Why I Love Being a Dad….Why Do You?

HonorKids are amazing.

With this weekend being father’s day I thought I would write (and also ask you to share) a few things that I have always liked about being a father.  What do you like?  What does your husband like?  What was your fondest memories of your kids; that makes you love being a dad?  Please share.

I love to watch our kids succeed.  Few things make me happier than seeing my kids excited about a compliment at work, a good grade, a home run in little league, a great play in lacrosse, graduation, ‘getting that job’, being accepted into college–and the list goes on and on.

I love just speaking with my kids.  All three of my kids are as different as night and day.  They have different views.  They are as liberal as they are conservative; they have opinions and I love when we discuss everything from politics to movies.  A philosophy we have lived by is that you cannot learn anything unless you enter the discussion that you do not know.  Our discussions have never been to ‘change the opinion’ of the person but just to share why we feel a certain way and be able to justify it.  Alway engaging.

I love when I go to vote and see that my kids have already voted.  This thrills me to know end.   I love this country and one of our all time freedoms is the right to vote.  “Someone died to give us that right” and I take it seriously, I love when they do also.

I love when they see an injustice and not only have an opinion about it but try to do something to correct it.  A bully at school, speaking dishonorably about someone, social injustices, abuse, and on and on—-they know what is important, and they are not shy to say anything when they see it.

My kids are not perfect which is something they surely inherited from me.  They make mistakes.  They’ve made mistakes.  They do not do things the way I would always do things and that annoys me sometimes, because I always am correct….right (wink wink)?  I know they will find their own way and I know they have great futures ahead of them. 

They will give you a strong handshake when they meet you, they will hug you when they leave.  My sons are 17 and 26; nothing makes me happier than the fact that they shake my hand and kiss me hello and goodbye; and they could care less if anyone sees it.  They have done it…..always. 

They all have dreams and goals and they strive for them.  They work toward them.  Their moral compasses are pointing correctly.  Respect, love, and honor.

They are my kids, I love them, and they are the reason I love Father’s Day because they give me the best gift each year which is my favorite present on earth—-they give of themselves.  They know who they are, what they are, and where they want to be in this world.  A dad could ask for nothing more.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Kids from Connecticut Teach All of US!!!!!!

Kids teaching usOne of the most fascinating aspects of what I do is the people I meet.  People never cease to amaze me in how they act, what they say, and what they do.  So many choose to sit back and play the sidelines and many live by; “don’t do nothing”.  It’s these people who constantly humble me as I travel this journey.

It’s easy from the sidelines.  One can judge, comment, be loud, be quiet, and for the most part have little to do with the game itself.  In many cases the loudest are neither the majority nor the players…….they are spectators.  People IN the game are too focused on moving the diabetes dial in a substantial manner to live by their own-self-imposed-importance.  Diabetes is just too big for any of us to stay on the sideline and frankly, I have little patience for people who would rather shake the cage than get in and fight the beast.

 Recently I learned that the age of ‘the player’ matters little.  A player is just that, a player.
 I was in Connecticut this week.  Driving to this state, a state that taught this nation what ‘real’ pain is over the past few months, I kept thinking to myself, what would these kids have in mind?Conn 2013 14

I was traveling to a grammar school (just to be clear, it was not in the Sandy Hook School system) to be part of a diabetes educational presentation which would be followed-up with a fund-raising component.  This component just fascinated me to no end and the only thing that was more fascinating than this particular event, was the young people who presented it.

When diabetes becomes the new normal, your life becomes completely mixed up; turned upside down; and out-of-the-norm.  As the kids in the area told their stories (I will not mention their names nor the school district; welcome to the world we live in these days) in front of hundreds of elementary school-age children, they explained about diabetes and shared what it was like to live with diabetes.  The siblings of kids with diabetes also took part in this event and shared what it was like toconn 2013 sibling be a brother to someone who had diabetes.  How it changed their household.

The kids shared that they were limited by nothing.  As the showed their insulin pumps the informed the students that they could do what they wanted asconn 2013 15 long as they ‘balanced’ their lives with diabetes management. 

