Barbara 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.
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