Several years ago, I posted a question on a forum.
My question was interpreted differently than I intended by many - by most - or at least those that responded. I posted a question as a parent to a group that was largely adults living with diabetes. I had a question related to rights at school and I knew there was this well-versed woman out there but I couldn't remember where I had seen her. I posted to the wrong forum. I quoted the disability act that protects our children, but many adults seemed to think I was referring to them as disabled. Of course I was not.
Misunderstandings happen. I understood why people reacted the way they did. It is a sensitive issue. But it seemed that no one wanted to understand what I was trying to say. My son is not disabled, but that's the word in the name of the law that protects him.
That is except for Lisa. She understood.
Lisa saw what was happening and contacted me offline. She, an adult living with diabetes and a mom, understood my intention and took pity on me. It helped lessen the intensity of the pit in my stomach.
We live and learn.
Had I posted my question to the correct forum though, I may have never "met" Lisa. She sent me this long and kind email - several of them in fact. They were as close to hugs as words on a screen can get. She wanted me to know that Caleb would be okay. That she was okay after growing up with diabetes. Not a single complication or sign of one. I remember her saying this specifically. Statements like these have always provided me great comfort, particularly in those early days. Lisa's words were so sincere and credible. I think of them often - I think of heroften - if my mind starts to wander in the worry direction and then I don't worry so much.
The first video I ever made of Caleb with diabetes was one of awareness. It emphasized the struggles that a person with diabetes has. It was not meant to be a heart-warmer. It was where my mind was at the time and it was therapeutic to make.
One of messages in the video is that things are less spontaneous when you live with diabetes, particularly eating. For the few months that Caleb was on injections, it seemed that laserprecision in carb counting, insulin dosing and meal timing was necessary. The slightest deviation in any one of these things seemed to make his little body go berserk.
To depict this point there's a picture of Caleb "before" with chocolate cake batter all over his face - the message that spoon licking was a thing of the past. I have to say, at the time, I truly thought it was.
But Lisa assured me - on this point she was unyielding - that he CAN lick the spoon!
I cannot make a cake without thinking of Lisa and her kindness.
And Caleb has resumed spoon-licking, with the tender encouragement of Lisa.
Caleb's birthday is later this month. I'll have to snap the "after" shot to depict a different story. One of ability and enjoying little, everyday pleasures.
Thank you, Lisa. I enjoy you. You make me smile. I appreciate our friendship. Come back to Massachusetts again and I'll do my darndest to get there to meet you in person.