Friday, October 22, 2010

Holding back...

I scaled back my exercise a bit today.  I'm not feeling too horribly, but a little lacking in energy.  We had a bit of a rough night, followed by a very early morning, which is never good.  So, today, we stuck with a 3-mile walk around Lake Nokomis, which is not quite as gorgeous as Lake Calhoun.  They're both part of a chain of lakes here in Minnesota and there are biking paths, a scenic byway, and walking paths stretching between all of them.  I think we're going to have to check out a couple of the other lakes as well.  Don't want the kids to get bored!

I was thinking I should blog tonight about the differences between what I'm doing now and why it's working for me and what I've done before and why it didn't work.  This process has been fantastic, not just in a physical sense.  I'm also looking at my own weak areas and personal tendencies.  It's all definitely helping me grow in so many ways.  But tonight, instead, I'm going to share something from my past with you, something not exactly diabetes-related, but I do think it connects with the recent passing of Eilish in some ways....

When I was 22, I took a job as a camp counselor at a summer camp in Minnesota.  Kids come from all over the U.S. to attend this particular camp and they're often 2nd generation attendees, meaning that their parents were also campers.  The camp was actually split, with boys on one side of the lake and girls on the other.  There really wasn't much interaction between the two sides, except for with the counselors.  The counselors showed up to camp a few weeks before the kids and spent time getting to know everyone (and thinking up nicknames for everyone, as the camp had a tradition that none of the staff went by their real names-my camp name was Sunshine, if you can believe that one).  It was a wonderful place to work, for the most part.  The co-workers were all amazing people.  The summer went by quickly, friendships formed and cemented.  There was one particular co-worker that I really enjoyed spending time with.  After the kids were in bed, we'd hang out outside our cabins and talk until the bugs got too bad.  Her came name was Indigo and her fiancée, Reel, worked at the boys' camp.  He was in charge of videotaping the main events of the summer and putting a film together at the end.  Towards the end of the summer, Reel was sent out with a group of boys who were taking a 3-day long biking trip.  In a freak accident, Reel lost his balance while filming and fell.  His head hit the pavement.  Two days later, he passed away of brain injuries.  

I don't need to tell you how incredibly tragic it is when a young person passes.  For those of us who live with a chronic illness, like diabetes, we know that the threat always lurks in the shadows.  There is no real comfort that can be offered when it shoots out of the shadows and claims a life.  But....I want to offer those of you who are still sad over this latest loss, just as I am, a story with a bit of a message:

The Dragonfly
Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads,
there lived a little water beetle in a community of water
beetles.  They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond
with few disturbances and interruptions.

Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of
their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and
would never be seen again.  They knew when this happened; their
friend was dead, gone forever.

Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge
to climb up that stem.  However, he was determined that he would
not leave forever.  He would come back and tell his friends what
he had found at the top.

When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the
surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so
warm, that he decided he must take a nap.  As he slept, his body
changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful
blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body
designed for flying.

So, fly he did!  And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole
new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never
known existed.

Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking
by now he was dead.  He wanted to go back to tell them, and
explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been
before.  His life had been fulfilled rather than ended.

But, his new body would not go down into the water.  He could
not get back to tell his friends the good news.  Then he
understood that their time would come, when they, too, would
know what he now knew.  So, he raised his wings and flew off
into his joyous new life!

~Author Unknown~

Death isn't the end.  It's a transformation.  Just because a loved one isn't with us in the physical sense anymore doesn't mean that they are gone from this world or from our hearts.