Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crossing party lines.

I am a Diabeticrat. Or maybe a Diapublican.

Let's just say: I belong to the Diabetic Party.

If it doesn't relate to my agenda...I really don't give a rats bahookie.

I'm embedded in my world and if it effects my children, it effects me. And then I care.

That is how moms roll. Well...how this mom rolls anyway.

I know that there will come a time when I will widen my scope, and care about the recycling problem in our city, and the litter problem in the next...but right now...my children's most immediate needs are what is important.

Mess with them, and you mess with me.

Misunderstand their disease, and expect to be educated by me.

I'm walking through a diabetes swamp...and all I care about is keeping my children on higher ground. The issues that face my Diabetic Party direct my course.

My party objectives:
Keep my children alive.

Educate others.

Advocate for a future free of discrimination.

Further research and technological advances with financial and moral support.

Support all that are affected by our cause.

Hope. Endure. Try. Love.

Keep the faith.
That is where I am.

But this weekend I had an experience that knocked me into the world of another party completely. And for better or worse...the blinders were taken off.

This weekend I spent time with my best friends from my childhood. From age 5 to age 13 I spent most of my waking hours by the side of these sisters. Their mother was a second mother to me. She taught me so many lessons...the most important being: stand by what I think. She taught me my voice means something. I'll forever thank her for that.

My friends' mother...my second mother...died of Alzheimer's Disease a few years ago. She was too young, only in her 40's.

I'm sorry to say that until this weekend, I really didn't know what Alzheimer's really was. What caused it. What affect it had on the families...the caregivers...the people themselves. I had no idea how or why people could pass away from Alzheimer's.

It wasn't on my parties agenda...so I just didn't know.

Now I know.

Their party...the Alzheimer's Party...it is so much like my party it is very hard to discern between the two.

They have the very same objectives as my party.

And after hours of educating conversations between both their party brains and mine...lines became blurred. My intense focus widened. Kinda like I was driving in the dead of night and finally realized how to turn the brights on.

And it became clear to me for the first time...that I am not part of this elusive political sect after all...

I am part of a bigger picture.

The Human Party.

We are all human...and we should care about each other and the heartaches that we carry whether they be the same or completely different. Because even though the diseases we advocate for can be very different...in an eerie way...they really really are not.

We have all had friends drop out of our lives because they couldn't take the heat of this disease. We all have family that don't understand the roots of what we are fighting for. We all know that the world doesn't understand our heartache fully.

But what we sometimes don't know...or what we sometimes forget...is that there are others.

Others fighting their own war. Others hurting just as much as us.

I am guilty of this tunnel vision...I am so self righteous in my knowledge that Diabetes is HARD.

But you know what?

Alzheimer's is HARD.

Cancer is HARD.

Crohn's Disease is HARD.

Autism is HARD.

Cerebral Palsy is HARD.

Bagillions of others diseases and conditions are HARD.

Being human...suffering disease and loss is HARD.

I think it is ok to fight for our party. But I also think it is ok to cross party lines.

Because sometimes the most human...the most patriotic thing we can do...is put our arm around another human being and say..."I see that you are hurting. I'm so sorry. How can I help?"

I truly believe we will become a stronger party in doing so. Whatever your battle. Whatever your disease. Whatever your condition.


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