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Through My Sons' Eyes
Are you a parent that has diabetes who is raising a family? Perhaps your family is grown? Or maybe you are the parent of a child or adult that has diabetes? It could be that you are a young adult who has diabetes. No matter which question best fits our situation, do you find that sometimes you think about how others view your situation as you live with diabetes 24-7? Do you think about those closest to you & try to look at diabetes through their eyes? Some of us will answer that we don’t knowingly think about how our Dear Hearts perceive our lives with diabetes.
Several years ago, my Dad invited me along to a Martina McBride concert. It was a blast. My Dad as I have shared before is not only a bundle of laughs, but also is my first picture of what an everyday hero is all about. He has a heart for people & has from my first memory been someone in the community that goes the extra mile for others. He makes a difference in lives & seeing that in action impacted me forever in a beautiful way. Do you have an eclectic taste in music? I do! My range of music is pretty varied & depending upon my mood or task at hand, I enjoy all the variety of the music on my iPod at different times. Having been given a sentimental heart, I sure enjoy in particular, Martina McBride’s songs, “Blessed” & “In My Daughters’ Eyes.” It did not take me very long at all to modify the words to the “In My Daughters’ Eyes” to “In My Sons’ Eyes” since we are blessed to have these 3 adventurous boys to love as sons.
In one form or another, from the very first day that I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I have considered how this impacts our sons. Each time, I thought of type 1 being in their lives because their mom had it, I was sad, frustrated & simply did not want this to be a part of their lives. More than not wanting type 1 for myself, I really, really did not want our sons to have to be subjected to the challenges that go along with having this diagnosis. None of us are responsible for having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes yet I have over the years felt a need to as much as possible shelter our sons from the “bad days” with diabetes. Kids are pretty smart & intuitive though so it did not take our sons long to see when it was a more challenging day & “bust” me on trying to keep going like there was nothing wrong. That was a good thing because truth is always the best choice whether it comes to diabetes or life choices I personally believe. By that I mean truth with love. Sharing that it is a challenging day & then going on to thank our Dear Hearts for the loving actions that they have given that have made a difference is an example of that. Long story cut short, I really only had seen the downside of looking at diabetes through our sons’ eyes up until yesterday.
We may believe at times that type 1 diabetes or 365 challenges always adversely affect our loved ones or in my case, our sons. Yesterday, our family, like thousands of other families living with type 1 diabetes, participated in the JDRF Walk for the Cure. It is a day where there is a kindred spirit, a knowing smile, understanding & limitless hope for the families walking. The treatments for type 1 diabetes over the years have improved so much that I know that I am profoundly thankful. My heart knows that there will be constant improvements to treatments for type 1 & that means that we are offered more choices & more hope & that I believe is a gift. The ladies that run our JDRF Chapter are champions! The day that they arranged was absolutely a ball for families. There were photo booths with an opportunity to dress up in zany clothes as a family& just be kids & face painting & a bbq & rock wall & oodles of bouncy houses to name a few activities. The walk itself is along a beautiful pathway through the woods & along the river. Truthfully, I have not been feeling well for some time now & I was disappointed when I woke up yesterday morning without my usual level of energy on “Walk Day.” It is a day that I look forward to with all my heart every single year. Still, though, it was a day that I was not about to miss low energy or anything else! My family knew that I was not feeling my best yesterday. And Dear Hearts that they are, they declared first thing in the morning that they would walk for me & that I could stay home & rest. I would not entertain that idea for a minute on “Walk Day.” My heart sure appreciated the offer that they genuinely made all the same.
After our family completed the walk part of the morning, our sons enjoyed the bbq & playing with all of the other kids. They had a blast & my heart was filled with gratitude to see them having so much fun. The very best part was the point when we were walking back to our vehicle after the day’s activities. All 3 of our sons thanked me enthusiastically for inviting them to such a great, fun day. It was at that moment that it finally hit me that just like so many things in life, viewing things as all good or all bad is perhaps overly black & white. Believe me, I am not suggesting that diabetes or a 365 challenge in it & of itself is good. The life lessons though can be the good that comes out of a struggle. For our sons, I have come to realize that they have a compassion & empathy for others in the world that have challenges. They have hearts of champions in offering to help others & I have seen this first hand. They “see” others & are perhaps more aware that sometimes others need a helping hand or an encouraging word. Those are a couple of things that have been the blessings of them living with a mom who has diabetes. They also see that determination is a renewable resource & that just because at any given time we may not feel like doing something that if it is something that is valuable & meaningful that we do it anyhow. I hope too that they see a mom who is not a victim but rather a person who knows that she has choices most especially over my attitude towards diabetes & how it is merely a part of our lives but never is allowed to take over our lives. The other thing too is that we never know whether somewhere, someday on our boys’ journeys, they may be in a unique position to help someone else because they know what they know about diabetes. They may be the helper of someone’s face that I may never know. They have caring hearts so I sure can picture that.
Here’s the thing & that is that when I woke up yesterday, my thoughts were of thankfulness to our sons for going on the walk with me. What I perceived was these boys being asked to wear our silly sock monkey family walk shirts & being somewhat dragged along to a “Mommy” related event. It turns out to my heart’s delight that I got it all wrong. The boys actually got up themselves yesterday morning & voluntarily put on the silly sock monkey shirts with big smiles & said that they wanted to walk for Mommy & then the younger boys added that they would also bounce in the bouncy houses as high as they could too. It turns out that they wanted to go for the family walk & then play with the other children at the party. Through their eyes, we had a great family day together & they had just plain, old-fashioned kid fun. They saw only the brightness of the day & as they were about to drift off to sleep, the last sentences of the day were, “we had fun today, Mom, how about you?”
My heart’s hope for you is that when or if you look at either diabetes or 365 challenges through the eyes of those that love you that you see the challenges transformed into a bond of hope, love & light in the form of a stronger relationship with Dear Hearts!
Smiles, Saundie :)
Happy Father's Day Weekend Everyone & May Our Dads be honoured this weekend & always. Monday's sharing is entitled, "The Demagnification of Doom" :)