Walk in My Shoes.
I walked with the October sunshine warm against my back.
I walked with Shannon, whose son knows what I know. She shared moments with my mother that made me feel like my mother was less alone now, too. I walked with Nicole, who shared orange slices with me as we treated simultaneous lows. (I also wore the hat of a viking warrior princess, but that's an entirely different post.) These were my fellow bloggers, my friends with diabetes, folding me into arms that know what it's like to have fallen down the well of a low.
I walked past toddlers in their strollers who offered their chubby fingertips to their parents for a quick blood sugar check. I saw children holding hands with their parents, passing glucose tabs between their fingers. I saw a group of teenagers and scanned their hips and their hands for evidence of their diagnosis, but I couldn't tell which one had it. I walked past children with bright blue pumps clipped to their bodies, smiles even brighter.
I walked with my aunts and my cousins, who have always made sure there is diet soda at the family picnics and a sugar-free dessert after a holiday meal. I walked with one of my best friends, who has learned about diabetes in the same breath that she's learned about my favorite bands. I walked with the support of my other best friend, who is as quick to make me laugh as she is to count the carbs. I walked with my fiance's sister, who by just showing up makes me feel like she understands. I walked with my future niece, who knows I wear my medicine on my hip, but that I will also play teddy bears with her.
I walked with my fiance, who loves me not because of or despite this disease, but simply because he loves me.
I walked with my mother, who was there the day I was diagnosed and who has lived with this disease as long as I have, only she feels the sting of a high without needing insulin, the tears of a low without needing juice.
I walked proudly, surrounded by friends and family both new and old, taking steps towards acceptance, towards progress, towards a cure.
Team Six Until Me. 2007 edition.
(Missing from photo: My aunts, cousins, Jeff, and Superman.)