I write this article today because so many times I read about people who are just unsure what the future will bring. Once your child is diagnosed with diabetes, the future becomes a question mark. Not necessarily because we believe it’s a question mark; but because many ‘outsiders’ tell us it should be such.
I write this article today because I want you to know, IT DOES NOT have to be that way. I never once doubted that this day would come……..and now it’s here. My breaking heart is flooded with tears of joy as within the next 15 hours, Kaitlyn will have moved on to a different journey away from home.
I would have thought that this would be temporary but when Kaitlyn opted on an apartment instead of a dorm room; my instinct said that Kaitlyn just may have bigger plans than just the one year of school ahead. University of Rochester has an excellent program (with an excellent Medical Center) beyond a BSN (RN with a Bachelor’s Degree) for a Nurse Practitioner and Kaitlyn may, or may not, take advantage of that program but she clearly wants to be ready. Thinking back, Kaitlyn has lived her life in that manner; always………….’ready’.
For 24 years 7 months and 29 days, this address is Kaitlyn’s home, with us. It will still be her home but she will have a new address now. From the day Kaitlyn was diagnosed on September 26th, 1992 we have worked for this day to come. I still remember the doctor….yes a doctor….putting his arm around my shoulder saying that we should ‘hope’ for college but don’t plan on it. He wanted me to know just how horrible this disease can be? All sorts of things could go wrong.
That answer, although never accepted, became my power-stick to prove whatever the thought process was in the nineteen-nineties completely wrong. Our education began. And in the heart of this came The Children with Diabetes and those wonderful Friends for Life Conferences. Being there from the beginning has allowed us the wonderful ability to link across the globe with the brightest and the best in the world.
Cannot was replaced with will.
No was replaced with yes.
Doubt became live life to the fullest potential you have.
There is no amount of gratitude in the world to thank Jeff, Laura, along with so many others, and what they all they have done with CWD, in impacting our lives in so many wonderful ways.
Many of the things I lecture or write about are taken from my real life experiences. My mistakes (I am an expert), our triumphs (we have had many), our setbacks (many of those too) and our education have helped set a pathway that Kaitlyn has forged; and she has had one thing instilled her life more than anything else………diabetes would stop her from nothing.
I tell you that so YOU know, beyond a shadow-of-doubt, that tomorrow is yours to grab. As Kaitlyn grew up, she has had many friends, relationships, and achievements. She was a class officer, part of the homecoming court, part of the prom court, she lettered in a sport (just because she wanted to), and has excelled in community service and academics that led to scholarships and awards. She was a Girl Scout Gold recipient. She finished her undergraduate studies, she was in the work force as a Program Coordinator helping patients; and now heads to the University of Rochester to continue on her pathway to becoming a nurse practitioner specializing in the very same field of the disease which was supposed to give her so much uncertainty.
Take that diabetes.
Kaitlyn is a very bright girl. She has had down time. She can share with you how she realizes that many, in life from diabetes and other causes, are not around today. She knows. But she also has realized that if she gets excited at the things in her stocking, that it can only get better from there……..that is Kaitlyn. Grab life for THE NOW.
Sure I’m proud, what father would not be; and I hope my ‘gushing’ is acceptable today? But more than my pride in Kaitlyn, I WANT YOU TO KNOW that Kaitlyn is just like anyone else facing the same obstacles. Your child must be given the wings to soar. Educate yourself and your child. Wings don’t just happen. You make them.
Sure there have been bumps, but I have come to realize that no one is immune from life. Life will throw all sorts of crap at you and you cannot do anything about that; but you can do something with it. And THAT is how you make those choices……….yours.
So as the moving truck takes off, I will surely shed a tear. But that tear will also be full of joy knowing she is on a road to do exactly what she has chosen to do. Start doing everything you can now so when that day comes your child will have all the knowledge needed to be………………………….ready.
I am a diabetes dad.
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