Oh.... to be able to blog all that is my head!! I often wish my brain had a little recorder attached and would spew forth into a computer when I wanted it to. I have wanted to write a lot and often...but I haven't. I do hope to get more out....in fact I know I NEED to be writing more. It has it's healing effects.
Today I wanted to write about how God has expanded our hearts to disabilities/diseases of all kinds....and the instant connection we have with other parents of children with diseases. Notice I said "OUR HEARTS".....our entire family. I love what diabetes has done to change who we are. I wouldn't return diabetes for a second if it meant I would have to return the changed hearts. I just wouldn't. I'm sad it took diabetes to enlarge our hearts, but God knew what it would take and I trust Him. So here is our story.......
I was working in the nursery at our church with my two oldest daughters. We were each in separate rooms, and decided to meet up in the hall when we were done. As I approached the girls they were talking to a mom with a boy in a stroller and another one a bit older. I came into the conversation late, so I politely stood back, but began to listen as my daughter was apologizing AGAIN to this mom. I thought..."Uh, oh...what happened?"
Turned out my daughter ate her graham cracker next to her son who has a rare genetic disease which makes him severely "allergic" to milk. This mom was telling my girls about the disease, so I stepped in and listened intently. In Minnesota they test for this disease at birth, but not all states do. In fact they were from Montana, but she had come back for her mother's funeral and went into labor. Thankfully he was born here, or he might not be alive, or severely challenged. They had to buy special milk for him that was $1000 a month---insurance did not pay!!(sound familiar?) They ended up moving to MN and guess who their neighbor happens to be?? One of the handful of doctors specializing and researching the disease this boy has.
The girls and I listened totally engrossed in her explanation of the disease and her unique story. I'm sure at the time the mom felt she was doing her duty....educating, sharing.....etc....like I've done many times when someone sees J.J.'s pump. As I talk, I wonder if it all falls on deaf ears or should I be wasting my breath, or do I seem completely pathetic....etc. I'm pretty sure she was thinking the same things. How do I know?.....her demeanor. She was in educating mode for sure....thinking, yeah, these people really don't want to know, or are clueless.
We were beginning to depart when she said "Yeah, even he (pointing to the older son) has learned to read nutrition labels. He's learning the disease and understands it." Up to this point I didn't see any need to tell her our son has type 1. This was her story....which was amazing...and I felt no need to say anything. But that line struck with me. So I returned with, "Yeah, I know what you mean. Our 6 year old son has type 1 diabetes and my older girls know how to care for him."
That's when it all changed.....her face...her demeanor... all shouted....."YOU KNOW!!!" She took a step toward me and asked me if I knew a friend of hers who has a daughter with Type 1, then asked if I "have to count carbs and all that at every meal." She asked a few other questions....then she said "What is your name? I'm _______". We shook hands.....no more "educating"......bonding. We have a bond......not the same disease, but a bond....a KNOWING.....an UNDERSTANDING. Not much was said after that but the instant connection and demeanor change has stuck with me.
So I am thankful for diabetes. I'm thankful diabetes made my daughter sensitive to this mom and her son's condition. I'm thankful I can have an instant bond with a mom I've NEVER met. I know when I see her again, we'll have that KNOWING connection.....and we'll ask each other how we're doing. Because we KNOW!!