Every Thursday ‘Facebookers’ have adopted the day to be ‘throw-back-Thursday’. People post a picture of their past. It is quite enjoyable to see where so many have come from and what they were like when they were ‘younger’.. Yesterday I posted a picture of my daughter and I in an ad for the JDF (now JDRF) walk. I received a great deal of response and quite a few emails and messages from people regarding that picture.
One person wrote and stated that we both looked so young and wanted to know how long I have been ‘at this’ and how I stayed ‘at this’ so long. I’ve decided to answer in today’s column; this being Valentine’s Day it seemed appropriate.
Kaitlyn. Daddy’s Little Girl. My little Valentine.
A relationship between a father and a daughter is something that can only be understood by those who have a daughter. I adore all of my children and I have stated a thousand times that each one makes me so proud in so many ways. I am a lucky man.
Kaitlyn is probably the most like me in our household. It explains best why when we lock horns—-get-out-of-the-way. On the other hand, so many times when we are working on something, or doing something, she will know what I want before I even ask for it. It has almost always been that way. 7699 days ago, 84,689 finger pricks ago, 325,000 units of insulin (give or take a hundred thousand) ago we started on this journey in the world of diabetes.
To answer the question why I am still ‘at this’ just seems like a very simple formula to me; Kaitlyn (and now Rob) still has it. I will rest when they rest; not before. Quite simple if you ask me.
What ‘this’ is can vary from time to time. It is hard to differentiate; there is no time clock as I pretty much do as much as I can in every waking hour I have. I have the fortune of being able to focus every ounce of my energy toward all things diabetes and quite frankly, at this point in my life, I would not want it any other way.
As much as I love what I do, it is by no means easy. In fact sometimes it can shatter my heart for a whole list of reasons. When those days happen I look at the picture I have attached to this article. I have looked at it often over the years. That is the face that reaches into my soul and challenges anything to stop me in the path I have to both find a cure; and to do all I can to try to make life better for those who live with this horrible disease.
And it is horrible make no mistake about it. Knowing and acknowledging what the monster is, lends itself greatly to defend against it.
Even though my daughter is a woman now; who has an incredible thirst for knowledge, incredible compassion to help others, an incredible drive, and an ability to make me laugh like a few others; does not change the fact that I have a hate stronger than the mountains are large toward diabetes. It has not won in our house and it will not win in our lives. No matter what.
Because that little face in the picture is still daddy’s little girl. She owns my heart. My little Valentine. And every fiber of strength in my body will never stop until diabetes is no more. The drive to end it only becomes stronger each day I’m in it to end it.
It has to, I have no choice.
I am a diabetes dad.
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