This is an incredible tribute from a mom to her son who has lived with diabetes for 12 years. Stacey Nagel is about as much a shoot-from-the-hip person as you will ever meet. She is as strong as she is in her honest approach to everything. She lost her house in Super Storm Sandy, she and her family have had to deal with as much ‘life’ as anyone. Yet if you are in need, Stacey, Scott and/or one (or all) of their kids will undoubtedly show up when the call for help goes out. Her tribute to her son is a wonderful read…….enjoy.
December 5th 2001 – December 5th 2013
I don’t know of any parent who doesn’t praise their child to the skies. I am no exception. Jesse has always been a wonderful son. He is the youngest of our three children. We used to say that he “used his cuteness for evil”. He was/is always grinning and happy. When he was younger, we found it difficult to discipline him because of his charm. We weren’t alone in our assessment of his character; our friends and family all fell under his sway.
One of his best attributes is his spirit, which was tested to the hilt on December 5th 2001, when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This was a very difficult and trying time for us as parents. You would imagine that a nine-year old, when saddled with multiple daily injections of insulin, restricted diet, and many lifestyle restrictions needed for his care, would also feel stress and depression. Not Jesse! He took to giving his own injections right away and put up with regimens that would send most kids into screaming fits. He accepted our hovering presence with grace and charm.
Jesse is now the young adult that his friends turn to for help. Whether it is in his service to his school, or assisting and teaching others about type 1 diabetes, he definitely gets involved in situations in which he believes. This is a testament to his character and shows devotion to his classmates and peers.
Through all of this he has needed to confide in us things that most teens would not dare. The care of his diabetes has made us especially well-educated in all aspects of his body, a particularly embarrassing thing for a teen. He has had to prove himself capable of his own care before taking a two-week class trip to Greece, and before getting behind the wheel of a car.
We thought that College would be at big challenge for him, and yet he probably never even saw it as one. His decision to pursue a career in nursing is the most natural setting for him.
Diabetes did not make Jesse who he is, did not teach him anything about the world, or improve his character: he already had those things. It has revealed to us strength and character he already had at nine and a half years old. I can tell you there is nothing that makes a parent more proud than seeing their child fulfill the goals he has set out for himself. It is beyond anything I ever expected and can tell you that I’m not sure I could have overcome the adversity he has faced and risen above, every single day since his diagnosis.
Jesse- I LOVE YOU more than a zillion chicken nuggets!
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.