Monday, December 15, 2014

December Diaversary x2

For three years, I didn't understand how much you were absorbing of what was going on after your sister's diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.  I was caught up in making your magical childhood happen just has it has always done, with the exception of an extra poke, dr.visit or pump start.  I wanted to make sure your kindergarten year was every bit of the joy that we had intended it to be.  Thankfully, your lovely teacher never batted an eye as I sent you off during some of the harder moments dressed in the frilliest of tu-tus in hopes of lessening the difficulty that T1D had brought into our home.  I knew you were happy and loved,  those were the biggest gifts that I could give during those early years.

However, you were always there, quietly watching and observing what your little sister was doing.   In hindsight it was no surprise that you instantly recognized what your little body was telling you five years ago.  There were drawings made by you at age 5 of your sister with blood droplets surrounding her and pictures created by your 6 year-old child-hand captioning the very worried phrase 'DIE'-betes.  As you continued to grow through 6, 7 and 8, there were play-acting games with stuffed animals that needed juice or shots right away.   There was even a special collection of your own stickers from the hospital that you treasured, while asking when it would be your turn to go have a visit. Such a premonition that neither of us realized.

Poking your finger on that cold, winters day broke me into a million tiny pieces.  I hadn't thought it would happen to you too.   Realistically, I knew the possibility was always there, but I didn't want to admit it to either of us.

I remember calling and frantically looking for options to stop what was happening.  Anyone with a connection to promising research was called and for the first time, I didn't even care if I sounded crazy.  I would have done anything to change the direction that was headed our way.  Coming to terms with the inevitable answer of 'there is nothing we can do' was perhaps the hardest realization that I have ever faced in my life.

While your sister's diagnosed changed me, yours did too, perhaps even more.  It made me have a steely resolve to continue to work wherever I could to advocate for better treatments, equal health rights and most of all, for a cure.

Even better, is knowing that roles have somewhat reversed for the two of us.  I now sit quietly watching you, listening as you tell me about a kindness that you bestowed on a classmate in need and of how you tried to help a fellow friend with T1d, handle a bothersome situation.  I watch you hug your sister after you give her an injection in a hard-to-reach area and while you comfort her like a mama would with kisses on the top of her forehead.  I see you step out of your comfort zone to lead at school and to encourage others.  I watch you day-dreaming into the future, when you are done with school and have become a pediatric endocrinologist and in your own words, "helping kids the way they need to be helped."

Five years ago, life handed you the very big task of living life with type 1 diabetes.  I am so proud of how you have accepted it, managed it and continued to thrive with it.  You make me proud every day, sweet girl.  I have no doubt that your gift to the world is the ability to show this special strength and to encourage others to follow your grace and kindess.

I can't wait to see even more of what you choose to do in this world and I have a feeling, there are a lot of people cheering you on. xoxo


Unknown said...

Maybe one day we will run into each other in the peds endo field! I will be getting my nursing degree in the next 2-3 years then from there I will be on my way to medical school. I can't wait to hear what amazing things you will do in your life!

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

Thank you! I hope so too!

Heather Shelton said...

This is the sweetest post. I hope that Sydney one day will want to be a leader and supporter to others around her. She has began being a huge help to her cousin who was recently diagnosed. While in the hospital she let him check her blood prior to her snack. It's sad everything our children have to go through, but it makes them super strong and absolutely amazing! And how awesome to want to be a pedi endo to help other kids and let them know that she knows exactly how they feel. Sending love and hugs!