A couple weeks ago we had a wonderful 60th anniversary celebration for my aunt and uncle in my home town. They had no kids of their own so we put in a lot of effort to make it extra special.
Everything was flowing smoothly and suddenly I noticed that my dad's cousin D was there. She yelled hi to me across the room and I headed in the other direction.
D has a son, K, who was diagnosed the same year as me - 1974. I was 21 and he was 1. K had a stroke 10 years ago, which left him blind, and has been on dialysis for 6 years. He cannot get on the national donor registry because his health is too poor. They told him he'd have to find his own kidney.
I did not want to talke to D. I did not want to hear about K. Couldn't there be just one day when I wasn't reminded of the devastation that db has caused in my family?
I didn't realize that she had sat down and I walked right by the table. She said, "Kathy, come sit by me - let's catch up".
We started talking and she said she was thrilled to hear I'd gotten off dialysis. We talked about control in the old days and how K was in denial (well, just like I was). He is not getting the proper db care in the nursing home, where he is the youngest resident. She is looking to find him one with younger people and more things to do. I told her why I prefer a syringe over a pen, and how earlier that week I had 5 vials of insulin freeze when my fridge went wacky. She asked how much I was bolusing for the cake. We talked for nearly an hour, and, I then knew that she got it. She got it all.
She lives in northern Minn and I plan to start emailing her regularly. A blessing that serendipitously came my way.
Can you see the family resemblance here?
Here is a pic of the happy couple - notice that my uncle's rose is hanging upside down - it was all day. Sigh.