Sunday, May 27, 2012

Veterans and Newbies together in the park

Emma and I spent some time at the park today with a few other local families that have kiddos with Type 1. There were 3 families including us that were "veterans" so to speak....and 2 families that are new to this life. It's sort of a strange feeling really...sitting there on the blanket in the grass and looking around at the different stages. Some have been through the wringer countless times now...illnesses, ketones, high blood sugars, low blood sugars. They have seen the things that this disease can do to you. They have a million stories and experiences they could share with you to give you some insight, some advice, some reassurance. They have been broken...they have been knocked down flat on their face from this disease. They have the experience under the belt and good or bad, they are willing to help the new people...because they know what it's like....they've been there...they've felt every single emotion the new people are currently feeling...and they have come out on the other side ok. I sat there listening to the new families and seeing the look in their eyes and my heart broke for them. There was one family with a little boy who I believe was 2 or 3 years old. I sat there listening to his Mom and Dad speak and immediately I was transported in my head back to those early days with Emma. She was 4 years old when she was diagnosed and it seems like a lifetime ago. I don't like to go back to that time...I don't like to open that door and allow myself to peek into that room...that sad, dark, dank room. I don't like it....but every single time I meet a newly diagnosed family, I do it anyway. I open it a crack...just so I can be there for them in any way I can...make them see that I understand and that they will be ok...because I am matter if I have had the worst diabetes day imaginable...I am still ok. So, I open that door to my sad room just a crack...and I let that darkness wash over my heart for just a bit...and I try to portray this image of "ok-ness" for them. I know there are really no words that will truly honestly make them feel better....but I try to find the words anyway. I wish i could take the scared look from their eyes. I wish I could take that weight off of their shoulders. I wish I could take away that slight hint of fear and stress in the tone of their voice. I wish I could....but I can't...because we are now in this together....and I know that the circle will continue to grow...the people affected by this disease will continue to grow in numbers...the families that are "new" now, will soon be "veterans"...and they will in turn be there for future "new" families. It's a never ending circle of things. So, even though I know that it will be hard...and it will hurt my heart...I still go to these things...because I can't not go...I can't not be there for them...I don't have it in me to not do whatever I can to help them. It's depressing and yet comforting at the same time. What a weird life this is sometimes.
So, I left feeling that sadness in my heart again. However, on the way home, Emma said to me, "Mommy, I think there should be a special adoption place where Mom's like you could go adopt kids that have diabetes like me, and they don't have a Mom or Dad. Wouldn't that be cool?" Yes, it would be pretty cool. It's moments like those that make me realize how lucky I am. I don't know why she brought this up...or what made her think of it...but she did...and it made me smile to know that she has that special part of her heart that makes her considerate of others and kind...and caring. Once again, my daughter who is wise beyond her years...made me...the parent...feel better.


  1. It's such a balancing act with 'newbies.' You want to show them the 'it will be OK' part of D, but at the same time they need to know that we, too, had (and can still have) those dark moments when all seems hopeless.

    Love Emma's idea of adopting other D kids...what a sensitive little lady you have there!

    Love it when they come up with little nuggets like that that just warm our hearts!

  2. Agreed...balancing the "it'll be OK" with "what you are feeling is totally normal" is hard. Yet, it is most likely the most helpful to the new members of "The Club".

    Her idea is wonderful. We are friends with a couple who did just that. They had a type 1 daughter and adopted a type 1 son.