Saturday, May 11, 2013

For All The Mothers

Happy Mother's Day. 

As a mom of two sweet little girls and as a wife of a wonderful husband, when Mother's Day rolls around, I am well cared for. 

As soon as my daughters grasped the concept of giving mom a special day, they took charge of creating home made cards, picking newly planted annual bouquets and ordering their daddy 'to get the best present for Mama cuz she deserves it'. 

Photo: 2 dozen red roses from my love!

Thank you to my sweet little girls.  Already my kitchen table is decorated with flowers and gifts.  Special thank you's to my husband for joyfully going along with their requests and even adding his own surprises - I love you all! 

For 12 years in a row, complete with my first still in utero, I have been blessed with a loving celebration on Mother's Day.

Still, it is not without the famed bitter-sweet. 

For on Mother's Day, like any other day of our lives, our entire day will be interrupted by type 1 diabetes.  There will be site changes and finger pokes.  There will be middle-of-the-night blood sugar checks.  And that breakfast that us moms love?  Well, portions will be measured and carbs will be counted so that insulin can be dosed. 

Because that is just the way it is on Mother's Day and every other day of the year.

This year, on the cusp of our lucky number seven anniversary of type 1 diabetes,  having to do all of those things in order to manage type 1 diabetes seems, well, normal.

Doesn't every Mama or Mommy, Mom, Mother have to do that for their children?

And if that answer is no, than I think they are missing out.

Because on this special day, I am going to reflect on the good things of being this kind of type 1 diabetes mother.

Like how my children and I have developed a relationship so powerful that we instinctively know what is happening without so much as a spoken word.  One look between us is all that is needed.  Our bond will never be broken and our trust is complete.  Literally, my children have honored me with the privilege of keeping them alive and well, even as they sleep.  There is no greater gift than their faith in (me) mom.  I treasure it.

Even greater than that, I am going to focus on the way that being this kind of mother has both softened and toughened me.  Like the old adage 'don't sweat the small stuff and family is everything' to becoming the mama bear and advocating for equal treatment at school, better care options and even voicing my needs on a political level.  For my little cubs, I will not back down.  I have grown into this role and I know that it has made me a better person.

Pretty cool list, isn't it?

Erma Bombeck wrote in such an eloquent way of why we were chosen as a type 1 diabetes mom.  

When I first read her poem, I felt put-off and embarrassed.  I didn't feel any different than any other mom.  In fact, I felt worse.  I thought I would never become the kind of mother that could handle type 1 diabetes.  I felt like a phony; someone who just went through the list of type 1 diabetes requirements to get through until the end of the day.

And then, somewhere it occurred to me that maybe I was being too hard on myself.  My children were happy.  They were healthy.  What's more, they even liked hanging around with me.  We had our own little universe that included silly pranks and inside jokes.  I even found myself relaxing and learning how to accept and enjoy our new life. 

With all of that change occurring, I started to think more and more about the positives of what this disease was bringing into our lives. 

Maybe your journey with type 1 diabetes is just beginning or maybe you have been doing this for many years, no matter the length of time, I know you have your own list of positives too.  Your own personal accomplishments and victories.

Think about them and write them down.  Maybe you create a list with your family or your write as a part of your personal narrative.  Whatever you do, savor your life and enjoy this time - even with type 1 diabetes.

Most important of all, realize that you have made a difference in the life of a child.  That is the greatest accomplishment of all and today, I honor YOU and all the mother's that are caring for someone with type 1 diabetes.

Happy Mother's Day

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with diabetes are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint Matthew.”
“Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint Cecilia.”
“Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a child with diabetes.” The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly”, smiles God. “Could I give a child with diabetes to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”
“But has she the patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it. I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I am going to give her has her own world. She has to make it live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”
God smiles. “No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”
The angel gasps. “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”
God nods. “If she cannot separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with less than perfect.”
“She does not realize it yet, but she is to be envied. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see…ignorance, cruelty, prejudice…and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as if she is here by my side.”
“And what about her patron saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in mid air.
God smiles. “A mirror will suffice.”


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