Sunday, December 15, 2013


A few months after her sister was diagnosed.

I have this memory of my two little girls.  We are sitting near our youngest daughter's hospital bed and our oldest daughter is whispering to her sister.  What she is saying, I am not sure but it appears to be soothing and I can tell that it is making our youngest feel better.  I decide not to interrupt and let them continue. 

In hindsight, I realize that this is our oldest daughter's gentle introduction to type 1 diabetes.

Our very first walk, when only one was diagnosed.

On that same day, I also remember thinking of how mixed my emotions were to have one child diagnosed and one child not.  None of it felt fair and I remember having anxiety over how to parent this new situation.  Would I be able to overcome an intrusive disease and to bring my once happy home back to life?  Could I balance their individual needs?  Would they be able to understand the complexity and challenges that type 1 diabetes brings everyone living in a home?

Figuring it all out after our life was turned upside down.

All of my questions were answered over the next three years and yes, our happy home was returned to a new kind-of-normal.  It was never the same as it had been before diabetes but it felt better and we still had laughter and silliness and love.  To me (and to the rest of the family), that was all that truly mattered.

A photo shoot in the fall before she was diagnosed.

Then, shortly after enjoying a victory diaversary for our second child, our happy world collided with t1d yet again. 

Exactly three years and three days later, our new normal was re-adjusted to receive a second diagnosis for our oldest child.

Seeing this now, I am reminded of how simple it was.

There was no escaping the tears.  We cried.  All of us.  Most especially our youngest daughter who later asked me if she 'gave' it to her sister.

A long six months after diagnosis when she started needing insulin hourly.

Nothing was different with our grief.  It hurt just as deeply as it did the first time.

Running away to New York City to escape the daily grind of t1d.  This was taken at the boathouse and she had high bgs.  Lots of water and a Diet Coke for a treat.

Except that this time, I was certain that we could handle her diagnosis.

Just four years later and life is back to a new normal for all of us.

And it really wasn't about me as a parent but more about amazing she was. 

Taking it all in stride, she had a quiet introduction into the world of diabetes on the day her sister was diagnosed. 

Without any of us realizing it, she had accepted the idea that this was her disease too and had simply rolled up her sleeves and dived in...

even if it was to just make her little sister feel better.

At our JDRF awards banquet, we celebrated her victory as a two term ambassador and as a wonderful fundraiser dedicated to finding a cure!

To my oldest daughter, I am so proud of you.

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