But during the time I knew her, I didn’t appreciate what she had to offer in the least.
To me, she was old.
To me, she was too fat to take anywhere.
To me, she was a complete embarrassment.
I didn’t want to be seen with her. If the saying, “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” holds true, Erma didn’t count much. She wasn’t much to look at, and her personality wasn’t that shiny either.
Her companionship was a necessary evil, and for a good year she went with me everywhere.
Her make and model speaks volumes. Erma was a 1979 Chevy Beauville G20 Van.
I took my driving test on my sixteenth birthday and pathetically failed by one point. Devastated, but not completely defeated, I returned one week later and passed with flying colors. Since I didn’t have the funds to get my own ride, my persistence landed me the use of my mother’s two toned eight passenger Chevy Van.
When I drove it to school, my friends and I would park it blocks away from the eyes of our peers. Who cares if we had to walk three blocks…we were convinced the van could not be seen or our popularity score would plummet from its already low elevation.
Eventually that van became famous. It was first choice when going out with the girls…it could fit a big group and it was destined for adventure at every outing. We gave it the adoring nickname “Erma” and began parking it closer to the school…even in the parking lot when we were feeling bold.
My relationship with Erma taught me a lot.
Let’s face it, she was big, and I often thought people would only laugh and stare. I thought people would judge me differently because I rode with her. But I was so wrong. It was BECAUSE I rode with her that my nights were memorable. Everyone knew who she was…because of her I made friends and unforgettable memories I’ll keep with me forever.
Sometimes what we see as our biggest disadvantage is actually one of our greatest assets.
I eventually got a Nissan Sentra and left Erma behind…but the Nissan Sentra memories weren’t as hilarious. The weekends weren’t as memorable, and the rides weren’t as smile inducing.
I lost a bit of the magic when I lost Erma.
I know many of us see Diabetes as our Erma. She is the elephant in the room that we think everyone is gawking at. But honestly…it is an asset. An asset that is making our memories more vivid.
Ermas give our good times more color.
We have a better view of the world riding in the front seat of Erma. Driving her at first may seem awkward…the giant steering wheel, the AM radio and the high wide front seat seem unnatural…but when you ride in a different stratosphere as the rest of the world, you see a fuller, more simple picture.
This new perspective we have is because of Erma…and if she goes away someday, our life will turn into a Sentra. Not a bad ride, in fact an extremely comfortable, smooth and enjoyable ride…
Yeah, I know…we will all take that Sentra ANY day of the week.
But one day we will look back and see Erma in a different light than we do today. We’ll see she made the good times brighter, and we’ll be even more appreciative of the wider view she affords us.
I am the mother to 4 wonderful boys, 3 of which have Type 1 Diabetes. Through this blog I hope to share our ongoing story, to help others see that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Like you, I have muddled through all the emotional phases diabetes has to offer a parent. I know of the worry that sits with you like an old friend, because he is my friend too. I just try not to make him the life of the party. Take the ride with me.
I can S.W.A.G a meal three tables away. I can guesstimate a bolus in lightning speed. I can check my boys’ blood sugars in the wee hours of the morning, half asleep, with only one eye open. I can do a lot of things…but one thing I can’t do is be your child’s endocrinologist. Everything on this blog works for our family, but might not work for yours. Funny thing diabetes, one size does not fit all. If you see some technique here that you would like to try, call your doctor, use common sense, and remember: I am not a doctor…I’m just a mother of three boys with Type 1 Diabetes. That is it. Mother. Not doctor. Blogger. Not doctor. Friend. Not doctor. All comments will be publicly viewable, but contact information will remain private. Thanks for stopping by! Come again soon!