Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
A Lot of Fight Left In Us!
Do we share something huge in common? Whether we are natural peacemakers or rock the boaters or something somewhere in between maybe just maybe we share the biggest things on our list of priorities. I will say that there was a time in my life where I was pretty much similar to Rex the dinosaur from the movie, “Toy Story.” There is that line in the movie by Rex of “I don’t like confrontation.” Life though I learned has some components to it that need gusto, backbone, good feistiness & fight. This realization set in for me in cement just over 15 years ago. It set in due to a struggle for life. It was not a struggle in that instance for my own life but rather for the life of our oldest son, Matthew. I love peace but not at any price. Sometimes I have found a big amount of self imposed fight from within is exactly what is needed. As I have shared with you before, every child I believe is a miracle & of course I know each one of our 3 sons are treasured & cherished miracles. Matthew seemed to like to create some of his own, unique creative drama even from the “inside.” When I was 6 months pregnant with Matt my husband & I were pitched a curve ball. Labour began & I was told by doctor after doctor & a few specialists that our baby was on the way & statistics on scary outcomes were provided. The thing that we kept hearing over & over again was that it was extremely unrealistic for our son to live. Two things changed or maybe they were there all along & just needed to kick in within me. The first one was that my faith grew exponentially which even at the time seemed intellectually counterintuitive. Sure, I had always believed in God however I had managed to compartmentalize that part of my life in a neat & tidy way. On February 4, 2000 I felt a wave of peace like never before. The second thing that set in finally for me was a big fighting spirit. It did not matter to me if 50 specialists came in & told me bad news; I knew that our son was going to be just fine. It was not a denial kind of thing which is pretty different. I have an allergy to denial. Of course I am joking about having a literal allergy to denial. I just really do not personally do denial. I face good news & bad news head on. I cry the huge crocodile tears, get my feelings out during sad times & during fun or happy times I will cheer on others enthusiastically & will laugh from my toes to my eyes. I am not interested in sitting on the sidelines of my own life. I have arrived at a comfortable feisty love kind of style & I like, like, like it. Yes I do. For sure when the doctors came in with their long faces they must have thought that I was a lunatic because words came seamlessly & peacefully & calmly from me respectfully disagreeing with all the statistically bad news they were giving my husband & I. The thing is that I am by nature an emotional, sensitive, panic first & calm myself down person later. This is not what happened when I needed the strength to fight for my son’s life. What came out of me when I was emotionally squeezed this time was steadfast 100% certainty that he was going to be healthy & beautiful. The other thing that came out of me was the fight against odds. The fight the odds is something that I have & do have daily so I am grateful that I found that seed of strength to grow. I am not suggesting for one second that it is me that builds my own strength. The strength is a gift & I am just enough of a rascal to not question if I deserve to receive it but rather just to choose to be thankful instead. To make a long story longer (ha ha) 15 years later this 6’4” boy is still a miracle to me & he is still going against statistics in many ways in life. Matt is a spectacular illustrator & writer & I know with certainty that one day I am going to walk into a book store & see his name & drawings for sale there. That makes me smile ear to ear. Against almost every odd, Matt in his own feisty fight not only was not born prematurely but went on to need to be induced when he was 10 days late. He is a full foot taller than me & almost every one that sees him asks him if he plays basketball & where he gets his height from. I respond that he is not into basketball but is an amazing writer & that obviously he gets his height from me! I love saying the height part with a straight face. That is how rascals are though & I embrace my inner rascal.
Without getting on my soapbox I will say that the fighting spirit came in handy big time during a time when a Dear Heart of mine went through years of merciless bullying. I am not done with antibullying advocation by a long shot but I will say on a joy filled note that this Dear Heart is no longer bullied & did something beautiful with the experience. He helps other people with an empathy that is strong within that “I get it” spirit. We get the choice of free will to sit quietly or turn our eyes away when someone from our human family is being bullied or we stand up tall even if we are all of 5’4” & fight for what is right. I admire the people who stand up tall in front of bullying. We are all tall when we do this.
