I have a lot to be proud of when it comes to diabetes - I belong to a Diabetes Online Community that I'm damn proud of - And there are a few things that I've done with and or regarding my diabetes that I'm proud of.
And I'll post my #proud photo on instagram sometime today.
But when I thought of the word 'proud' and diabetes - the following post and conversation immediately sprang into my mind. So much so that I had tears falling down my face - but in a good way.
I originally published this post on August 2nd, 2011, 18 days before my mother was rushed to the hospital for a blocked kidney, which later turned into full blown sepsis.
Seven and a half weeks after this conversation my mom passed away - And I think about her every single day - And I miss her terribly.
But looking back, this conversation was a gift on so many levels - And I find myself going back to this conversation whenever diabetes tries to get the best of me.
I remember my mom's words and how they made me feel - And I remember that she was proud of me - And knowing that makes all the difference.
I carry this memory with me wherever I go and hold it close to my heart, encouraging me whenever diabetes tries to discourage me.
And even though my mom;s no longer here physically, I know she's still with me spiritually & in my heart.
I hear her words in my own and feel her strength when I need the most.
And I continue to do my best to make her proud in the way I try and live my life - And life with diabetes.
Mom & I, the summer before I was diagnosed ~
Time: July 2011
Place: A restaurant along the back bay in a little Hamlet by the sea.
So I was having dinner with my mother the other night, and as we sat waiting for our dinner entrees to arrive we talked about work, the family, and how freaking hot it’s been this summer.
I was devouring my salad and was amazed with each bite how the combo of radicchio, shaved Parmesan, cherry tomatoes and sliced jalapenos were pulled together in a blanket of awesomeness when lime vinaigrette was added to the mix. Seriously, BEST. SALAD. EVER.
Then, like out of the blue my mom said:
Mom: Kelly, I’m really impressed with the way you take care of your diabetes.
Me: Ahhhh, thanks mom, but I’m still trying to figure it all & I need to do better in some areas. I have to get my A1C lower & exercise more.
Mom: I think you do a great job, I mean you're always testing and you watch what you eat and you have a good attitude.
I really wish your sister had been more like you with her diabetes.
Me: Thanks mom. But don’t blame Debbie, times were so different then - She didn’t have the diabetes tools that we have today. It was SO DIFFERENT.
Mom: I’m not blaming her, I just miss her so much! I can't believe I haven't seen her in 20 years - You know I think about her every single day. I miss her terribly.
Me: Yeah, I know you do. Me too.
Mom: I just think you're doing a great job - keep it up.
Me: Thanks for saying that mom & I'll keep trying!
And then we smiled at one another & continued to pick (OK, I was engulfing, not picking) at our salads.
But I could feel my face start to get red and I starting blinking, so I excused myself and said I had to make a Ladies Room run.
I knew if I didn’t get up from the table right then I’d start to cry and I didn’t want to do that.
In the Ladies Room I looked in the mirror and saw my damn near beet red face staring back at me.
I was so happy with my mother's words, but a part me still felt like the 12 year old girl who's Peds Endo told her that that the numbers didn't lie and that she needed to do better. The same child who watched her sister get sicker and sicker from a disease we both shared. I didn't want the sadness of those memories to cloud my mothers words or how they made me feel.
So I blew my nose, splashed my face with water, put on some powder & lipstick and returned to the table.
Mom: Took you long enough - What'd you fall in?
Me: Yep, head first and ass over teacups.
Mom: That sounds like you!
Me: Yeah, I know... I'm my mother's daughter!
And then we laughed.
And then our entrees arrived and a wonderful meal was had by all.