A Mom Writes to Her Parents. Grand Parents; THE MOST Forgotten of All!!!!!!

writing a letter inkI received this letter recently that was written over a year ago.  “Di’ shared it with me about two weeks ago.  Read it, it says it all.

Dear Mom and Dad,

I saw the look in your eyes today.

I’m sorry that I did not have as much time as I would have liked to spend with you.  It has been tough.  Being told that your child has diabetes is something I never knew could happen.  It is something that we could have never expected.

There is a list of things we need (and continue) to learn and learn quickly so we could take Susie out of the hospital and start this ‘new normal’ in our household.  Michael is scared because he thinks his big sister is not coming home again, and Tiffany is just worried about her little sister.  We have lost all track of time.

Seeing you both today, I just had to write a few things that I wanted to say but I could never get the words out right now.  Raw is how I feel.  The words would never come to me without completely losing it.

Balancing the kids’ feelings, Susie’s feelings, and trying to learn everything we need to know about diabetes is like a mountain a million feet high and wide and Chris and I stand at the base of it; not trying to figure the how, that is too hard; but rather where to even begin.

But we will.

You and daddy taught me to take on whatever is sent our way.  You taught me to rely on each other as you did when we lost Mickey.  I never understood that pain and still don’t as much as you both I’m sure; but my heart is truly feeling a pain that I never  knew it could.  When Mickey died, we were all crushed.  We learned to cope, and to understand that ‘living forward’, as daddy always says; is the only way we can be.

One can never understand when it comes to your own child.  I am so sorry that I never really understood how you both must have felt.  Your pain must have been never-ending and you surely hid much of it from us.

It is now 3 am and I am awake.  I just checked Susie’s blood sugar and she is not where I think she should be so I gave her a little insulin and will wait.  She was so high last night, she pee’d the bed and she was so upset.  Two nights ago she was so low that I gave her some food to raise her blood sugar.  Always something, right daddy.  🙂

Mom asked me something last week and I wanted to answer her now that I could find some time to write this letter.  See asked what you guys could do to help.  I was shocked how much she learned in the last three weeks.  I’m so thankful that you both think that you could watch Susie and Michael when we take Tiffany to regionals next week.  It is so hard to try to balance everything.

I will call mom and work out some time to go over everything and leave Susie with you both for a few hours this week so you can at least not take on everything at once.  I guess I am crying a little now; it is all so hard.

I am so grateful you are both in our lives.  Being close as always been a strong point in our home, you taught us that we would need that some day.

Some day; is now here.

I need to recheck Susie’s blood sugar again and try to get some sleep.  I’m no good to anyone fully exhausted.  I have read on-line so many ‘grand parents’ who cannot cope with having diabetes now in their lives.  You two have taken it head on.  But that is how you do everything.  I just hope that I can be half of what you were to all of us growing up; and be that for Susie.

Thank you (I probably should have said this more often and am now sorry I didn’t) so much for being there.

I love you,

If you have not written your parents lately, perhaps after this you might want to.  “Living Forward”—-my new phrase for life.  I love it.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

When Does the Pain Stop?

The sun is shining today…….and you are here, and that is a very good thing.

Aside from the silliness of the world ending I have come to realize a little more thoughtfully that more and more life can be so very cruel.  Very.  We surely have learned that in the last two weeks haven’t we?

Earlier today I was going through some old magazines that we deliver to a local hospital and I came across a People Magazine and the front cover was full of everything from the shootings in Aurora.  And here we are again.  It hits the fan, and it hits it again…..and it probably will even again.

It leaves pain.  It leaves choices.  We have all had our share of pain in varying degrees, haven’t we?

My thought process veered into one child diagnosed….and there we were again, with another.  The pain was so incredibly large that I never thought we would get through it.  But we did.  Many people have been through really bad crap, much worse than what we have been through, and still they seem to move through it; or ‘move on’ as we say.

The pain is not any less and surely other people’s pain is much more than mine and I marvel at their fortitude to keep going.  They do it for a whole list of reasons……but they do it.  The pain is no less but they continue.

I asked a mom once, who lost her child, how she could ever move on?  Her answer astounded me and to this day I remember vividly her words.  “My daughter has been gone for over 20 years and not a day goes by that I do not think of her.  But I’m here; now.   And 100 years from now no one will care; life has to be lived through the eyes of the present, even as hard as it may ever be.  The choice will  be left to us.  It is the only choice or you will never live life again.”

This person told me this over 12 years ago and I never forgot it.   “Through the eyes of the present…….the choice is left to us”—I love it.

I marvel at how so many can just look life straight in the eyes and say; “bring it on.”  No less painful but they live for the moment, and in the moment.  They live for the now, and in the now.

So next time you are going through ‘something’ remember we can all learn something from that me thinks.

I am a diabetes dad.

Newtown, Ct. Tragedy: We, at Least, have Somewhere to Turn.

What do we do now?

Anger.  Much anger.  Debate.  Much debate.

In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy I find myself reading many, many posts.  Mental illness, gun control, school safety.   What do we do now?

I’m not someone who would even think of myself as a professional or an expert but it seems to me that these discussions are attempts to somehow erase the indelible horrors that have painted pained images into our minds.

