Friday, August 10, 2012

The Road Not Taken

Dates.  Memories.  Time.  In every life there are dates that are forever marked by the memories they conjure and no matter how much time passes, every year, when that date rolls around, we stop.  We remember.  And then we move on again.  Today is one of those dates that is forever marked for me.  Here's the snapshot that pops into my head on this day:

I took this picture around 2:30 in the afternoon on August 10, 2009.  Lily had fallen asleep while watching a cartoon.  She was two years and 3 months old and no longer napped.  She woke up from this nap and immediately asked for a juice box.  She sucked one down in two minutes flat.  Just a few days earlier, she'd refused the same juice boxes because they were horrible and had no flavor.  But she finished this one and asked for a second.  And then asked for a third.  And I pulled out my meter, checked her blood sugar.  HI.  Fingers must be sticky.  Washed them.  HI.  Let's try a toe...this can't be right.  HI.  And my world crashed down around me.  

Don't get me wrong.  I don't spend this day feeling sorry for Lily or myself or our family.  Diabetes is tough, but it's not the end.  It can be dealt with.  But this day will always be marked by that memory.  I will always have that day imprinted clearly in my mind and it will always come to light when the sun rises on August 10th, no matter how many years have passed.  Once I get past that memory, then we can celebrate.  It's not so much that we celebrate the anniversary of Lily's diagnosis, but more that we celebrate the time we've had since.  We've had three years.  Three years of finger pokes, injections, infusion site settings, carb counting, meal planning, lows, highs, trials and triumphs.  Three amazing years.  My daughter has grown.  She's learned.  She's becoming more aware.  She's preparing for her first week of day camp for diabetic children.  She's preparing for Kindergarten.  Do you know how amazing it is that she's here, she's healthy, and she's learning and growing and becoming this incredible little person that she is?  She is a miracle!  When I think about these three years since and everything that has happened, this is what comes to my mind:
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.        20
Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken.  When it comes down to it, diabetes is the harder road, the road less traveled.  And when we embark on the path with diabetes, we all have to forge our own road.  Each step we take is a new one and each obstacle we face is our own to overcome.  We create our own path to take.  And three years of taking our path has led us to this:

And when it all comes down to it, isn't that just quite simply amazing?