Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
Everyday Heroes, Mentors & Dear Heart Friends: Finding Your Eddie & Justina
The stories that we share with one another of family, friends, neighbors and strangers that have given each of us a beautiful piece of kindness are the treasures in life worth focusing upon.
Do you find that if you really spend some time & effort being present with people that you meet that there is a tendency towards negativity? If that is the case, why do you suppose that is? Could it be that it is easy to resort to negative thinking? Possibly, have we as a society in general failed to realize that we have an abundance of goodness at our fingertips? What is it about some rare folks that is magnetic because we see & feel within them an authentic peacefulness?
Many years ago, I remember vividly asking a mentor why there are some people that come into many of our lives that pull us down. The mentor’s name is Robert. Robert shared that every single person that comes into our lives is there for a purpose. He challenged me to realize that the folks that we meet up with that offer negativity are the folks that if we choose to, we can learn a great deal from. I could not help but give him a perplexed look at that answer. Robert went on to explain that those are the folks that we learn about how not to behave or emulate. That gem of wisdom stayed with me. That shift in thinking has been priceless. It is a little armor for the rare occasions in life that another person does not necessary wish us well. Our job then becomes more about remaining steadfast in doing the next right thing yet also recognizing the types of behaviours that we are prepared to learn from & not pass on. Breaking a cycle of negativity takes a bold decision, determination, and right action. Do you know what else breaks “dark” circles? Replenishment from an everyday hero!
It is one of the simplest things in the world to jump on the crabby, complaining, criticizing bandwagon. Perhaps the 3 c’s are about a situation or worse yet, perhaps in attack of another person in our human family. Here’s a neat way of looking at the 3 c’s though. We can choose to break that behavior apart by not jumping on the bandwagon ourselves & being bold, courageous & standing alone if needed in not being part of the negative cycle. It is difficult yet those things that are truly important take courage & bold choices.
Let’s focus, enjoy,& appreciate those lights in our lives that are people that lift us up & encourage us to be our best selves always. My heart’s hope is that you can easily picture a person in your life that is an everyday hero to you. It could be a parent or another family member or a friend or someone in the community or the world that shows you day in & day out by his or her example what a hero looks like. Over time, I would love to share many every day heroes with you. None of them are famous in the worldly sense yet to so many, they are precious, incredible souls.
Today, I would love to share my Godparents with you for a few minutes. Just under 10 years ago, these incredible Dear Hearts came into my family’s lives. This may sound strange but prior to a decade ago, we were total strangers who had never crossed paths. That is probably not what you were expecting to learn. We never know who is going to come into our lives that is going to make such a powerful, profound & precious difference. My God Mom is truly the most peaceful person I have ever known. She is the type of person that takes what seems to be a complex challenge in life & simplifies it almost instantly. She speaks with understanding of everyone & has a grace that is indescribable. She seamlessly separates people from behaviours & courageously stops people in their tracks if a behavior is not one of goodness. Then she keeps loving the person whether the other person decides to listen to her or not. She just keeps doing what is right day after day. You know that there are people that you swear that when you are sharing time with them that the clock is somehow moving at the speed of light. Every single visit with our Dear Heart Godparents is like that. Every single time when we need to leave one another, I always find myself saying the same thing & that is, “I cannot stand to see our time together end.” My God Mom is like that with everyone. Over the past 10 years not once have I heard Justina say that she is busy. Others have shared the news of Justina’s schedule yet when you are with her, you feel like you are the most precious person in the world. She has a beautiful way of being profoundly present with each person that she shares time with. Then there is her husband, our Dear Heart God Dad, Eddie. Eddie is an absolute joy. He is passionate & excited about life & learning. With 5 different intellectually stimulating books on the go at any time, Eddie has read more books than anyone else that I know. He loves to share his books & talk about what he has learned & ask lots of questions about how our family have found different books to be like. Everything that Eddie does, he does with all his heart. When he greets you, it is like an instant party. One of the things that I love to do is to surprise Eddie by showing up somewhere unexpectedly when I know he will be there. He always gets super excited & usually says that he had a feeling that we would be there. He is a hoot. Eddie has a wisdom & a kindness & a genuine love that he shares with everything that he has. He loves it when he has a house full of family & friends. On a funny note, Eddie literally will not allow you to leave if he thinks it is too soon. So funny! Eddie is extremely scholarly & learned yet is humble & loving & deeply spiritual. He & Justina are people that we can absolutely talk to about anything. Every one of us need someone like that. How amazing does it feel to be yourself totally & know that you are absolutely loved & treasured no matter what. It is precious.
Eddie & Justina are our spiritual mentors, every day heroes, friends & chosen family. When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just over 5 years ago, there were several Dear Hearts that stepped up in supportive ways. My heart will be forever grateful. When we are diagnosed with a “365” health challenge, it is a time of being unsettled to put it mildly. Our worlds may feel upside down. It may even feel like things will never “be right” again. There is the physical side of a “365” health challenge that needs immediate tackling. Thankfully, there are a great many gifted health care providers that walk us through the physical side of our new found health challenge. How about the emotional side of the ongoing illness though? We are more than our bodies so sooner or later our feelings catch up with us too. I remember January 2008 well. That was the month that I started insulin & came to terms with the fact that until type 1 is cured, I would have to enter into a “new normal” way of doing the job of my pancreas. It was overwhelming. At night, I found that I could not go to sleep. I asked myself why I had a sudden & ongoing onset of insomnia. Through reflection, I realized that I did not want to go to sleep at night because honestly, I then felt that I did not have faith that I would wake up the next morning. I was afraid to go to sleep & felt panicked & fearful that the insulin would knock me into a coma overnight. Bigger than that, I would get up & walk around the house & look upon our small, sleeping young sons. For night after night for most of January of 2008, I would quietly sob as I looked at our sons & the same thought would go through my mind. The thought was always, a mom never wants to leave her children. I mean that I wanted to make sure that I would be here to raise them. Prior to 5 years ago, I had had perfect health. I did not trust insulin truthfully those first 3 weeks. You know how it feels when you go a prolonged timeframe without sufficient sleep. It becomes more & more difficult to find perspective. There is nothing quite like a great night’s sleep to often put things into proper perspective. Without proper sleep, though, well, yikes. I finally asked myself what I was going to do to break the cycle of fear at sleep time. The picture of 2 faces came instantly to mind & those faces were those of Justina & Eddie. After I shared my feelings with them, it really was like the weight of the world was lifted. A peacefulness & calmness came over me after talking with them & listening to their loving, understanding, accepting words. That was the last week of January 2008. For sure, I have had the odd night here & there that I had trouble sleeping just like you. The great thing though is that not once has the sleeplessness since Jan. 2008 been due to fear about insulin or diabetes. That is the power of an everyday hero, mentor & Dear Heart (or 2).
None of us are meant to go through anything alone. We are meant to have others to celebrate with & others to share challenges with. My heart’s hope for you is that you have a “Justina & Eddie” in your life too. If you don’t yet, then please know that they are out there. Please don’t stop looking until you find your “Justina & Eddie.” Be ready to welcome your every day hero, mentor & Dear Heart Friend when the time is right for you.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Have a week of choosing to celebrate the beautiful everyday heroes in your life & hope to share time with you again this Friday with "This Stuff Doesn't Last" :)