I cried myself to sleep last night.
I haven’t done that in a long while.
Literally falling away from the world with tears streaming down my face. Angry that some would judge me because the moment scared me so.
Angry that my children had a disease that would put their lives at risk just completely so out of the blue…
Angry that I was angry.
And yet amidst all of that anger, love. A love so strong it flooded every inch of my body. My chest lurching towards my son’s room, fighting off the urge to continue staring at him all night.
The thought of losing a child can make even the calmest of mothers completely insane. The what-ifs take flight like a sea of bats exiting a cave for the hunt, clouding all my self-assurance in their wake. The fact that I’ve lost my husband, that I’ve intimately felt the loss of someone so completely precious, makes it all even more raw.
If you have a raw wound and rake fear over it, it hurts more. Take your fingernail and gently graze from your wrist to the crook of your arm. You maybe felt something. Maybe you didn’t feel anything. But if there was a large, festering open wound there? The tears would come. I promise you.
So if you haven’t experienced what I’ve experienced, you just can’t know the conflict of emotions bouncing off the walls of my story.
And if you think I’m being dramatic? Well I can't think of a response without using a swear word, so I'll just leave that question there for now.
If you think I’m complaining about being up all night taking care of my child, you would be wrong. Sleep is completely irrelevant here. I could care less about sleep. I can’t remember the last night I was up with a worry such as this.
I don’t need to recount the entire story to you. All you need to know is most of the time I play with diabetes like an old dog around the house. I give it the attention it needs, I feed it, I check on it, I take it to the doctor, I do what I need to…but I separate my children from it. My children certainly aren’t diabetes. It’s a visitor.
But on nights like this I feel like this old dog grew fangs and is holding my children hostage. I want more than anything to rip them away from their captors grasp.
Last night I looked that old dog in the eye and wondered how I’ve gone years thinking it was completely harmless. Years thinking I was stronger than it. Years believing my vigilance would trump any of its efforts.
Because the truth here is…THE TRUTH IS…it only takes one time.
And knowing that stings my eyes, my heart, and my soul as I realize tomorrow I’ll have to continue taking care of that dog like he is simply a harmless visitor. It just goes against all my sensibilities when I’m in the moment.
Even though I will do it.
Even though I know I’ll be lulled back to a sense of security, and I know that tomorrow I will stand on firmer ground than today.
As the tears fell my mind fell back to the previous day. My son’s hugs. He must have told me he loved me a dozen times. Maybe two dozen? Making dinner side by side with him. Holding his hand in the car. Him scratching my back for a couple seconds as he walked by. His big, sincere smile. Our secret handshake.
He is a miracle.
He is my miracle.
And I thank the good Lord that these moments are only sometimes.
Because most of the time diabetes is like brushing his teeth. A job. Just a whatever thing that he does. I know what a blessing that is.
But on nights like this, you’re damn right I’ll cry. The wounds on my heart will forever be there and I realize that’s on me.
Though if those wounds have taught me anything, they have taught me that we will survive. We will get up and keep moving and the world will continue turning and that old dog will still be lying on the rug tomorrow, the next day and the next.
Somehow, everything will be ok. Somehow, everything will work out in the end.
My son doesn’t know what happened last night. He doesn’t know I cried myself to sleep. And that is how it should be. Someday he may read this and see the fear that his mother wore on her sleeve one night. I hope when he does, he’ll have children or a wife of his own, and he’ll understand that this night I waited for his blood sugar to come up is completely insignificant. What is significant is my love for him.
He is everything.
I’m doing what every parent does. Whether it be a fever, an ear ache, night terrors or diabetes…I’m loving him and worrying about him.
That’s my job.
And let me tell you, I’ll gladly take every facet of this job in exchange for those hugs.
Because he’s worth it. He’ll always be worth it. And in a strange, twisted way, these moments make me love him even more. They make me realize how lucky I am to have him in my life. I don’t wish these moments on any family, but regardless, appreciating my son, and loving him even more is a blessing.
I’ll take it. All of it.