Like many others in the world, I recently found out about the popular singer and judge from TV's "The Voice", Usher, having a newly diagnosed child with type 1 diabetes. I read many comments and posts online talking about whether or not he should now use his fame to advocate for this disease and raise awareness. I'm not going to talk about that topic today...instead I want to talk about perception.
Emma and I are huge fans of the show "The Voice"...we watch it together every week...it's sort of become a special mom/daughter time where we can just sit there on the couch together and listen to these amazing singers and laugh at the antics between Adam and Blake. Naturally, when I heard about Usher, I told Emma about it. She always finds it pretty cool to hear about famous people who are living with the same obstacles as her.
Anyway, we sat down to watch "The Voice" last night and I found myself focusing on Usher...paying closer attention to what he had to say and what he was doing. To be honest, I am not a fan of his music per se...just not my taste...but I've always thought he was a very talented individual. As I sat there watching him last night, I actually SAW him...I saw him in a different light. My perception of him changed all because of what I now knew of him. Here was this man, on my TV...millions of people watching him....and to know he now shares similar worries...similar fears...similar struggles...well, it made me see him in a whole new light.
I wonder if people see us differently since Emma's diagnosis. Do they see us in a new light? I know diabetes has changed me as a person in some ways...but deep down, I'm still the same girl. Perhaps the biggest difference I think is that I'm no longer so naive about things. I wonder if Ushers friends and family see him differently now. If they notice the worry behind the facade of coolness and control.
Life is strange sometimes. We wake up one morning thinking it's just another day and the next thing we know, we are changed forever...all because of one occurrence. Our perception of life and ourselves and those around us is changed.
My hope for Usher is that he can hold onto who he truly is deep down inside...that diabetes doesn't muddy that perception for him. It's difficult, but definitely not impossible.
When Emma saw him on TV last night, she smiled and said, "he's a D-Dad now." Simply put and beautifully true.