My Christmas Wishes

My son was charged with the daunting task of purchasing gifts for me from him and his older brother. He hates to shop. He thinks life would be much simpler if he could just buy me tools.  He thinks that I am the hardest person in the world to buy for…he might be right! He asked for my list and I found it really difficult to come up with things. My mother asked me the same question and the list was shorter.  When Larry asked, I drew a blank. 

Yes, jewelry is always the right size and the iPhone would be nice but I will get that later. The Kindle? One day.  The new printer since mine died this week? Yeah, but it can wait…Larry’s printer works and lately I only print Little Einstein coloring pictures.  The candles, clothes, and books are all lovely.  That special gift of a picture or something that says I was thought of is wonderful but the more I truly thought of what I really and truly want, the farther I moved from the material world.  You see all of those material things are nice but I don’t need them.
Larry had it right when he said to the same question, that he only wanted his family to be happy.  He wanted his children and his grandchildren to be at peace with themselves and enjoying a worry-free life.  I agreed completely. His answer  did not help me to come up with a great Christmas gift for him, but it did keep me thinking.  What were my Christmas wishes?

My answers were actually quite simple. I wanted my grandmother back for one. She has Alzheimer’s and lives far away. My only contact with her for the most part is via the telephone.  A recent conversation had left me heartbroke when I was sure that she didn’t know who I was and most likely didn’t even know who she was. I wanted her back in all her quirkiness. She loved us all unconditionally and I missed her terribly.

My next wish was to know that my uncle was safe.  He has been missing since September.  His children don’t know where he is and no one else does either. We don’t know if he is healthy or sick.  We just don’t know what has happened to him or where he could be. He has missed his birthday and that of his oldest child. I keep praying that we will find him for Christmas.
Diabetes also falls on my wish list.  Yes, a cure would be ideal. Its something I will focus on more and more but until then, I wish that my child and everyone else’s child had the access to the pumps, CGMs, insulin and test strips that they need to keep themselves alive regardless of income, insurance or location.  I hate to hear of people struggling just to keep themselves healthy. I hate worrying about the future health and safety of my son.

So what do I wish for Christmas? Peace. Happiness. Lots of love…but then again I have been blessed with that. Love of family. Love of friends. Love of friends who have become family throughout the years. My grandmother had a good day when I spoke to her yesterday, so I have received one truly touching gift already in her parting words of “I love you”. My uncle, I will continue to pray for.  Funding for diabetes supplies? I will continue to lobby for.

I am truly blessed in so many ways and I thank you for being a part of that blessing. To all of you– Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Day for those of us living in Canada.  Its a lovely fall day, with the leaves changing color and just a slight sharpness in the air.  Its a day that I use to refocus on the positives in my life.  For many years, I have tried to practice gratitude–you know that practice of stopping at the end of each day and count out ten things that you are grateful for? At this point in my life, I simply try to remember at least two things each night before I go to sleep. 

There are many more than two or even tens things to be thankful for of course.  I truly appreciate a warm bed, a roof over my head, clean drinking water and a hot shower each morning.  There other things to learn more of like access to medical attention, a good dentist and a lovely orthodontist that are also blessings in our lives. 

Living with diabetes there are a few different things that I remain grateful for like the support of family and friends.  As well as the support of friends who have become like family.  The support of those people who “get it” and are there for me no matter what. The support of those people who work hard to learn and try to “get it”.  Their efforts mean just as much.

I am grateful for the work of Sir Frederick Banting, who’s insulin allows my son to lead an active “normal” life.  The genius who created our “Sirius Black” insulin pump that lent a new level of flexibility to our lives.  The companies who worked to make glucometers provide results in a mere 5 seconds.

I appreciate the hair color companies more and more after each stubborn low.  Without them, my hair would be a lovely shade of white by now.  I also appreciate the makers of the Olay products and the various foundations used to keep the stress lines at bay and poly fill in those that make it through.

We often curse diabetes.  Nightly we pray for a cure.  We beg for a day without injections, testing, fighting, and fear.  Today is a day to be thankful. 

It is a time to be thankful for the work of so many who make our lives just that much easier. The people who have advanced our science to make it possible for my son and others to live longer, more fulfilling lives.  The people who fight for equality in schools and in the workforce for people living with diabetes.  Its a day to be greatful for the people who work hard to raise the money for research and those who use their know how to one day cure this disease.  Today is a day to refocus, to count the blessings brought to us by diabetes and the wonderful advances that have made our lives just a little better than it could have been.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!