Some days are not too full of Indiana Jones like adventure but we can still invoke our feisty fight to ordinary days too. We can love fiercely. We can advocate fiercely. We can be fiercely loyal friends. We can fight for everything big & small within life whether we are chasing dreams, blood sugar number or occasionally buses. Feisty fighters don’t give up. We rest but we do not in the end give up ever. We can say that we feel like giving up but ultimately we know that we will not give up any day of the week. As a humorous wee aside, let me share with you once again that even in the little things giving up is really not within my being. Last week our 2 younger sons & I arrived at our middle son’s bus stop only to see the bus pulling away. The bus got a couple of cars ahead of us when we got stuck at a red light. I vaguely had an idea of his bus route. I told the boys not to worry because we would catch up to the bus. It took us about 4 bus stops but we finally caught up & our son got on the bus to complete his ride the rest of the way. You might be shaking your head at me a bit wondering why it would matter if he got on the bus & why I didn’t just drive him to the school instead. The truth is that Brian loves seeing his friends on the bus first thing in the morning & he does not do well with change in routine, also I like big & little challenges so I wanted to try to get him on the bus even against the odds & lastly, the school parking lot is bedlam that time of the day. The chasing the bus is just a tiny example of fighting the odds but I think the tiny examples give us practice for when the huge things in life present themselves worthy of feisty fights. You hear phrases like you have to fight for your dreams often. The big things in life I think don’t just happen all on their own. An example of that was when I met my husband. We lived almost 3 hours by car away from one another. The odds were stacked against us that we would last. We heard from lots of nay sayers. Those were the times of snail mail & corded telephones. As our sons like to say, we are from the 1900’s! We fought the odds to be together & we know that we cannot take one another for granted now either because there are many challenges within the world that if we let our guard down could potentially try to tear us apart. I never claim to have the perfect relationship or family. I do have the fighting spirit & I fight every day for keeping love within my home & family. Now we come to the chasing blood sugar numbers. Holy crap, diabetes management is complicated. What works one day sure may not work tomorrow or ever again it seems. Blood sugar control I have heard people say is like pinning jello to a tree on a humid day. Isn’t that the truth! Here’s the thing though & that is that I will fight diabetes. What the heck is the alternative. It can be exhausting fighting diabetes every minute of every day & night. It is the fight for sustained life. You better believe that all these other experiences along the way have added to a feisty, fierce strength to battle & fight diabetes day in & day out. And I believe in the “don’t leave a man(or gal) behind” philosophy in life. That means that if a battle buddy of mine is getting beaten up especially profusely on any given day with diabetes that I will do what is within my ability to do to help. Sometimes it is something as simple as saying a heartfelt prayer for them. Other times it is something else. It will be something with a whole bunch of feisty fierce love stirred in though I promise. And my battle buddies have shown incredible love & encouragement to me on the really bad days of diabetes. That is the fight within friendship which might at first sound kind of strange. Friendship though is active & not passive. If we care then we say we care & we do something in the spirit of friendship to demonstrate kindness & care. Indifference is a lack of fight I believe. I feel allergic to indifference. Friendship with indifference is pretty flat & does not make sense to me.
This past week as I was driving our youngest son to soccer a song came on the radio & I had never heard it before. As soon as the chorus came on though I knew I had found my daily anthem. I refer to it as the kick diabetes anthem. Sometimes we just hear a song & it is ours. Have you had that happen before? Ever since I heard the song, I have a new start to my day every day. I start my day off with 3 listens in a row of the "kick diabetes anthem.” Maybe you will find this song to help with your kicking diabetes in the chops every day too. The song is called, “The Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. Here’s the rule though & that is that you have, have, have to play it really loudly. The best part of the song is a truth that I love & it is “there’s still a lot of fight left inside of me!” Yes there is. There is still a lot of fight left within you too.
My heart’s hope for you is that you join the feisty fight against things that do not belong in this world like diabetes and so many other beasts. Go ahead, become stronger within the fight. You are strong. You have a lot, a lot a lot of fight left inside of you!
They say that sometimes we have to fight for some of our best days & other days they are just given to us. Life with diabetes though I have found is more apt to need the extra fight for the good days. Knowledge is empowering though. You & I are all in because this is one fight that makes the difference. Next Monday's story is "Messy Inspiration." Yes, messy is something that I can do with my eyes closed :)