Friday, October 27, 2006

Right Now

I just got home from having a meal with my nephew, L, who is a sophomore at the U of Minnesota. He grew up 300 miles from here, so it’s nice to have him nearby.

I remember distinctly the day he was born, 20 years ago. I had had db for 12, and wasn’t sure if I’d make it much further. Back then, it didn’t seem like people lived much past the 20 year mark, and none of my cousins (my only reference point) had. I held him and cried, thinking that I wouldn’t see him finish elementary school.

Living for one’s death is very unproductive and sad and even possibly a convenient excuse, at times. I was always on the outside, looking through the glass at those people who enjoyed the gift of health. I wasted a lot of years paralyzed by fear of complications. It’s very easy to get angry, but no one was to blame - not me, not diabetes, not the people around me who didn’t know how to lift my outlook.

Yet, here I was, this afternoon - waiting in front of Applebee‘s, among the diverse college crowd, seeing him saunter down the street on this beautiful fall day - incredibly smart, kind, and handsome. (The baseball cap on backwards is another issue.) I feel like I held back from getting to know him because I was “on the way out”.

But, I’ve quickly made up for it. Sure, my life may be shortened, even by something other than diabetes, but the”here and now” is full of lots of pleasures, big and small. Many of the members of the OC are living vibrantly, embracing life, and pursuing dreams and I love to read about the victories.

I hugged him goodbye and a piece of paper fell out of his hand. I asked him what it was and he replied, “oh, one of the waitresses gave me her phone number” as he carefully folded it and placed it in his backpack. Is that what girls do now?

Have a good weekend everybody. Seize the day!


Chrissie in Belgium said...

Yeah I know what you are talking about. I have had D since I was 10 in 1962. About 45 years ago..... I was raised to think you do NOT have to die, but you are going to have to work your butt off to manage! That is hard stuff when all the advice given you just doesn't seem to work and you think you are totally failing at your management. But hej, I am still here and actually doing just fine. Kidnies and extremities all doing just fine. Like you I have had some eye complications - lasers and a vitrectomy. No problem reading or driving so my eyesight isn't so bad either. Send a little more luck along the way. But it is a never ecding batttle - don't get me wrong. Sometimes you feel just like giving-up, but then you take another deep breath and plunge on! Right?! What other choice do we really have.....

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Lyrehca said...

Sounds like a wonderful lunch. Just think, the you may be having another lunch in 20 years with your nephew, his wife the waitress, and their kids.

Kevin said...

I too tend to have a rather pessimistic outlook on my longevity. I don't plan on much of a retirement, for example. And I'm sometimes open with my family about my thoughts of probably not living very long.

When some minor complications started to rear their heads this past year, I was just besides myself with shock and fear and anger. I had kinda always knew these things would happen to me, but I wasn't ready for them to start so soon.

But I've (somehow) been able to turn these challenges into opportunities to improve my control and this has really improved my overall outlook on life tremendously.

I really love Lyrehca's comment about you having dinner with your nephew, his wife, and his kids 20 years hence. And I'm looking forward to hearing about the meal as well!

Anonymous said...

hahaha, that's awesome! I'm glad you had fun!

type1emt said...

Keep on going, and don't forget to live (and laugh) a lot..
Diabetes can't take that from a person. (although it may alter it)