Today’s Health Activist Writer’s Challenge is to choose a book, open it to a random page, find a phrase and use that phrase to stimulate writing. I have no shortage of books around. As I have said before, I love reading. I love the written word. I love books! As I glanced around my office I saw James Patterson’s Kill Alex Cross, Harmonic Wealth by James Arthur Ray and so many more. What to choose?
I decided on the little book that was hiding between Alex Cross and The Book of Better. I love Mitch Albom books so this seemed to be a great choice. For One More Day is the most recent book of his that I have read. I opened to page 83 which lead me to 84 and the following sentence that struck a chord…
“…lost is lost, and I knew that look because I had worn it myself. I hated her for having it. I hated her for being weak as I was.”
There is so much in that small bit of prose. I can see myself as the author– being upset when my son has failed in his diabetes care. In those times when I have allowed him to go on his own with little outside influence from Mom and he fails? I then feel lost and upset. I first get mad at him for not stepping up to the plate and then I quickly hate myself more. How could I expect so much from someone so young?
I feel lost trying to find that balance. Diabetes has robbed so much from my son’s childhood and as a parent it is my job to keep its toll to a minimum. I have said before, it just does not seem right that a child should know what carbohydrates are before he can recite his ABC’s. Lancing his finger and drawing blood should not be a milestone marked with a feeling of pride…but in our life it was.
This quote also makes me wonder what my son must think at times. Mom is the strong one. Mom makes the choices when it comes to his care. Mom is the one who knows more than some of the experts we see. Mom is the one that people call to know “stuff”. What must he think when Mom loses it? When he is scared, Mom is not supposed to be lost and scared. Mom is supposed to have it together.
I remember once when Mom really didn’t have it together. It seemed that my carefully constructed world was falling down around me like a deck of cards. I could no longer hide the pain from anyone. I literally sat in the middle of my kitchen floor and cried. My oldest son sat with me. My heart broke that he had to see me like that. My younger son hid. He was very much like the author. I could see that he hated seeing me so weak. I understood and hated myself even more.
We are human however. Diabetes makes us superheros but also reminds us that we are mere mortals. Its a challenge to make sure that the moments of feeling lost and overwhelmed are reserved for the confines of a shower when no one else can see. Its a challenge that I work at more and more with each passing year. Its important to be that willow tree, bending with the wind and not the lost leaf blowing around lost and scared. Its a challenge but one that I hope I meet more often than I fail.