(PERSONAL SIDE NOTE: literally just minutes before I entered the building I was made aware of the death of Richard Rubin; as the kids spoke of the ‘balance’ needed in their lives; being keenly aware of Richard’s teachings on just that point, it truly was almost as if he had joined with us)

Conn 2013 kidsThe kids sitting down were riveted and enjoyed the presentation of their peers and how they explained their lives with diabetes.  And afterwards they explained the fund-raising component.  They could donate whatever their family wanted to give, the amount didn’t matter.  But the event surely did.  (I just loved this idea).  Each child, to understand a little better about how mixed-up one becomes when first diagnosed, was to wear clothes that were completely mixed up.Conn 2013 Kids back

The idea was that for the one day they would wear clothing all mixed up knowing that shortly thereafter they would come to school again with their clothes straightened out.  The presentation taught the kids that although a life of diabetes becomes mixed up at the start, a life in order can reign.  Just FABULOUS!
conn 2013 10Conn 2013 1conn 2013 4
Many parents and children volunteered to organize this event and we surely thank them, the teachers, and the administration of the participating school.

This idea was from kids, about kids, for kids, and to kids…………….but a whole bunch of us adults learned a ton.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please hop to my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’

A Response from a Good Friend of a Broken Hearted Family—Will You Share and/or help this Story?

I have posted a reply to my post about Brian Doss from Tracy Brokmeier, who created the fund-raising page for his family.  Before you read it I would like to share with you that I have concluded that this is about numbers.  Hundreds of people read the blog, and the good news is that we have almost doubled the money that they had collected thus far.

What could be a little bit better is the number of people who chose to give but when it comes to giving I have learned over the years that what people chose to do or not do is a very personal decision and I have always said, “Celebrate those who say yes, and those who say no are entitled to not give.”  I do respect that point and I leave this decision up to you.

What I would ask; is that you pass this on and ask others to pass it on….THAT WE CAN ALL DO.   The more who read this story, the more who might help. 

Thank you to all that help and read this incredible story from Tracy, I hope it moves your heart to give just $10 (of course more would help more if you can) or at the very least, pass this on to others.

From Tracy:
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for posting about Brian and his family. Brian was my best friend, and while we live far away, it didn’t matter, our families grew very close over the years, brought together by a common disease, Type 1. There was not a day that went by that I didn’t talk to Brian (Big Doss as I called him), and I miss him so much. Brian was like a big brother to me, an uncle to my kids, and is so hard to believe that he is not here anymore. I started the fundraiser for his wife, Mary Ellen, and their kids, Megan and Zachary. They really need as much help as they can get. Brian’s income was the only income and he held the insurance. Imagine losing your husband, your world, and just 30 days later losing your health insurance that pays for you and your children’s medical needs. Brian was a very simple man and always worked hard for what he had. I know he would never even consider asking for help for himself but was always willing to help out someone else in need. He was the type of person that would give his shirt off his back for you, even if it were his only shirt. So I am asking, for him, because he can’t. Please help in any way you can. And if you are not in a position to make a donation, please at least pass his story and the information on the fundraiser on. I thank you again from the bottom of my heavy heart.  ###end

Here is the site where you can donate:
http://www.giveforward.com/dossfamilyfundraiser

Tracy thanks me, me writing about this incredible man is the easy part—-the thank you goes to you who gave, will give, and/or share this story.

Make a difference…….give…….bless you.

I am a diabetesdad

PS..here is the link to the original story:
http://diabetesdad.org/2012/11/30/death-too-soon-we-can-all-help-even-a-little/

Santa Will Send Your Child a Personal Letter……..You’ll Help Find a Cure.

If if you do not have children for this incredible program…..it’s the holidays, help take us one step closer to a cure.  

SANTA CLAUS CAN PEN A PERSONAL NOTE TO YOUR CHILD THIS CHRISTMAS
Jolly holiday fundraiser benefits Diabetes Research Institute Foundation


New York, NY (November 23, 2012) – Yes, Virginia (and Emma, and Maria, and Max, and Willie…), there is a Santa Claus. To prove it, ‘Ole Saint Nick himself will send a personalized letter – complete with a North Pole stamp – to any child, in any part of the world for a minimum $15.00 donation to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. This jolly holiday fundraiser kicks off this year on Friday, November 23rd at www.SantaClausDRI2012.org and is certain to light up faces brighter than the star on the tree.   

