And Then There Were Two

For nearly 28 years, Dear Diabetes has been all about me. My actions, my health, my mentality, my words – all me. It’s been lonely at times, I’m not going to lie, but my goodness, it is the way it should have always been.

And then there were two.

Exactly one month ago yesterday, everything changed. This disease of mine became about so much more than just me. It became about a super sweet, precious little boy who captured my heart long before he was born. A boy who can be deceivingly quiet at times, but break out the tunes and he’ll be dancing and singing like no other. A boy who has a world of dramatic flare itching to burst free. A boy who loves his superheroes. A boy with one of the most contagious laughs. A boy who my boy can’t get enough of.

Little Ring and Lightening Bolt, best cousin buds!
Little Ring and Lightening Bolt, best cousin buds!

Last month, my four-and-a-half-year-old nephew joined the Dear Diabetes Club.

We didn’t want new members.

They've advanced needle ed, back in my day, it was oranges getting the pokes!
They’ve advanced needle ed; in my day, it was oranges getting the pokes.

In an instant my adventure with this disease wasn’t just about me anymore, but about him. About being a mentor, an inspiration, a role model; about showing this boy that despite this huge rock put in his way he can still reach for those stars, and by golly, reach fricken past them – even with this bloody disease!

When I first found out, I went through the motions.

I was shocked. I know that for my boy there’s about a six per cent chance of him joining the Dear Diabetes Club, but I never, not once, thought my sibling’s children would be singled out.

I was pissed off. I mean, sure, I’ve learned to live with this disease, my best frienemy if you will, and quite well at that. But it took a great many years to do so. And in that moment of finding out about my nephew, flashbacks to the years of challenges, of heartaches, of begging the skies to make me “normal” again filled my heart. I would not wish that on anyone, and most definitely not on my sweet, sweet nephew.

I was am determined.

I am determined to show this boy that he is more than this disease. I am determined to show him that he can do anything that he chooses, even with this disease. I am determined to ensure he never feels pressure to be a societal norm that is far, far, far less than his greatness. I am determined to be there with him, hand-in-hand, when this disease is finally conquered.

Dear LB, I now believe.

One month post diagnosis - those cheeks!!!
One month post diagnosis – those cheeks!!!

6 thoughts on “And Then There Were Two”

  1. Thank you for writing this post. I have three nephews and two nieces who are my heart. I worry about them living with this disease and am reminded with your attitude and approach that if any of them were, it will be ok. Hugs!!

  2. Tonya Neufeld

    Katie, what a beautiful post. I have to say when I heard about your nephew I felt so bad for him, knowing he will struggle at times, but I also felt a sense of relief for him. I know he has two awesome parents who are knowledgeable and will do whatever they can to make this transition into a new ‘norm’ as easy as possible. I also know he has an aunt who is such an inspiration, who won’t let this disease run or ruin her life! You will be his mentor and one of his biggest cheerleaders as he over comes obstacles and does amazing things despite having this disease. Thank you for writing this post!

  3. debbie hickey

    Katie – freeman said it best….this beautiful little Lightening Bolt has you and his path will be eased because of your love and support. My goodness little LB and LR look sooooooooo much alike!

  4. This post is amazing. I know the heartache of every word you posted.

    I’ve been T1D for 27 years now. On my 22 year anniversary of my diagnosis… My sweet boy was diagnosed with T1D too..

    On that day so many things changed…

    I was no longer a woman living with T1D…

    On March 24, 2010… I became a mother fighting for her child’s life.

    I have faith a cure is coming our way. It has to be here before be graduates high school.
    He asked me shortly after he was diagnosed if he would have to go to college wearing a pump ????. He was only 6 but already thinking about his future.

    Stay strong and squeeze those cheeks for me ??

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