After spending 30 hours in the midst of the horrors of 9-11; it took me years to be able not to see the images that were burned in my mind every time I shut my eyes.  The nightmares and visuals happen from time to time to  this day eleven years later.  I remember the days following that event and how I tried to somehow to “make sense’ of it all.

I came to the realization, with help, that we cannot make sense of it all.  In fact, hard as we may, we cannot make sense of ANY of it.  Because none of it makes any sense.  What we can do is become more aware of our world and what is important.

We cannot control that which is thrust upon us by someone else’s actions.  My friend Moira stated in a post recently that (paraphrased) we the diabetes community are very aware of dealing with tragic events.  This is not a comparison to anything else except to state that we in the diabetes community have invested our hearts, our pains, our fears, our joys, and so much more in the community we belong; the diabetes community.  And it is almost as if we are more prepared for……..well much more than many others who do not know what we go through, and do not know about community until it is needed so badly.

So when everything started happening, I sought out those who are in my community.   Those I turn to everyday.  I was not disappointed.  SO many perspectives and what I learned from our community is to not try to find sense in anything, but rather; those we hold close…hold just a tad closer.  Notice the fresh air.  Notice the sound, the music, the love which surrounds all of us.  The DOC allows us a place to turn.

It has been what has gotten us through before, and what will get us through again today, and what will also be there for us tomorrow; when it unfortunately will be needed again.

In the diabetes community, we do, have each other.  I am grateful for that.

I am a diabetesdad.

Do Our Kids Look Upon Themselves….as Damaged?….Again Seeking Input.

Last night I saw the movie, Love and Other Drugs.  Before you start your car to run to the Redbox outside your local 7-11 or quickly download from Netflix, you need to know that this is a real, raw film.  And you may want to see it before sharing with your older teens due to the sexual nature of the film, which is a tad too bad as there is an extremely crucial message in this film.

I don’t watch films to learn, per se, I go to be entertained.  Anne Hathaway (Maggie) gives a fabulous performance and two things struck me in particular about the film.  One is the drive Anne Hathaway’s character has to live with the disease that afflicts her body, and the other was an actress that has a small role that captures you immediately, Lucy Roucis (I will get back to Lucy in a minute)..

Maggie has Parkinson’s Disease.  She is doing her ‘damnest’ to live her life to the fullest.  Many times I have stated how important it is to ‘LIVE with diabetes’ rather than ‘live with DIABETES’.  Despite everything that Maggie attempts, the one crucial point she cannot get past is to allow anyone to get close to her.   Jamie (exceptionally played by Jake Gyllenhaal) falls for Maggie and she does all she can to keep him away because the way she lives her life is safe.   At the crucial point in the film the conversation went like this:
Maggie Murdock: I’m gonna need you more than you need me.
Jamie Randall: That’s okay.
Maggie Murdock: [crying] No it’s not! It isn’t *fair*! I have places to go!
Jamie Randall: You’ll go there. I just may have to carry you.
Maggie Murdock: …I can’t ask you to do that.
Jamie Randall: You didn’t.

Recently I wrote asking those with T1 Diabetes, who were now adults, to chime in and I have heard from so many how healthy that dialogue was.  So many parents sent me emails and private messages how much they learned from those who live with diabetes every day.  I thank all of you who commented. And now I may ask it again. 

As I watched this film, it was very clear that Maggie was going to do her all in her power to live as she sees fit,  But it was also very clear that she could not get past the fact that someone may actually love her completely because she thought of herself as ‘damaged’ or not as perfect as someone may ever want.  Moments in the film had me saying to myself, “Do our kids feel that way?”  DO they feel that no one would ever want them because they have diabetes?  Do they feel that  THEY do not want anyone to get close to them because they have diabetes?  When they enter into a relationship, what does the family of the new-found love say about their diabetes?

A beautiful actress named Lucy Roucis caught my eye in the film.  Maggie goes to a support group meeting and Lucy’s character is running the evening’s event.  You notice the sparkle in her eye and hear her fabulous wit; it is only after that moment that you also realize she has tremors and has Parkinson’s also.  In my homework for this writing I found out that Lucy has Parkinson’s and what we are seeing is probably a lot like who she is everyday.  She shared that she also wrote part of that wonderful scene.

Lucy states in an interview,
I would like journalists to change the phrase, “suffering from Parkinson’s.” I don’t suffer. I endure Parkinson’s. I live with Parkinson’s. But suffering is a state of mind.

And there you go.  “…suffering is a state of mind.”   How fabulous is Lucy?

In as much as our kids with diabetes do incredibly wonderful things, which I have written about many times, do they—EVEN WHILE DOING these great things, deep down inside, ask themselves, “……will anyone fall in love with me WITH my diabetes?”  Do they, as Maggie did, push people away and not allow people to become close to them, because of their diabetes?  Did they feel that way and had to get over it?  What do they feel?

Do you as parents ever ask yourself these questions?

I look forward to reading what others feel on this subject and again, if you could reply here so everyone can read the responses (as oppose to wherever it is posted on-line) it would be appreciated.

BTW you can click the hyperlink to Lucy’s interview above and see how fabulous and successful a person she is when not onscreen; I do hope her parents are as proud of her as we are of our kids, who also accomplish great things even while ‘enduring’ with diabetes.

I am a Diabetesdad.