ever having the opportunity of having an easy life. Sometimes I sit back at the park now and watch other Mom's...women who belong to the group that I used to belong to...and I see glimpses of what our lives could have been like. I see flashes of Emma running at top speed to get to the slide...red sticky cheeks from having eaten a popsicle...hair flying in the wind behind her. I see her screaming and laughing with her friends...without that look in her eyes...that knowingness...that wisdom that comes from having lived with this disease for almost 4 years now. I see her big brown eyes clear and carefree...I see them sparkling and happy...at peace with her life and how easy it is. My heart breaks when I see those images of her. I feel that sick longing creeping up from my stomach and settling in my throat...forcing the tears to my eyes. I feel that longing for what our life could have been like and it hurts. I've gotten really good at shoving those tears way down deep over the years. I gotten really good at convincing myself that I am tougher than that and I don't care and I can handle this life and I am not missing anything and Emma is no worse for the wear and she is still living a normal life and she is just like her other friends and she can have that popsicle and she can run full tilt with her friends and just BE A KID. I've gotten good at convincing myself...you see, I have this little soldier like voice in my head yelling at me that wishing for that life and imagining it and longing for what could have been....is not going to do us any good...it's not productive...it doesn't help anything and it will only cause my heart to hurt and my eyes to water. I hear that voice as I watch those Mom's...and I believe it...I listen to it and I know it's right...but I still do it. I still long for what could have been and I don't think I will ever be able to stop doing that. I'm sure those moments will become further and fewer...but I don't think I will ever be able to completely stop thinking about what could have been. That's not to say that we don't have a great life now...because we do. We have an amazing life and I have an amazing daughter who lives as normal a life as I can possibly make happen for her. I just wish I could erase that knowing look from her eyes sometimes...I wish she didn't have to know all of the things she knows at 7 years old. Yet another little gift that diabetes left behind that night...too bad I can't find the gift receipt and take it back.