For nearly 28 years, Dear Diabetes has been all about me. My actions, my health, my mentality, my words – all me. It’s been lonely at times, I’m not going to lie, but my goodness, it is the way it should have always been.
And then there were two.
Exactly one month ago yesterday, everything changed. This disease of mine became about so much more than just me. It became about a super sweet, precious little boy who captured my heart long before he was born. A boy who can be deceivingly quiet at times, but break out the tunes and he’ll be dancing and singing like no other. A boy who has a world of dramatic flare itching to burst free. A boy who loves his superheroes. A boy with one of the most contagious laughs. A boy who my boy can’t get enough of.
Last month, my four-and-a-half-year-old nephew joined the Dear Diabetes Club.
We didn’t want new members.
In an instant my adventure with this disease wasn’t just about me anymore, but about him. About being a mentor, an inspiration, a role model; about showing this boy that despite this huge rock put in his way he can still reach for those stars, and by golly, reach fricken past them – even with this bloody disease!
When I first found out, I went through the motions.
I was shocked. I know that for my boy there’s about a six per cent chance of him joining the Dear Diabetes Club, but I never, not once, thought my sibling’s children would be singled out.
I was pissed off. I mean, sure, I’ve learned to live with this disease, my best frienemy if you will, and quite well at that. But it took a great many years to do so. And in that moment of finding out about my nephew, flashbacks to the years of challenges, of heartaches, of begging the skies to make me “normal” again filled my heart. I would not wish that on anyone, and most definitely not on my sweet, sweet nephew.
was am determined.
I am determined to show this boy that he is more than this disease. I am determined to show him that he can do anything that he chooses, even with this disease. I am determined to ensure he never feels pressure to be a societal norm that is far, far, far less than his greatness. I am determined to be there with him, hand-in-hand, when this disease is finally conquered.
Dear LB, I now believe.