I was chatting with some friends today about experiences that have happened in our lives. It got me thinking about things really...how I have certain memories in my life that seem so random and so bizarre that they have stuck with me all these years. Little things like how my dad used to take me to preschool at a local church. He would always get me there a bit early and we would sit in the car waiting...watching the clock. See, there were a bunch of big wheels and tricycles out for the kids to ride on first thing...and there was only ONE flower power big wheel...it was beautiful...pink and white and purple...with big flower decals all over it...all the girls would race to get that specific one to ride because it was the best. My dad would watch the clock for me...and tell me to get ready as he counted down the time...he'd tell me to open the car door, told me to have a fantastic day at school, and shout GO when it was time to leave. I would run as fast as my little 4 year old legs could go...heading straight for that flower power big wheel...determined to get there first so I could be the one to ride it.
The fact that my dad did this for me meant the world to me....here I am 33 years later thinking about it and I can still picture the big wheel...I can still feel my heart pound in excitement and with adrenaline as I anticipated him shouting go. I would be willing to bet my dad doesn't even remember doing this for me now...but I will never forget it.
Our lives are a series of moments...experiences...some good...some bad...some breathtaking and beautiful...and others so traumatic that we can barely stand to think of them after the fact. The night before I received the phone call from our doctor telling me the results of Emma's first blood test, I laid my head down on my pillow and went to sleep for the last time as a regular Mom. Just a few short hours later, I would become a D-Mom...my life forever changed...in the blink of an eye...all from a single phone call.
These moments all play a part in shaping who we are as individuals. We take things from them and we learn things from these moments. We can sometimes be changed irrevocably by these moments. Some might say we are the sum of all these moments and experiences. However, I prefer to believe that we are not necessarily defined by these things that happened to us...but rather grown from them. We live through them and we realize that we are more than we were before...we are stronger..or more vulnerable...or smarter...or capable. We see this spark of something new in ourselves that we didn't necessarily see before.
Yes, diabetes changed me. It opened my eyes to a whole new perception of myself. It made me see that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. It changed me...but these last almost six years as a D-Mom do not define me...because deep down inside...I'm still that little girl with fire in her eyes...her heart pounding with excitement...determined...loving.
I'm still her...and I always will be.