Sunday, May 08, 2005

For My Mother

For my mother...

Thank you for driving me to Joslin, even though you didn’t know the way. And for continuing to take me, despite how scared you were to make that lethal left hand turn onto Pilgrim Street to get to the parking garage.

Thank you for Clara Barton Camp, for sending me there. Spending summers with other diabetic children and counselors made me feel less alone and isolated. And made me confident enough to talk openly about my diabetes. To anyone.

Thank you for hiding ice cream sandwiches in the boxes of frozen peas and Ring Dings in the laundry cupboard so that I wouldn’t eat them. I know you were trying to protect me, but you’ve also provided me with stories that make my friends laugh so hard they cry.

Thank you for being patient with my nasty low blood sugar reactions – when I would throw bowls of cereal or cups of juice at you in my hypoglycemic rage. Or tell you I hated you. Or scream empty, desperate words of fury as my blood sugar plummeted. You know I never meant any of it. Not a word.

Thank you for being patient with the high levels, as well. When I had eaten something I shouldn’t have, or had skipped my shot on purpose. You kicked the plastic container on the floor when I was 385 mg/dl instead of yelling at me. You never said “Why are you doing this?” but instead “How can we stop?”

Thank you for trying with me. Walking to the benchmark on Watch Hill Road, traipsing down to the Harbour House with ice cream as a reward, or just going around the block a few times. You would tie your jacket around your waist, tuck a pack of crackers in your pocket, and talk to me about anything but diabetes as we strided confidently towards good control.

Thank you for crying with me. When I was frustrated. Or devastated. Or overwhelmed. Or lost. You said it was okay to cry. And that it was scary. You were scared, too. But I would be okay.

Thank you for making me feel normal. For not allowing insulin injections or blood sugar testing to come between me and my childhood. When Jill asked me to sleep over for her birthday party in second grade and I wasn’t doing my own shots yet, you drove to her house that night, before cake was served, and gave me my shot. And you came back, early in the morning, to give me my breakfast injection. I was diabetic, but they couldn’t tell by looking at me. They just couldn’t tell.

Thank you for letting me wake up Easter morning to see a basket that looked just like Darrell’s or Courtney’s, save for the fact that the contents of mine were sugar free.

Thank you for making my soul as healthy as my body. You understood that the disease is not just a matter of injections and beta cells, but also emotional strength and perseverance. You helped make me strong, in ways that translated far outside the reaches of diabetes.

Thank you for being certain that I would survive. I know you were scared when I was diagnosed. I was only six. But you were strong and seemed so confident that I would be okay, so I didn’t worry. And I believed you.

And you were right.

I love you very much, Mom.
Thank you.

17 Comments:

At May 09, 2005 2:51 PM, Blogger Sandra Miller said...

Kerri,

I just noticed this additional post from yesterday. What a wonderful mother's day gift! It brought tears to my eyes.

You and your mom are both incredibly lucky to have each other.

Thank you so much for posting this.

 
At May 09, 2005 4:06 PM, Anonymous Amy Tenderich said...

Kerri,
I wanted to post something memorable and meaningful here. But I can't. I'm crying too hard.

- Amy

 
At May 09, 2005 8:15 PM, Anonymous AmyT said...

Kerri,
I wish I could use a Trackback here, but please see my most recent post referencing you. OK?

 
At May 09, 2005 11:00 PM, Anonymous terrilynn said...

That's the most beautiful thing I've read lately. Lucky you to have such a mother, and lucky mother to have such a daughter.

 
At May 10, 2005 7:21 AM, Blogger Shannon said...

I hope to provide my son with the same confidence that you have. Thanks for insight from a child's perspective.

 
At May 10, 2005 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerri,

I am the so proud to be your mother. I have always thought that you were so strong to live day in and day out with diabetes. I struggled many times with the fear that parents have when their child has a chronic disease. I only wanted you to be healthy, normal and happy. You have a spirit that is inspiring to all who meet you. I took care of you and worried about you because I love you so much. You are a beautiful person inside and out. Whatever doubts I had about the way I handled your..and notice I said "your" diabetes, you have set my mind at ease. This letter warms my heart. Thank you...you are a gift!
Love, Maaaaaaa

 
At May 10, 2005 9:09 PM, Blogger Kerri. said...

