Monday, December 10, 2012

Time Is Fleeting... A Moment to Savor

The Grands

Even though we try hard not to let this happen, much of our lives are wrapped up in the minutia of managing type 1 diabetes. 

I'm guessing that happens to everyone living with type 1 diabetes. 

Despite best intentions, a day comes when you realize that through the mounds of site changes, supply ordering, doctor appointments, coffee group meetings, JDRF walk preparation and ADA camp application forms, that unfortunately you were missing out on spending time with a few amazing people.

That moment came for me on Saturday.  Without notice, I gathered up our Naturally Sweet Sisters for a little road trip to visit the most amazing people that I know:
my beautiful 87 -year old grandparents (and great-grandparents to the girls).

In many ways over the years, despite the obvious aging, my grandparents have remained steadfastly unchanged.  It's comforting to sit in their quaintly charming and well-loved home.  One step into the doorway and immediately, you just know you are home.  I think it is the familiar scents of my grandpa's delicious cooking and the whoosh sound of their gas fireplace firing up a warm welcome.  The faded black and white and vintage color photos dotting the walls surround me with familiar faces that I remember from childhood.  My grandparents couched, updated recently, somehow still harbours the look of the background for all of those pictures.  Immediately, we four plop down on it, with big smiles of anticipation of the funny things that grandpa will start to say.

Home away from home.  We breathe in deeply to savor the moment.
I simply love visiting there.

As does my husband and two daughters.  They are as excited as me to see the 'GGs' and to get that ever snuggily warm embrace that is filled with unconditional love.

It feels good.  Actually, better than good.  It allows me (and probably all of us) to relax away from the world of T1d.

We literally walk in and for an hour or two, the stress seemingly melts away.

And I am not sure why that is or what magical medicine lurks behind the doors to their tiny home. 

Maybe because my grandparents have lived a lifetime of ups and downs and understand that living with T1d is part of that roller coaster of life. 

Maybe because my grandparents raised their adult daughter (my mom) and watched her diagnosis and continuing struggle with multiple sclerosis, another uncontrollable and unpredictable auto-immune disease.

Maybe because my grandma had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (forty years ago) and was already familiar with terms like blood sugar testing, counting carbohydrates and insulin dosing. I didn't have to explain what was happening or teach her repeatedly that insulin wasn't a choice, but life-support.

Or maybe because they just love us (my favorite answer), before, during and after diagnosis.  Our relationship didn't suffer the tiny fissures that became huge cracks in some of our other relationships from people unable to understand our sudden need to focus on diabetes 24-hours a day, seven days a week. 

I think the biggest reason is this, time is fleeting and can change at a moments notice.  My grandparents are acutely aware of this and are wonderfully generous with their time and love.  They don't hold back their words, hugs or even tears... they tell stories passionately and with exuberance.  They expect nothing and are simply delighted in the smallest of treasures... even a crumpled drawing by youngest daughter, illustrated on route to their home.

And that is exactly the best kind of anti-diabetes burnout medicine that anyone could have, the love of someone close to your family. 

If you haven't done it lately, drop everything that you are doing and head to your home away from home to visit the people that love you best.  I guarantee that will be exactly what the doctor ordered.

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