Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crossing party lines.

I am a Diabeticrat. Or maybe a Diapublican.

Let's just say: I belong to the Diabetic Party.

If it doesn't relate to my agenda...I really don't give a rats bahookie.

I'm embedded in my world and if it effects my children, it effects me. And then I care.

That is how moms roll. Well...how this mom rolls anyway.

I know that there will come a time when I will widen my scope, and care about the recycling problem in our city, and the litter problem in the next...but right now...my children's most immediate needs are what is important.

Mess with them, and you mess with me.

Misunderstand their disease, and expect to be educated by me.

I'm walking through a diabetes swamp...and all I care about is keeping my children on higher ground. The issues that face my Diabetic Party direct my course.

My party objectives:
Keep my children alive.

Educate others.

Advocate for a future free of discrimination.

Further research and technological advances with financial and moral support.

Support all that are affected by our cause.

Hope. Endure. Try. Love.

Keep the faith.
That is where I am.

But this weekend I had an experience that knocked me into the world of another party completely. And for better or worse...the blinders were taken off.

This weekend I spent time with my best friends from my childhood. From age 5 to age 13 I spent most of my waking hours by the side of these sisters. Their mother was a second mother to me. She taught me so many lessons...the most important being: stand by what I think. She taught me my voice means something. I'll forever thank her for that.

My friends' mother...my second mother...died of Alzheimer's Disease a few years ago. She was too young, only in her 40's.

I'm sorry to say that until this weekend, I really didn't know what Alzheimer's really was. What caused it. What affect it had on the families...the caregivers...the people themselves. I had no idea how or why people could pass away from Alzheimer's.

It wasn't on my parties agenda...so I just didn't know.

Now I know.

Their party...the Alzheimer's Party...it is so much like my party it is very hard to discern between the two.

They have the very same objectives as my party.

And after hours of educating conversations between both their party brains and mine...lines became blurred. My intense focus widened. Kinda like I was driving in the dead of night and finally realized how to turn the brights on.

And it became clear to me for the first time...that I am not part of this elusive political sect after all...

I am part of a bigger picture.

The Human Party.

We are all human...and we should care about each other and the heartaches that we carry whether they be the same or completely different. Because even though the diseases we advocate for can be very different...in an eerie way...they really really are not.

We have all had friends drop out of our lives because they couldn't take the heat of this disease. We all have family that don't understand the roots of what we are fighting for. We all know that the world doesn't understand our heartache fully.

But what we sometimes don't know...or what we sometimes forget...is that there are others.

Others fighting their own war. Others hurting just as much as us.

I am guilty of this tunnel vision...I am so self righteous in my knowledge that Diabetes is HARD.

But you know what?

Alzheimer's is HARD.

Cancer is HARD.

Crohn's Disease is HARD.

Autism is HARD.

Cerebral Palsy is HARD.

Bagillions of others diseases and conditions are HARD.

Being human...suffering disease and loss is HARD.

I think it is ok to fight for our party. But I also think it is ok to cross party lines.

Because sometimes the most human...the most patriotic thing we can do...is put our arm around another human being and say..."I see that you are hurting. I'm so sorry. How can I help?"

I truly believe we will become a stronger party in doing so. Whatever your battle. Whatever your disease. Whatever your condition.


  1. Love the "Human Party" Meri. You are right. I have definitely been guilty of this tunnel vision you speak/write of.

    As always, your post inspired me. Thank you.

  2. Love what you wrote, esp. the play on Republican and Dem. I totally am with you that all suffer, whether it's a disease or just a personal situation. No one's alone in suffering, that's for sure.

  3. Well said Meri, well said!!! Meri for President!!!! Kim Robbins

  4. I wish more people had your attitude, Meri. Such a simple thing, yet so hard for some (including me at times) to grasp.

  5. ah meri, so true, thanks for putting it out there. i am glad you had this experience and thank you for sharing it with us, in such a poetic fashion.

  6. Beautiful post, Meri, and so very true!

  7. Beautiful post Meri. Human party indeed!

  8. I LOVE you, and Mom is so proud of you. She always did like you best ;)
    I cherished every moment with you this weekend, and can't wait to do it again soon.

  9. I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you for this amazing blog post.

  10. YES! So with you on this. Thank you for putting it in such an amazing way. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you should write a book :)

  11. Wonderful post! And so true. Its easy to get caught up in the uS aspect. Thank you.

  12. I'm voting for Meri for president! This is an awesome post and I thank you for blurring my party lines a little too!

  13. Amazingly written! I agree completely..

  14. You go girl!!! Love your perspective...it's right on!

  15. Reaching across the aisle for the good of us all is invaluable! Thanks for the reminder that even though OUR fight is a good one, there are others with their own fight that need our support!

  16. This really was a beautiful post. I found a saying once that I think of often, it was - "Be kinder to others because everyone is fighting some sort of battle". So very true. Thanks for sharing this.

  17. Lovely post. Over the years I have fought battles/ educated people/ worn ribbons/ etc. for three major diseases: Alzheimers (I work in a nursing home), Breast Cancer (my mother-in-law has fought & won twice), and Type I Diabetes. Each of the first two diseases was my focus, my "cause" for a specific period of time. Now my "cause" is... and will remain... D.

    My theory is that God puts each of us on earth to fight certain battles. We couldn't possibly learn enough to advocate for every disease that we care about, so we focus on one or two, and try to make a difference there.

  18. Absolutely AWESOME post Meri! We all need to be reminded that everyone is fighting some sort of battle and though we can't fight them all, we CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! You definately make a difference!

  19. What a beautiful post. I wish the entire world was full of more people like you! I just love you so much!

    My grandmother had Alzheimer's and it was SO heartbreaking. So heartbreaking.

    We are all one party --- same - same.

    Thank you for such a wonderful post.

  20. I agree Meri. What a beautiful post. It has been interesting here in the Kelly clan though because we're just trying hard to not attach anymore "parties" to our group, yes we like to fight the good fight but between breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, hemophilia, children with prosthetics and melanoma we're a bit wiped out...we're ready to just join the "human race" without feeling like we've got so many big guns chasing us down. Since the loss of my father-in-law due to pancreatic cancer my eyes have been opened wide to the fact that everybody has a story and their place in life is special no matter what.

  21. Nicely said. Having a child diagnosed with diabetes has really opened my eyes to all aliments that other families have to deal with. I am much more compassionate to their struggles because of my struggles.

  22. Awesome, awesome post, Meri!

    But I have to mention that I'm a total ding-dong (or natural blonde, whichever you prefer). When I first glanced at the title of your post in my sidebar (hey, the print was small!) I thought the title was, "Crossing PANTY Lines."

    Hahaha! I was wondering how that related to diabetes.... :)

  23. We ARE all one party, thanks for your wonderful post. Love you and your party! : )


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