I know my son has a life threatening chronic illness, God knows we deal with it every day with the constant testing of the blood sugar, 5-6 shots per day for every time a morsel of food crosses his lips. But, honestly even as I write this and put it out there for all to read I can’t believe my son has Diabetes, there, I said it out loud, “my son has Diabetes”….Gulp!
I think many days I am in the world of denial. Even when he has had seizures and the ambulance has come because of his non responsiveness there is always the administering of glucose and he comes back to full consciousness. I can breathe again and file away the memories of me carrying him into the kitchen, him throwing orange juice at the ceiling, scratching at me and screaming for us to leave him alone. I handle it calmly knowing if I can just get some sugar in him he will come back to me in about 10 minutes and he won’t remember a thing. I go about my day take him to school and maybe just maybe I shed a tear quietly later alone and worry about his future but I am upbeat thinking he will be OK and there are huge advances coming soon. He is not dying today so we are OK. I think the nightmares and fears play out in my dreams and subconscious at night as I wake up feeling an unknown panic, but it is far below the surface.
The other day a friend of mine from our school who has a daughter with Diabetes emailed me to let me know she would be at “Smashburger” that night and she had approached them about having a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Fundraiser. Smashburger was going to donate 25 percent of the receipts from that day from all participants food orders. I took my kids thinking “of course we will support this cause”.. but kind of showed up like a robot and went through the motions, I think to block the feelings I had that I also had a child with this nasty disease. I saw my friend Jennifer garbed in her “team tee shirt” with her daughters name across the front in Big Letters. Jennifer was standing at the entrance handing out fliers for the fundraiser. I was immediately overcome with emotion in that she put herself out there, put it on her teeshirt and was standing there with her young daughter saying “YES she has a disease and please help”. This was in no way a million $ fundraiser but she made a huge effort in sharing her pain with all. I think this makes her the bravest MOM out there. I love JDRF and what they do but I am always more apt to help someone else than look my sons illness square in the face and do something about it. I mean we do the annual walk for JDRF, but do I really sit and feel how bad it sucks to see my son go through this and think “what am I going to do about it?” I think denial has been my safe route. I salute Jennifer tonight for wearing it on her sleeve (literally) and doing something about it. “Mothers Grace” honors these bravest of Moms as they want the best for our children and will put themselves in uncomfortable situations to help them.
If more Moms would do these little fundraisers for the organizations like JDRF that are truly making phenomenal strides we would be even closer to cures for the illnesses taking our beloved little ones.
The next time a friend or acquaintance asks you to stop by one of these local fundraisers, I urge you to do so. It is the power of your presence (being there to say “I care and want to help you shoulder this burden”) that means the most at these gatherings more so than the $ spent, I applaud you Jennifer for taking your pain and challenges and putting such a personal struggle in front of your community you are truly one of the bravest moms….!