I do not apologize. I cannot. I know that many times there are people who probably get sick of me talking about diabetes, posting about it, or even planning my day and activities around it. Fact is, I have to. I can see the roll of their eyes, even before I speak. But that won’t change what I do, I will do everything I can to raise awareness…and like many, I too, didn’t quite ‘know’ diabetes before now. Talking about it is my therapy; it is a part of me in every single way. I didn’t quite understand the importance of educating people all around…but the need for education is very much present.
This is what I live every day. This is what we face every day. This is a very important aspect of our lives, it doesn’t define us, but it most definitely cannot be ignored. When I wake up, when I fall to sleep, it is the first thing and last thing I think of. When I dream, when I do any other activity…Diabetes is still there. It has to be.
To all my family and friends who allow me to do this, thank you. Thank you for listening, thank you for learning, and thank you for understanding that this is just how it needs to be. Thank you for letting me be who I need to be. Thank you for accepting Kinzie like she is and not treating her any different than you did before; and thank you for being vigilant when she is around. Thank you for crying with me when we hit a rough patch, and even more when we succeed. Thank you for praying alongside us and never thinking twice.
I will never make an excuse as to why I feel I need to do what I do…because there isn’t an excuse, it is a need. Fact is, you will never completely understand it until you live it…and I pray every single day that not one more child gets diagnosed, that not one more sibling is affected, that not one more mother has to have internal struggles finding the right balance and not being able to fix this and that not one more father has to witness what this disease brings. I pray that not one single family more has to spend so much time redefining their life. I pray that there is a cure. No matter how far away these prayers are…I know one day my prayers will be answered and until then I know those people who have to meet it will have comfort.
I will talk until I have no voice, educate until everyone is educated. Advocate until there is nothing more to advocate for. I will continue to share my story until it is just that…just a story… (Because right now, it is our life, it is what we know.)
There are about 1,000 times (probably more) that I will forever regret not being more compassionate, understanding or thoughtful of someone else’s struggles. I wish that I could say I have never been guilty of ignorance, but I cannot. I wish I would have opened my eyes entirely to the world around me 29 years sooner. If only I knew then, what I know now, I would have done a great many things differently. Don’t let my mistakes become yours.
So for today, tomorrow and always I do not apologize. I do not make excuses. Diabetes is always with me, we are always fighting it, it doesn’t rest and it cannot be ignored. I ask that you do not let yourself become desensitized to the reality of chronic illnesses, do not let yourself to remain blinded…do not allow ignorance to take way. I will pray for a cure everyday, but until then I will have hope that Kinzie lives long and healthy life. I will hope that even our smallest actions will spread awareness. Join me.