19. (4/26/11) I didn't have a lot planned today so I decided to take Sophie, Nate and Pancake on a walk this morning. We were playing near the lake area at the front of our neighborhood when a car slowed down and the woman inside smiled and gave us a small wave. I waved and smiled back but noticed that she lingered just a bit so I walked over to say hello. When I approached her car she burst into tears. I was a little taken back but had a very strong feeling that I needed to help her. When she stopped crying she told me how lovely my family was and how happy we looked. Picture Perfect. She then went on to tell me some very personal information that she had been dealing with and my heart just ached for her. She was literally just driving around in despair.
It was so easy for me to relate to this woman. I told her how I often feel overwhelmingly sad and stressed. I introduced her to Nate and his T1 and Sophie and her UC and explained how their diagnosis had sent me into a tail spin. I also shared with her how I am trying to find one thing that makes me happy, or that I am thankful for each day and she loved the idea.
We chatted for quite sometime while the children played with Pancake. She said just looking at us playing there by the lake we looked so happy --- like we didn't have a care in the world. Isn't it funny how that works? You never ever know someone's burden just by looking at them. There is so much more that you can learn if you take the time to listen.
I was her one good thing today. I listened.
Oh and she thought I was 28 so she was my one good thing too! :)
In all seriousness if I had seen her driving by I would never have guessed she had a problem in the world. She was dressed beautifully, hair done, makeup on, nice car, she was beautiful. I'm glad she stopped. I'm glad I listened. I hope I helped. She was my good thing today. Hoping I helped a little - I know she helped me. Understanding. Empathy. Sharing. :)
18. (4/25/11) Today I had lunch with my mom and her college roomie, Donna and Donna's mom. I love Donna!!! My mom, Donna and I were roomies when I was about 3 or 4 years old ---- I remember sitting in her room watching her put her makeup on. I thought she was beautiful then and she still is today. As a matter of fact I was watching Donna put on her makeup one evening while sitting in the window sill of her room. Next thing I knew I was outside and people were screaming all around me. I actually fell out of her 2nd story window and landed in the bushes below. Yep - pretty sure that's what's wrong with me. I loved seeing her today ---- we had a great visit. Happy. Fun. Slight Brain Damage.
17. (4/24/11) Easter Sunday
Family. Church. Family. Good Food. Family. Easter Egg Hunt. Family. Fun. Family.
16. (4/23/11) Easter Saturday - Family Drama and Family Illness - Making Peace.
My aunt has been my ROCK for more years than I like to count. She has never let me down and always, and I mean always been there for me when I needed her.
Trust me when I say ---- I was not the easiest teenager to raise. My mom and I went round and round. And round and round and round. Well, you get the idea. I was hard on my mom and my mom was often exasperated with me! It's not that I was necessarily a bad kid but I was (am) VERY strong willed. VERY STRONG WILLED. I do not back down and well, there have been times that this not so great characteristic of mine has gotten me into a little bit of trouble. My aunt never backed down and always stood beside me. She was there when I needed her and I needed her often.
She bought me books and instilled my love of reading, she taught me that family is family and you stand by them, she loves unconditionally - period. We have faced together the death of my grandfather (her father), my grandmother (her mother), my cousin (her only child), my uncle (her brother) and my uncle (her husband). Together we made it through the most difficult of times. Our family has had some severe storms that we have weathered together.
Don't get me wrong - there are a ton of good times too. Just thinking about the two of us hanging out brings a huge smile to my face. She is good people! :)
She was recently diagnosed with terminal lung cancer that has spread to her brain.
Where is my one good thing in this you might ask? It's in the finding peace.
We lost all of the above mentioned people without warning. A car accident took her son and my uncle, my grandfather died of lung cancer but it was so fast, and my grandmother had Alzheimer's. There was no goodbye.
I don't really know if this peace I feel now will continue once she is gone but for now I feel at peace.
She is currently undergoing radiation for the tumors in her brain and once that is done we will evaluate our next step. We could have months or years. Either way knowing someone is going to die is quite strange and comforting. We've been able to talk about it, cry about it, say things that needed to be said and prepare ourselves for what is to come. Don't get me wrong I am a bit overwhelmed at the thought of her not being here but there is a peace in my heart. We had a great visit on Saturday. Sad yet Peaceful. Overwhelmed yet Prepared. Unconditional Love.
Everything you wrote, really beautiful today. I love your story about the woman in the car. I love that you both made an impact on each other's lives. I'm glad you took the opportunity to talk and didn't pass it up. Not everyone would have made the effort! And look how much it meant... I love the pic of your aunt and her story, too. The loves in your life show through. Great stuff.
Laura, this is probably the best post ever! Your writing is so from the heart and you make me so proud! Loved today when you talked to me about the lady at the lake . . .you are paying forward and it ALWAYS comes back in so many ways . . .Every "just one thing each day" in this posst was simply said and simply wonderful. Can hardly wait to see what tomorrow's good thing is!
Beautiful and amazing Laura! Love the story about the woman at the lake...so true how appearances can be deceiving! And learning about your Aunt really pulls at my heart strings...sad, but glad that you all are able to talk and be at peace with things. I hope her treatment goes as smoothly and easily as possible!
So true how appearances can be deceiving...you can never really know what's going on with someone until you stop to listen--or when they choose to open up to you. Sounds like your aunt has been through some rough times as well. I'm glad you get to spend quality time with her AND it is nice to have that kind of relationship.
Such inspirational words.
What a blessing you were to that lady who seemed to have it all together...it's often when we take the time for someone else that we end up getting a bigger blessing in return.
I know the peace you have right now...the peace of knowing what is to come, to have the chance to say things and do things before that time comes. I lost my Dad to brain cancer in January of 2008. He fought for 26 months, way longer than any of his doctors thought he'd have. Treasure every moment and make as many more memories as you can!
Laura- thanks so much for sharing this with me, today. I need these post. I am thankful for each thing you write because it helps me see all that I have to be thankful for too. Amidst the falling apart marriage, the struggles of raising two boys, being a pseudo pancreas, constantly feeling exhausted...all of it, thanks for reminding me about how there are countless reasons to be thankful.
Hope today is wonderful for you ;)
Beautiful post Laura. I'm so sorry about your Aunt. What a beautiful tribute to how she has been there for you over the years. Some people may never experience such a wonderful relationship with their Aunt....you are blessed to have her and those memories will always be with you.
Oh Laura . . . life is coming at you hard right now. How obedient you are being by finding the grace and thanksgivings and joy "eucharisteo"! in every twist and turn.
Thank you for sharing the story of the woman at the lake. What a gift you gave to her to share what she saw as 'perfection' as your flawed reality. But look how well you are representing the burdens and finding moments to celebrate the joy.
God is smiling and delighting in you today, sweet Laura :)
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