Thanks, Mom. (aka Maaaaaaaaa.) I love you, too.

 
At May 11, 2005 7:39 PM, Blogger type1dad said...

From a dad who has a seven year old about to start the pump, she's type ! also. Perseverance really struck me. That is what its all about. Management, control, diet, exercise all great. But how many of us can say that we can persevere forever. I hope that I can be as strong as your mother when my daughter is frustrated and ready to give up.

Be Well,
Jeff

 
At May 16, 2005 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Your story could have been written by my daughter.
I now feel some hope that my daughter who is 13, diagnosed with Type 1 at age 7, will not hate me for the rest of her life, for nagging her to test, inject, eat well, exercise, to drink juice or scoff jellybeans when in the throws of a nasty hypo. When she too would scream and fight me.
Thank you......there IS hope and there IS life with diabetes!!

God Bless you
Sandy

 
At May 16, 2005 2:39 PM, Anonymous Kerry said...

Hi. I've never posted on a site like this before, but your piece really touched me. My best friend's son is Type 1. Thank you for giving an outsider to this disease an idea of what our dear friends experience everyday. I pray for a cure. All my best. - Kerry

 
At May 16, 2005 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kerri,
Thank-you for sharing from your heart about your diabetes. You see, my daughter was diagnosed at 14 months old. She is now 2 1/2 years old. What a great example to me as Ella's mommy to keep her diabetes just that and not let diabetes get between her and I! Great job Kerri's mom- I look up to you without even meeting you! Kerri hearing your words gives me such a huge boost that Ella will be able to grow-up with diabetes just fine:) Thank-you so much for sharing!
Bonnie Pfeiler

 
At May 16, 2005 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kerri,

Thanks. My wee girl is only 6 and i too would drive from here to eternity to let her live her life normally. I know she feels the same as you have written even when she is throwing the chairs and crying because she doesn't know why. I pray she will have confidence like you in the future. Your mum must be so proud.
Fiona.

 
At May 17, 2005 11:51 AM, Anonymous Sherrie LaClair said...

This is one of the most touching pieces I've read. Normally I read something that makes me hate the diabetes more each time, but after reading this, it makes you just understand how to love your mother more. I hope my daughter feels the same way as she grows. It also puts a healthy perspective on a mother/daughter relationship despite the disease. I would like to be able to read this at our JDRF walkathon this fall.

 
At May 17, 2005 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kerri,

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful gift you wrote to your mother with all of us. As a mom of a 10 year old girl, diognosed at age 8, struggling in the trenches with diabeties, it helps to know you're not alone.

You have helped me tremendously.

God Bless, Mary

 
At May 17, 2005 5:30 PM, Blogger Kerri. said...

Sherrie,

I would be honored to have this read at the JDF Walkathon. What branch do you work for? I am actually a team leader for the walk (Team Six Until Me, thank you very much) in Rhode Island.

Please contact me at sixuntilme@yahoo.com if you would like to discuss this further.

Kerri.

 
At June 03, 2005 4:27 PM, Blogger d double e said...

What an incredible post and tribute. Its so easy to lose focus on making sure your child has an actual "childhood" when you're up to your eyes in carbs, finger sticks and "advanced" calculations. But you can't always act like the ice cream man is "just here to play music for the neighbors."

 
At January 19, 2006 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerri,

Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. I was crying before I was even halfway through it. My daughter was just diagnosed on her 6th Birthday a few months ago and I also hope to raise her to be a strong, confident individual who knows that she can do whatever she sets her mind on, and not let Diabetes get in the way of her living her life to the fullest.

Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us - it really helps to keep this disease in perspective for me and to know that everything will be ok.

Jenn

 

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