BD (before diabetes) we were a typical family living in a typical American suburb. We were active volunteers in our local school, church and pretty much every sports club in town. We were very, very busy but we always made time for church on Sunday mornings. I was certain we were doing everything “right”. And our world felt just right.
Then came diabetes.
And it seemed as if the whole world had changed. Before the world seemed like a place full of
love and now all I saw was sadness and pain.
Now to be clear, I realize I wasn’t the one with the broken pancreas,
but I am a mom and my heart was broken. (And
I mean shattered into a million little pieces.)
In this new world, our focus was diabetes, diabetes,
diabetes. We had to learn how to best
take care of our son. It was time to
circle the wagons and focus on our family.
There was no longer time for volunteer work. And Sunday mornings became a time to steal
some extra sleep. (As any T1 family knows, taking care of diabetes is
exhausting.) What was left of my broken
heart just wasn’t moved to go to church.
And slowly, over time our family just stopped attending Sunday mass.
It is now 4 years AD (after diabetes). And we have adjusted to our “new normal.” (I always hated that phrase.) Slowly, my broken heart is mending and I
think it’s leading me back to church. So this
past Sunday, I dragged myself and the boys out of bed and went to Sunday mass. It was time to give it another try.
The gospel reading for the week (yes, I am Catholic) was the
story of the Prodigal Son. When the
priest started reading I thought … Hey, this
is story of a man who left his family and then returned begging for
forgiveness, maybe this is a sign, and maybe God is speaking to me. So I sat up straight and forced myself to
listen. But then the priest read the
story of the young son who asked his father for his inheritance and then ran
off and squandered it on partying and extravagant living. Wait
that’s not me! I haven’t spent the
last 4 years partying. My life has been
quite the opposite. That sounds like fun but that’s not me. And sadly I thought … this is not a sign.
But then, that’s not the end of the story. After the son begs for forgiveness the father
decides to throw a party. Then enters
the bitter older brother who complains he has worked hard and remained loyal
and done everything “right.” He then
asks his father, “What about me?” Ahhh, now this is sounding a little more
like me. I thought I was doing
everything “right” too. And maybe my
broken heart was a little bitter too.
And maybe I too want to ask, “What the heck is going on here?” Alright … now I am paying attention again. How does this story end? What does the bitter brother decide to do?
But wait … that is the
end!? We never learn if the bitter
brother goes to the party? I suppose the
real question is what am I going to do?
Am I going to join the party? I
did, at least, open the door and came in ...
The truth is we are no longer the typical family. Our world has changed (some it for the better). And in our new world … which is filled with
countless sleepless nights filled with too many highs and lows … sometimes
sleeping in on a Sunday morning might be the “right” thing to do. Living with diabetes has taught us a lot. And one thing we have learned is … you have
to take each day one at a time. So for
now, I will take each Sunday one at time.
And I suppose I will just follow