|Me and my dad @ his 75th Birthday|
My father always used to say three things before he'd say goodbye to a person - And he'd say them in this order: Peace - And keep the faith - And if you can't keep it, SPREAD IT!
He'd also say those very words whenever we were struggling with something in our lives.
I remember having to go in the hospital right after 6th grade ended for a "diabetes tune-up."
My A1C was off the charts and I was having a tough time with my diabetes. And I was angry at my parents for making me spend a week in the hospital because of diabetes - and I was angry that I had diabetes - even though I never told anyone I was.
I refused to say goodbye to my parents that first day, until my dad said: "Keep the faith, kid." And I started to cry - because this whole thing with diabetes was just getting really hard. I was 3 and a half years into my diabetes life at that point and a 12 year old who knew it all. Diabetes was no longer new, my pancreas was no longer in its "honeymoon phase," my sister was getting sicker every day - And I was feeling burned out.
That refresher course in diabetes management was a week filled with testing blood sugars and figuring out a new insulin regime - And my parents drove over an hour each way to the hospital everyday. And they got a tune up in Kelly's diabetes management - even though my dad had type 1 and they had two other daughters with type 1. My parents met with dietitians, doctors and a social worker - And we all learned, together. And through it all, they kept the faith in me -and my diabetes.
But as I got older I started to question his famous saying I mean how could you technically lose and or lack faith in something or someone while perpetually spreading it?
My dad never really gave me an answer the few times I asked him about it, except to say (and I'm paraphrasing here,) that even when you felt shaky about what was going on in your life or where you were going - If you kept believing then others would - and eventually, you're faith & self confidence would be renewed and you'd feel better again.
My sister and I say that to one another a lot - whether we've had a hard day at work, a challenge in our private lives or just to make one another smile.
And as late I've thought a lot about what my father said about keeping the faith - And spreading it.
And damn if it doesn't remind me of the Diabetes On-Line Community.
Many of us found the DOC when we were feeling lost, alone and challenged by our lives with diabetes.
Some of us felt burned out because we'd lived with diabetes for so long, others felt lost because living with diabetes was brand new. But all of us found it because we needed to - And all of us are better people because of it - And we want others to feel the same.
So not to get all philosophical and all - But the Diabetes On-line Community helps me (and by ME, I mean US) keep the faith when it comes to living my (our) life with diabetes - And it helps us want to spread that faith in living with diabetes to others. Am I making any sense at all?
Anyway, I don't know why I'm writing this today. Maybe it's because I've been thinking a lot about my parents as of late. I was a very old egg when they were born. A late in life baby who realized at a very young age that my time with them would most likely be short. I learned so much from them and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about them - And I miss them very much.
So in the immortal words of John Kunik: Peace - And keep the faith, kid - And if you can't keep it- SPREAD IT.