I have a friend who has a child with diabetes. The story behind this friendship is unusual. My husband grew up spending summers in the town where we currently live. During his youth here he met a lot of friends, some he has remained close to and some have grown apart. One particular friend, C, and my husband grew apart over their adult years. After we moved to town permanently I ended up having C's son in my Kindergarten class. His son, M, did not want to come to school in the beginning. Some kids march right into Kindergarten like their going to run the place and others need to be gently removed from the clutching grip they have around their Mom. These are the kids that break your heart on day one and usually give you the biggest heart warming feeling on Kindergarten graduation day. That was certainly the case with M. He and I formed a very special bond. He grew to really love school and as the most shy one of the group took the biggest role in the Christmas performance. He is now a smart, confident, caring 15 year old boy who, believe it or not, was diagnosed with diabetes six months after Skyler. This news came as a bigger shock than Skyler's diagnosis because in our town of about 400 year round residents I would never have thought another child would be diagnosed. I formed my special bond with M before I had my own children. M is 7 years older than Skyler. For some reason he captured my heart way back then as a little five year old boy and still has a piece of it now. I was so shocked and so very saddened by the news of his diagnosis. Over the past four years since diagnosis our families have provided support for one another in different ways. Last year, I watched him graduate from ninth grade as the salutatorian of his class and I felt so proud for him and his parents.
Over the years I have formed a friendship with M's mom. I also ended up being M's sister's teacher for Kindergarten, fifth, and sixth grades. She too, is dear to my heart. I have summed it up here, but our families have a long history together. From the friendship of my husband and C to our own children both living with diabetes. They are a private family and tend to keep to themselves, but we have these very special connections.
The reason I chose to write this post today is because I received an email from M's mom , which is not unusual. She filled me in on a few different things going on in her life and a few things with the kids. She then mentioned how she has been feeling sad lately over the fact that M has always wanted to be a pilot and because of diabetes he can not live this dream. This, of course, broke my heart. She said she is having a hard time coming to terms with a limit to her child's dream.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about this. I decided that I have to have faith that our children (all of these type 1 kids) did not get diabetes by some freak chance, but that God chose them and us for some reason beyond what we can see right now. Sometimes I have a hard time seeing through the sadness that diabetes can bring on, but then I remind myself of how amazing these diabetic kids are. They are a special lot designed for something special.
I know M will find much success in his future due to the young man that he is growing into and due to the support and love of his family. I don't want to see a limit to his dreams either, but it is possible that this will lead him down a path of even greater reward. This is so much easier said than felt, but maybe saying it will help us all to feel it.