Saturday, October 31, 2015

JDRF Walk 2015

JDRF Philadelphia Walk 2015

I wish I could say more about it, but maybe what I have to say is just as profound as if I wrote endlessly about it. We went to the Walk. We had a great time together. We saw friends. We felt community. In the end, we made an appearance.

Perhaps the appearance is what it's all about. Showing up. When things get rough, just show up, isn't that the spirit? People need you, just show up. Work gets hard, just show up anyway. Diabetes gives you one hell of a day, just show up.

The showing up is sometimes all we can muster in the face of diabetes. We are approaching seven years in. And yes, thousands have had it longer than Grace, I know that. And she's had it more than half her life now, at age 13. I always thought about this day, early in the diagnosis. I would say to myself 'at age 13, she will have had it half her life.' And here she is, age 13. There will be soon be a time where she won't have known not being diabetic.

Facing and living with chronic illness, you come to certain bends. You go around them, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. I find myself out of all the turns and the bends, and then suddenly, one comes. And we ride it once again, til all is right in our world. I don't suppose the bends ever stop.

I wish I could say we made signs, we recruited team members, we raised money for JDRF, but we didn't. I just don't have it in me right now. My plate is full. There is no other energy to devote to it. And before everyone gets all righteous about it all, stop. I'm not even going to ask for forgiveness on this one.

We showed up. We smiled at others with little kids with diabetes. Kids looked up to Grace with her OmniPod and her Dexcom, worn on her arms. They watched her eat Wawa apple slices and pretzels, potato chips, snacks, and watched her dose. There was our advertisement for a life lived with diabetes.

We walked around the bend and saw our beloved Boathouse Row. We stood in the shadow of the Art Museum. We saw the river move. We talked about history and the glory that is the Waterworks. And we decided to not walk the whole walk. We turned around, and walked back to the Art Museum steps together, in our Sweeties with Betes t-shirts. People smiled and chuckled. We kept on talking and walking.

As we waited to say goodbye to her friend, we sat on the steps. Grace marveled that her feet are almost as large as Rocky's at the top. We watched people run up and down them, in true Rocky fashion. We eventually walked back to the car.

'It was a good Walk, wasn't it, Mom.' said Grace.
'Truly was this year, sweetie.' I said.

This year, we showed up.