"This is our new normal, our new way of dealing with life."
"Diabetes is a burden we didn't bargain for..."
"These moments are beautiful because we're not alone..."
Snippets of conversations stuck to the wallpaper in the dining room of the country club. Adults spoke into the microphone about the diagnosis of their loved ones, shuffling the papers in their hands to keep the tears from falling out onto them.
It's tough to sit in a room filled with the parents of diabetic children, as a "diabetic child" myself. I feel so close, yet so oddly removed from their lives. We were all gathered there as part of the JDRF Walk Team Captain kick-off luncheon, bringing together our teams and banding together in efforts to raise awareness of diabetes and to soldier on towards a cure.
Parents held back tears that they seem to have forgotten they were capable of. There was a video presentation that told the story of one mother, answering her daughter's question of "Will I have this forever?" I wondered if I had ever asked my mother that question.
I'm captaining a JDRF walk team for dLife this fall, walking to raise awareness and money towards research for a cure. I'm excited and honored to be leading this event for my company, proud to be a part of something so positive.
At the table next to me, two small children sat with their mom, coloring and paying scattered attention to the speakers. I wondered which one was diabetic - the little one with the flouncy pink dress or the older girl with eyes wise beyond her years and pigtails?
I pulled my meter out of my purse and absently tested my blood sugar underneath the lip of the table, pressing my fingertip to my mouth without thinking - 152 mg/dl. Pump retrieved from my pocket, I bolused a quick unit to correct me back down and slipped the pump back into my skirt.
I caught her looking at me, her wise eyes wide as she realized I was diabetic, just like her.
I smiled and gave her a quick wave.
She waved back, pigtails bouncing and smile bright.
This walk means so many different things- raising awareness and doing our best to fund research towards a cure. Corporate sponsorships, walk t-shirts, keynote speakers, and fundraising ideas. Walking together on a fall day with the same hope.
Next month marks 21 years with diabetes, and while technology has drastically improved how I treat my disease, it has not cured any of us. I become more pragmatic with each test strip, each A1c result, each milestone. I forget how to think of a future without this disease. I forget how my parents feel sometimes.
I forget what it's like to want a cure.
But I still remember how to hope.