(Kids from last year holding their letters)

The personalized letters, which can be sent by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or any other family member or friend, can include all kinds of information, like a reference to any toy, game, iPad or techno-gadget on the child’s wish list or whether he/she has been naughty or nice this year. Santa can even tell them that he knows how well they have been managing their diabetes. The fundraising campaign is open to all families everywhere, not just those affected by diabetes. However, with almost 26 million Americans affected by the devastating disease, it is likely that almost everyone knows someone with diabetes.

To get the hundreds, even thousands of letters out to children by Christmas day, a legion of Santa’s “elves” are standing by around the country, according to volunteer chairwoman Marie Jarcho.

“We had a tremendous response the first time last year. This is a wonderful and easy way to brighten a child’s Christmas and they loved it. The more information that parents or others supply on the website, the more personal Santa’s letter will be,” she said. “As a mother of a son with type 1 diabetes, it is my hope that people will give what they can to help the Diabetes Research Institute find a cure.”

After the event last year, one mother wrote that her child was so thrilled with the personalized letter that she slept with it every night until Christmas. The DRI Foundation is hoping for a greater response this year.

“This initiative is all about making children happy by receiving a personal letter from Santa Claus. We also know that during the holidays, millions of children and their families affected by diabetes wish for a cure. Our goal is to make that wish come true, and we’re grateful to be able to move a step closer with the funds raised through fun programs like this,” said Robert A. Pearlman, president and CEO of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.
To send a child a letter from Santa Claus, visit www.SantaClausDRI2012.org.  The deadline for participation is midnight on December 18th.

 

SHUT UP and Give Her a Piece of Candy!

I’m just a tad tired of seeing ‘that’ horror on the faces of those people who have no clue what bearing candy has in the life of those who have diabetes; honestly, the answer is that it has none.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  You cannot have candy out on the table; you have two kids with diabetes!”

(What I wanted to say) “Shut up you more-off (morON is too good for them), you have no idea what you are talking about.  It’s not poison, it’s candy.”
(What I said) “No, it’s okay.  They can eat candy, they just have to know what the carb ratio is, and bolus accordingly; and depending on their blood sugar level, they might just be able to ‘pop’ it in their mouth.”

 Well when I tell you that the mouth was just hanging open.

 “Reallllllyyyyyyy” (really long pause) “Wow……..who knew?”

 AHA…..and THAT is the point, STUPID.  We…..the parents know.   AHA……the ones with diabetes know.  AND WE ALL NEED NO HELP FROM YOU.

So here’s the deal, IF I do not mention to you that your daughter is not really at her girlfriend’s house like she said or your teen-age son was not really in the woods looking at birds with his friends and those cans were not soda, or the mints and perfume your daughter uses is not that she is so hygiene-savvy, or when your kids say they are at the movies and do not remember what it was about; all leads me to say that MY KIDS and WHAT they eat should have no place on your list of things that you feel compelled to share with me.  If I don’t tell you how to raise your kids, don’t tell me about mine—-especially when it comes to diabetes.

Because no matter how much I beat myself up over this wretched disease and everything it means, does, is and continues and regardless what YOU think—–I AM THE EXPERT.

Thank you.

Feel free to hand this out as needed. 🙂

I’m a diabetesdad.

 

Is your Child a Daily dHero?


Our Kids.

Wow the things they do.  The things they put up with every day.  Whether they have diabetes or they do not have diabetes; the fact that diabetes is in our households makes them live each and every day in a way that no one will understand but us; their parents.  The new norm as they say.

One of my Diabetesdad articles I wrote a while back was called “life with an asterisk”.  It is exactly the phrase that our children live with every day.  They are more resilient than we, they are more afraid than we, but still they go on.  And some go on VERY STRONGLY!

So I have decided that my Sunday blogs will be dedicated to highlighting a child up to grade 12 that has diabetes in their household (siblings also; absolutely).  Sunday should be a family day and my Daily dHero will start next week.  I will only mention the first name of the child and the state they live in just to keep it very safe. And I will highlight why they are a Daily dHero.

