I consider myself someone who is, and has been, fairly active in all of my children’s lives; and have certainly been active pertaining to the youngest two and their diabetes. And in anything that I have done, I have always and in all ways known that it pales greatly to what their mom has done, and continues to do, in all three of their lives.
From the first day Kaitlyn was diagnosed in 1992 at age 2, her mom did not merely learn about this disease, she absorbed it. It was as in those super hero films when we see the super hero ‘step’ into another to become that persona. From day one, Kaitlyn’s mom stepped into the diabetes monster so they would become one and she would control it. She gave up more than a career, more than countless sleepless nights, and more than pleasantries; she gave up a portion of her own self to make sure she would control this monster.
And as sweetly as she controlled her voice when she spoke to Kaitlyn growing up with this disease since age 2, make no mistake about it; she was instilling in her daughter, and later her son as well, the strongest backbone that any child could ever hope to grow in doing battle with a monster.
Jill is not a tall woman by any means, she has these big round blue eyes and this high-pitched voice that upon meeting her you would think she is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet, and that would be correct; but so much so that one could easily make the mistake thinking that her sweetness is a weakness. When in reality, that is absolutely and completely 100% a mistake…………to ever think.
I have watched, now, for over 25 years as she has done battle with this disease. She arms herself better than I ever could and she has tamed this disease more than I ever hoped to. Whatever I may have done, or others think I have done in this diabetes battle, I do not come even close compared to what she has meant in the lives of all our children but specifically, our two with diabetes.
She not only taught herself in a time that there was no computer to just turn on and absorb, she also found time when there was just not enough hours in a day. Plain and simply put, she gave back to our kids the very life that diabetes thought would suck dry. Diabetes thought she was as weak; as she was sweet.
Like many moms, when it comes to their children, she is an unstoppable force to be reckoned with when endangering her young ones. She absorbed the pain and cried countless tears so her children’s would be less. She stayed awake so her kids could sleep. She has not only perfected the very act of protecting them; she has fiercely empowered them to stand on their own two feet to be the best they could be and she also instilled in them……..diabetes would just not do in their lives.
And it hasn’t, and it won’t.
So this week is Mother’s Day. Somehow merely wishing Jill a Happy Mother’s Day is nowhere near enough, I feel obligated to also thank her. Because in addition to being an incredible mom, she taught our kids how to live. She taught them that diabetes just cannot do. She taught them, by example, that education is the absolute equalizer. She taught them that they have to do everything they can to stay on top of this disease every day, and she taught them that they have to do all that, and pray that they are kept safe. She taught all of our kids much about this world.
When I reflect back on our lives, I realize that all three of our children are more than I could have ever hoped. I know I played a role in our kid’s lives as most dads do; BUT I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our kids have embraced life with the strength, humility, gusto, and backbone of a superhero……..because of their mom.
Thank you for that, Jill, and Happy Mother’s Day. And Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who taught men like me that clearly all super heroes don’t have, nor even need, capes.
I am a diabetes dad.
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