Dear Jaime of March 6th, 2012,
Hey girl... you may want to sit down for this. Tomorrow the world/life/dream you think you know will be turned upside down, shaken, and scattered in pieces that will take you a while to put back together. It will never really fit back together the way it was, but that is okay. What matters is ALL OF THE PIECES ARE THERE. You will be just hours away from losing a huge piece of your life. You see, today when you were taking pictures of your 2 year old baby boy "sleeping," thinking to yourself how cute he was, so tired that he passed out in his chair. Actually he is 36-48 hours away from losing his life. He is in DKA. I know you don't know that term today, but it will be part of your vocabulary from tomorrow on. Its going to be scary, its going to break your heart more than you thought possible, you will feel alone, you will not feel understood, you will be strong on the surface and crumble to pieces whenever you are alone. I know this because I am you, 1 year in the future. When it gets to be more than you think you can take, I want you to know this:
- You can take it.
- Your baby needs you to take it.
- You are going to make amazing friends because of this, you will NEVER be alone.
- Your son is not nearly as upset about it as you are, don't forget this is his disease.
- You will enjoy life again.
- Your family will be stronger.
Dear Johnny of March 6th 2012,
I love you so much. You are the most important person in my world. I love being your mom. I am so incredibly proud of you... and you are just 2 years old! I know you are really sick today, and that you have been very sick off and on for a long time. I know this now but I didn't then. I am sorry. Tomorrow you will see the Doctors, it will be scary and it is okay to be scared. But please know that tomorrow you will finally start to feel better. Your body will get the insulin it needs. You will spend a long time in the hospital but your Mom and Dad will be right there with you. There is no easy way to tell you that from tomorrow on you will have to deal with needles every day until a cure is found. Its not fair, and being "used to them" doesn't mean they don't hurt, but you will get used to them. You are not going to let Diabetes stop you! You are about to be a big brother, and your baby sister thinks you are amazing. We all do. You, my son, remind me to be brave every day. I love you. I wish I could take this disease from you, or share it in some way, but I can't. This is YOUR disease, but I will be there for you every step of the way. I will find you the best care; I will learn everything I can about how to manage it; I will keep your life normal; I will go at your pace; I will let you have as much or as little involvement as you want regarding your Diabetes. I will worry for you when you don't want to think of it. I will advocate for you. I will try to carry it for you as much as I can. I hope I have not let you see my fear. I want you to know that having Type 1 does not make you less, it is a piece of all the ingredients needed to make a "Johnny." I love love love this Johnny, and I wouldn't change any part of who you are.
Dear Future Self,
Remember! Remember this day, remember yesterday, remember being diagnosed. Remember what matters. Do not get sucked into superficial things. Family is what matters. Those you love and who love you are what matters. Don't assume they will be there tomorrow. This includes yourself. Take care of yourself, so that those who love you have the best you that they can. They deserve it.