Our kids are special.  Tell me why your child should be considered by replying to this post; none of the replies will be made public.  Highlight what they do that is special at home, at school, or in their community.  Anything that they do despite/in spite/with their diabetes.   Make sure you include what state you live in, and when diabetes entered your household.  Remember–siblings will be highlighted also. If I chose your child to be highlighted, I will email you for a picture or I will take it from your FB page.

As we say at Children with Diabetes; kids with diabetes are still just kids.  But they are special, so let me know.  I am a Diabetesdad.

Please God, with Everything that is Holy !!!!

We are the diabetes community. We are. We are not short for words. When we have an opinion, we speak. Today, I am asking you to have an opinion. In fact today I am asking you to scream. I am asking you to rally around one family.

Why this family? We all have problems; we all have to deal with what life throws at us; why this family? The answer is this: sometimes no matter what we go through, when you see someone going through absolute hell, you can step up to the plate in some way.  A way that will help no matter how small.  A way to show you care.

This is what Meri Schuhmacher wrote on her blog today. Meri has 4 boys (ages 16-14-10-8) and 3 of them—3 OF THEM–have type one diabetes. Her husband, a young man, passed away last weekend. Six months ago he was strong, vibrant and active; he was diagnosed with brain cancer; and his battle was lost last weekend.

Here is what Meri wrote today on her blog:
Aching
I wasn’t expecting it.
Looking back it should have been more clear to me what was happening, but in the moment…I was just coping with him. Loving him.

How everything happened last Sunday is so personal I can’t write it down here, but I can tell you that without a doubt…we received our miracle.

I sit here completely humbled, and shocked. How God got away with this without me cursing him is the monumental miracle itself. Each detail of the last week was carefully seeded so that on the other side I could not deny this timeline was always set. It just wasn’t for me to foresee.

My body is barely hanging on. I am so weak, and tired, and aching. I ache everywhere. But my brain is working overtime…leaning on the muscle mass it has gained the last few months.

I wish I could turn it off. I wish I could flip a switch and give my body a break from feeling it all.

I wish I could know exactly what to do for the boys, and what to say. I hate guessing my way through something so important. They are my number one priority right now.

He fought the fight so valiantly. Last night as I was staring at the wall trying to convince my brain to sleep, I realized that not once did Ryan ever complain. He never questioned why this was happening to him. He was only always positive. Hope was the only option in this house…it was how he lived. Finding the joy in the little things was his legacy, and looking back I do not regret one minute of our journey.

I hope one day to be able to follow his lead and live with the assurance that all will be well. Today that seems impossible. Nothing is well. Saying I miss him is not even close to the pain that I feel. He was my everything. My favorite. The love of my life. My best friend. He got my sense of humor. He never judged me. For the past 20 years we did everything together…our hobby was each other.

Writing things out is my best therapy. Letting it out and knowing my feelings are there to look back on help me get through. I don’t know how long it will take me to navigate this road I’m on…maybe forever…but I will continue to come here and lay it all out.

It is my way.

I hope that it will help me get through this day. And then tomorrow I’ll figure out a way to get through that one too.

Thank you for raining down love and support to me and my beautiful boys. Thank you for your tears, and for being my friend.

I don’t know that I can do this. I’m completely scared out of my mind. But I know that Ryan knows I can do this, and that gives me the hopeful inkling that maybe, just maybe…I will.

—MERI

Imagine the size of Meri’s ‘blue candle’; imagine her heart, imagine her life.

Is it enough to only hurt for her or can we do something?

What Meri does not do on her blog is ask for help.  It is why I copied what she wrote instead of just sending you to her site to read it.  With everything that the God of this earth may find holy I’m asking you to do one of two things (or both if you are so inclined)…….today!
This link:
http://www.giveforward.com/schuhmacherfamilymiracle2
1. Go to it and donate.
2. Go on Facebook and share this link with everyone including your own words how important it is to make a difference for this one family. Have your kids go on Facebook and share with everyone and anyone asking to help.

Really? 3 kids with T1 and now no husband, father, and/or best friend to help get through every day. How bad do we actually have it that we cannot, on this day, help a family from our very own community?

All of our collective causes will all be there tomorrow, I promise. Today, to actually have the power to touch a life; is the power to change a world. Let’s do it together…….thank you.  I’m a diabetesdad.