We walk by hundreds of people a day. Walk by them and don’t give them a thought. Their lives are a complicated woven web of facts and information, feelings and experiences. But once in awhile, we stop and notice someone. We look up from our hectic crazy life and SEE someone. And they touch your heart.
I had such an experience last Friday at a Wendy’s of all places.
After I had picked up J from camp, we were not able to return home for an hour as a realtor was showing our house to some clients.
So we went to the corner Wendy’s for a long chat about his experiences at camp. But before we even had a chance to sit down at our table…I saw her.
A beautiful young blond girl with the tell tale black blood sugar monitor case sitting beside her.
I knew it the instant I saw her. I knew what that case was. I knew that she was Type 1.
She was with her grandmother, and there was a sort of desperation in her Grandmothers voice as she fiddled with her cell phone and told the young girl that she would try another number.
“I’m pretty sure you should give yourself 2 units…but I want to be sure. I’ll try this number.”
The pretty young girl sat quietly gingerly eating fries as she patiently waited for her grandmother to get hold of her parents.
(Fair warning, I am a wicked eavesdropper...)
Once the grandmother got a parent she told them she was 62, and wanted to make sure the best course of action. The grandmother was frazzled…worried. The girl was cool as a cucumber. Patiently waiting.
There was a air about her...an air of maturity. She wasn't snobby by any means...it was just her calm demeanor told me she was wise beyond her years. I guessed she wasn't recently diagnosed. I have seen children carry themselves the same way before...in fact I had one of those children sitting right in front of me at the time.
Once information was transferred from parents to grandmother to girl...they ate and spoke. J checked his own blood sugar and left his black case on the table next to him. He hadn’t seen the girl.
We were two feet away from each other. I kept looking from her monitor to his. I tried really hard to focus on J. I had missed him so much this week and wanted to know of all his adventures…but there was another blood sugar monitor right there…I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
All I could think of was Jessica’s post.
I kept thinking it.
This little girl held a place in my heart, I knew nothing of her life…I didn’t even know her name…
But none the less…”Same.”
J and I had finished, and I just couldn’t walk away.
I walked up to her and said in probably the lamest way possible, “So you belong to the type 1 club too?”
The quiet girl smiled a wide grin, “Yes I do.”
She started talking a mile a minute. She saw our dog and wanted to know everything about him. I found out she was from Hawaii, visiting her grandmother. She was 11, diagnosed at 18 months old. She was on lantus and humalog…and was nervous to start a pump.
J told her it would change her life. That she would feel more in control of her own body. I watched him encouraging this girl, and I was so proud of him. He was confident with his pump. He truly wanted her to take the leap. He has lived before and after. It was a so surreal to watch him…he was so sure about what he was telling her.
“No pressure or anything,” he said, “just for me, it’s awesome.”
We said our goodbyes and walked away.
I’m sure I walked by 12 other people as we walked out of Wendy’s. Each living a complicated life…each with their own story to tell…but I didn’t give any of them a second look. My mind was still on the young girl. Her life wasn’t a mystery to me. I knew her the second I laid eyes on her.
She was the same.