Thursday, April 18, 2013

Clarity via the hard things.

I wrote this post a few years ago.  I read it tonight and I cried.  So I'm sharing again because it's the simple, littler things that make life worth all the trouble.  It's especially true for me now...

There are moments in everyone’s lives that define them. Moments that move us to a sacred place…a place away from the world’s manipulations of what is supposed to be important.

I think my children’s diagnoses were three of those moments.

But since those three fateful days when my worlds as I knew them were knocked off their axis, there have been an armful of moments that just as suddenly, jarred me to my very core. Like aftershocks in the earthquake of diagnoses. In these instances my true priorities were made clear. Most of these moments lasted just seconds, but their grasping influences left imprints that forever changed the way I look at my life.

Last week I had one of those moments.

Since we were kicked out of our house for termite fumigation, we were lucky enough to house sit for my in-laws while they were on vacation. My husband had to leave unusually early for work one morning and since it was just an hour after the normal nighttime blood sugar check, he offered to check the boys before he left. (Uninterrupted sleep for the momma! Score!)

The next morning I started breakfast and was happy to see that B had finally gotten a good night sleep. It was almost nine and he was still lying peacefully in his bed. My husband called and we chatted about his morning as I scrambled the eggs. A couple minutes into the conversation I mentioned that B was still sleeping like an angel…


“Crap what?” I said.

“Crap, I forgot to check the boys before I left.”


(That was the sound of my heart dropping into my stomach.)

B had been going low almost every night that week.

…And he hadn’t been checked since 11:00pm.

…And he was still sleeping. (An hour and a half later than usual.)

I hung up on my husband, grabbed the blood sugar monitor and ran to the room. I stopped in the doorway to listen…to watch. Frozen…my mind like an ocean, the waves of emotion rolling…willing him to move with my stare.

Please move. Please breathe. Cough! Twitch! Roll over! SOMETHING!

There was nothing. He was motionless.

I walked slowly over to him, my eyes fixed on the blankets twisted around him. I sat beside him and brushed his hair away from his forehead.

It was that second. That one second. I was facing my worse fear.

But his forehead was warm. That was good, right? I don’t know. In that second his warm forehead was like angels singing…the warmth swept over my body.

And then he wrinkled his nose. Thank the good Lord above.

I checked his sugar and found him to be 52. I ran to the cupboard for some juice. And as I ran back I was hit by another thought.

What if he couldn’t drink this juice?

What if?

I gently touched the straw to his lips and he immediately puckered in his sleep…resolutely sipping.

THAT was one of those moments. The kind of moment that we see far too many times. The kind of moment that explains why I have so many gray hairs. Why must we stare our children’s mortality in the face on a daily basis? What purpose can this serve?

I can't say there is a purpose, but I can say I honestly feel that positives can come out of these difficult times. Without these kinds of moments...the world wouldn't have nearly the amount of good that it has. Once you get a glimpse out the window of what could be…the sadness of losing a child, a friend or a loved one…or once you see firsthand another human being suffer…you are changed…period. Priorities are changed, views are changed, what seemed important before just isn’t important anymore.

I hate that bad things have to happen to good people. But I firmly believe that bad things MAKE good people…the refiners fire molds us into compassionate, empathetic, appreciative human beings. Well, it does this for most people. For some people the fire doesn’t make them better, but bitter instead.

I’m not perfect people. I have flaws for days...but I do appreciate what I have. Every little thing.

I APPRECIATE the fact that my 8 year old child can play soccer.

I APPRECIATE the fact that my son is right now at scout camp…LIVING! Having an adventure without his mother hovering over him!

I APPRECIATE the fact that my oldest son can drink orange juice whenever he wants.

I APPRECIATE the fact that my 6 year pricked his finger 14 times last Friday, sporting a broad smile EVERY time!

I appreciate the little things. Because little things around here, are HUGE! Hugely. Wonderful!! And just when I am about to get absorbed in my selfish ways...WHOA! One of these moments happen and I realize I am DANG lucky to have what I do. I am completely blessed!

God bless those awful, emotional tsunami-like moments. They suck beyond measure, but they clarify what some don’t get the opportunity to see…life is too short to sweat the small stuff. The small stuff needs to be EMBRACED and celebrated!

Diabetes does that for me. It forces me to appreciate the small things, and embrace the wonderfulness of each little blessing.

When we are old…when we are ill…when life hands us crap… it is all of the little things that get us through.

A warm hug.

A sunny day.

A laughing child.

All the things money cannot buy.

The sun rising.  The sun setting.

I know at night, when you walk through the house to your child’s bedroom, and you see him or her sleeping…dreaming…it is that moment that brings the clarity of what is really important.

Especially when you take that second to pause…and wait for them to breathe.


  1. Those moments when you walk into your child's room and pause, waiting for a sign, any sign, that they are still alive - those are the scariest moments of my life. Even when my son sleeps in a bit (he's usually the first one up in the morning) I panic. And 99% of the time, his sleeping in has nothing to do with diabetes at all, he's just tired. But panic sets in because of the "what if." I hate diabetes for all of the "what ifs"...

  2. Thank you for writing so well, explaining the feelings behind those moments that most of your readers, like myself, have probably experienced at least once.
    Praying for your family.

  3. I agree....bad things make good people if the good people are able to allow it to happen. The opposite, that bitter that happens though I think it does happen to all of us, not always for long - but there's that brief bitter moment that if we allow it to it will take over, otherwise we can choose to move past it to the bigger, better more amazing opportunities to grow. Thank you for this re-post.

  4. I love your blog so much! Just love the way you write. It's so captivating and so moving in all it's simplicity. You write so beautifully! I love the way you capture an ugly side of diabetes but you have done it with such grace and compassion and you've balanced it out with the good side of life. Diabetes does really make you appreciate life's small mercies; I admire your courage and your dedication to your boys with Type 1. I think this blog is good for us Type 1 kids too; we get the chance to really gain an insight on our parents view of dealing with Type 1 Diabetes. I understand how much it affects the parents. Thank you for this wonderful blog! I would love it if you would check out my blog too?

  5. Meri, thank you for writing this so fluently, accurate and the right amount of understood drama without devastation! Nothing is worse than a DKid sleeping in. You want to leave them alone but the what-if will eat you alive. I just dealt with this on Sunday when Rocco had a fever overnight. He slept until 10:15 the next day. At 9:15, I was crawling the walls. I was never so happy to see a scruffy-haired, fever-free, smiling boy wandering down the steps!

  6. Sometimes I walk into my daughters room and poke her, just to see if she moves. I've taken to doing this on the other 2 kids too. Dang them for sleeping so soundly!

  7. Your words are so true... it is when the heart pauses for a moment, a deep breath is drawn, and we ready ourselves for what might be next... intervening and bringing them back to living. My husband is a type 1- and has been for over 28 years. This morning he didn't get up with his alarm. He was over 250 and not able to wake himself up. I have an autistic son... how to balance it all? We just do... Glimpses into your life help me gain a better view of my own, our lives. Finding that balance and realizing that one good day does not mean another, it just means tomorrow is another new day with new challenges. We can do this... There are few who view a sleeping child/husband can mean so much more than just a good snooze. Thank you for sharing....

  8. SO TRUE! I beleive this is one of the reasons God gave me diabetes. Thanks for putting it in perspective!


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