This weekend we will be participating in our 5th JDRF Walk for a Cure. Ironically enough, this year the walk is being held at the same location that it was that very first time we walked. It's sort of like a full circle moment for me.
I remember how I felt that first year walking...how proud I was...and yet how sad I also was at all of the other families out there walking. I was angry to have to now be a part of their club...to now be a part of them. I wished that I could have just continued on about my merry way without ever having known a walk like this even existed. However, there I was...walking...a part of them...one of them.
I remember when I first heard about the walks and how I didn't really understand the point. I mean how is walking going to make a difference? How are a group of people taking a stroll through the great outdoors going to do anything when it comes to diabetes? I didn't get it. I didn't understand why it was something people did or why there were teams or why t-shirts were a big deal? I didn't understand. If I'm being perfectly honest, I thought it was a little silly. I thought that the rest of the world could really care less that we were out there walking.
Fast forward to now.
Here we are just days away from approaching the starting line again. I know what it means now. I know how important the walks are. I know how much money is raised for research for a cure. I know the effort that goes into pulling this off. I know the awareness it brings. I know the bonds that are formed between people walking along the trail...the unspoken bond that flows between us...around us...through us...as we walk. It's a light that shines so brightly that we are only able to feel it. We feel it in our hearts...our minds...our souls....with each step we take. We feel it each time we lock eyes for but a moment with another person with diabetes living in their home. We feel it as we see other children testing their blood sugars, drinking juice boxes, or taking their pumps out to bolus. We feel it. We feel it....because it's there...it's real...it's raw...and it's honest.
For me, the walk is mostly about this. Being a part of something bigger than us. Spending part of the day with people like me...people like my daughter...people that get it. The metaphorical walk we take together is represented in real life...with real steps...on a real life physical journey.
Yes, we reach a finish line on this walk. Yes, it makes me cry every....single...time. Yes, it means more to me than just finishing the JDRF walk...it's an in your face reminder that one day we will reach that actual finish line...the REAL one...and that to me is worth every single step along the way.