September 26th, 1992 was a long time ago. So was March 20th, 2009. These dates are burned in my head when the youngest two of our three kids were diagnosed. You know your dates too. It wasn’t fair then……and it has not become any fairer over the years….in fact, the complete opposite.
I consider myself a very positive person. We have done everything within our power to instill in all three of our kids to look for the positive side of things and also that it is within our own power to change whatever is thrown in at us. We can’t control what comes our way sometimes; but what happens with it when it arrives is completely up to us.
Those are not just words to us. We all live by them. But make no mistake about it, there are moments that I absolutely want to scream my head off. That never goes way. The aching in my heart is actually more-so now than when we first were at the hospital dealing with the initial shock of the news.
The pain still hurts. The pain still exists. The pain did not go away after time. I still ache, I still cry, and I still ask why?
How about you?…….The same?
But here’s the thing. In as much as I feel these things, I know that Kaitlyn and Rob must feel so much more. My kids are as different as three children could ever be. They thrive. They give back. They just don’t do nothing. They are my inspiration each and everyday and what our youngest two do, while dealing with diabetes, well that amazes me even more.
But the pain is still there. It will not go away until their diabetes does. So I am in it for the duration.
The pain. As they heard from me all of their lives, you cannot do anything about what happens but you can do something when it takes up residence. It can beat you or you can beat it. It’s just that simple. Now many can, and will, tell you that it is not THAT simple; and the putting into action is surely not simple. But the first step, looking at yourself in the mirror and saying you will not be beat…..are just words. And when you first say them, they will start out that way……just words. But repeating them everyday until they start to take root is what the goal is, and that is where the pain and the action meet. Where the rubber hits the road as they say.
Because every single time I hurt, or I ache thinking of my kids, as I think of what they go through; as I think of all the ‘what-ifs’ in their lives; it reminds me to push on. When I feel the pain, EVERY time I ask myself—“What are you doing Tom, at this second to change anything…..change everything?” Every single time.
Because by doing that it reminds me of all the work that needs to get done. It reminds me that I cannot stop because of what people say or do. It reminds me that what I am in is bigger than any other aspect in my life. That no matter what shape my life may be in, my kids are doing it with diabetes…..and THAT is just not acceptable.
I have taught myself. As a marathon athlete teaches themselves to push on…….NO MATTER WHAT; I have taught myself. The athlete calls it ‘pushing through the pain’, no matter what the pain is, push through it—-it will subside.
I push through the pain. It becomes a reminder to me as it does the distant runner—-the finish line is worthy of the trip.
So whatever the pain is in your life; what you are going through, what someone said, what some did; let the pain serve as a reminder. You have to keep going. The pain is nothing compared to what your kids think, do, or even feel. Push through the pain, for them; because the finish line that awaits, however you define that finish line to yourself, is worth every single tear………….I mean step.
I am a diabetes dad.
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