Where are You on this Journey?

JourneyBarbara Singer is a national treasure.  She is a mom to two children with diabetes and if she chooses to share her story with you sometime, it will make you thankful for whereever you are in this journey.  She and her husband, are two of the original founders of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.  When many people would have left this fight, they have continued on.  Barbara is a colleague of mine in so many different ways.  I love her, and her husband, dearly.

We were speaking the other day when Barbara stated a line to me that resonated so much that it gave me the inspiration for today’s article. We were talking about a young man who had diabetes and the involvement their parents had in diabetes causes over the years and one day, they just stopped.  ‘Where did they go; where do they all go?”

The phrase about the parents no longer being involved just stuck with me and I found myself thinking of that phrase as I reflected on where I am in this journey.  Interesting thing about this thought process is that I came up with two possibilities.  We have a cure; or we don’t.  If I am at one and have not reached the other, than my kids do not have the ability to slow down, so what gives me the right?

Rob graduated high school this past June and as he gets ready for college in September, I found myself taking a look at where I am in this diabetes journey. 

If we don’t have a cure than I need to spend every waking hour continuing my quest in making sure our kids have EVERYthing they need to stay focused with the best management tools available (and management tools include the support of those who can help them stay strong); and at the same time do all I can to challenge those in the research world to continue the focus until the fight is done and a cure becomes a reality. 
So with my youngest starting college, I guess this is where many people arrive at a crossroad in their life and decide that a back seat can be taken because the kids are older, right?  Even writing that last sentence just stuck in my throat.  I’m not done because we are not done.

I have often quoted that wonderful line from the Broadway musical Wicked. 

Sometimes we cross a bridge that we don’t know we crossed until we crossed it.

I have stopped and looked back many times in this diabetes journey and realizing the hundreds of bridges we crossed only propels me forward at even a greater speed.  In the research world, for both better management tools and curing this disease, there has been probably more advancements in the last 10 years than the 70 before it.  This is why we all must keep at it.

Do not let someone say someday, about your involvement, “Where did they go?”  Make sure your final destination is clear in your mind.  Clear in your goals.  Clear in your path.  Make the decision to stay at this until your goals are reached, whatever deserves your full focus, and keep working at it until ‘mission accomplished’.

Our kids are older now, we’ve been at this for over 20 years and I must share with you, I don’t feel like slowing down one iota.  I will take my break when my kids do, not one second before.

Where are you in this journey?  To the parents I ask; are you still in this 1000 percent?  Because our kids with diabetes are; they have no choice—our choice should be the same.

I am a  diabetesdad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

9 thoughts on “Where are You on this Journey?

  1. People should not be judged on whether they volunteer for the DRI or any other organization. I stopped working with an ADA chapter in my hometown years ago because the development director was an absolute tyrant to be around. And sometimes with other groups, I have to wonder if I’m helping cure anything but their yearly budget shortfall.

    Parents shouldn’t have to do anything to prove themselves except help their children with diabetes survive. Asking more is shaming people and burdening them with yet more guilt.

    • I have two thoughts.

      1. I stated: Do not let someone say someday, about your involvement, “Where did they go?” Make sure your final destination is clear in your mind. Clear in your goals. Clear in your path. Make the decision to stay at this until your goals are reached, whatever deserves your full focus, and keep working at it until ‘mission accomplished’.

      Key words here are ‘whatever deserves your full focus’…and that decision is clearly yours to make. If you believe that your focus should only be your child’s well being—I have stated that it is your choice to make and that is fine.

      2. It is each person’s individual choice where or how they are involved and NOWHERE in my article do I state any sort of ‘proving’ anything or even ‘giving’ money. I didn’t say it because I wasn’t referring to it. My point was and is that as our kids get older I have no intention in slowing down in any shape or form HOW I CHOOSE to be involved and as parents, I do not think we should…..whatever you choose to do.

      Camps, advocacy, writing letters to create change, activities in education at school, education in the community etc etc etc. How you choose to be involved is up to you but let me ask you a question; if we decide not to be involved for these things and others …….who will?

      • As stated below…Maybe asking what organizations do to push people away/turn them off would be a more appropriate question…

        Oh and by the way, I’ve donated many hours and dollars to sdiabetes charities, in case you’re wondering.

        • You are taking my words as if I am challenging WHAT and HOW MUCH people do to help in this cause and nothing could be further from the truth. If people are doing what they feel they can, who am I to say otherwise—–and I’m not nor would I.

          All I am saying is that we all need to continue. And as to your last line, no I was not wondering at all; it is not who I am—at all.

  2. I am a mom , before everything else in life. My job is to love , protect and give my boys the best life possible. I will always be there. The fight can not stop when our children have grown. I do not know what it is like to have diabetes, but I know what it is like to be a parent of a child with diabetes. I do not want my son to know that feeling. We need a cue. Our children need a cure and our future grand children need a cure. While a do not believe everyone has the ability to be a outspoken volunteer or advocate, I do believe it is possible to be involved. Diabetes must be kept in the limelight. There are so many ways to be involved. From joining letter campaigns to our politicians , raising money for research, online support groups, teaching awareness to the public,until there is a cure my fight is not over.

    • What about parents who work two jobs, single parents without time for anything, people with their own health (physical and mental) challenges? Everyone does not equally feel the need to self promote their volunteerism. Maybe asking what organizations do to push people away/turn them off would be a more appropriate question…

    • Could not agree more. Thank you for adding your comment, it is well stated.

      Love this line:
      While a do not believe everyone has the ability to be a outspoken volunteer or advocate, I do believe it is possible to be involved.

      thank you!!!

  3. Truthfully, I have times when I think that I can’t get enough donations toward the cure or get my own type 1 to want to fund raise or raise awareness and it makes me feel like I should pack it in. There are times when I spent so much of the family money in order to effectively fund raise or raise awareness that bills do not get paid on time. There are times when I have neglected my house because I was busy planning my next JDRF event. And my life turns into a bit of a mess BUT I must keep going while trying to find a balance. I would jump in a lake to save my son, rush into a burning building, etc. So messing a bit with my schedule, health, finances, and housework is a small price to pay to do EVERYTHING I can to help bring the cure. And if I die trying, it was well worth it! Gotta Get the Cure is my mantra.

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