So, this is It . . . my last week writing to you. It’s very hard for me to believe this time has come, and yet here it is. A whole year has gone by and in that year so much has changed. I think back to new health advances and technologies, the state of our country, and even the changes in my own life, and I’m overwhelmed. Life truly is a beautiful and precious thing.
A couple of weeks ago I have to admit I was feeling rather sorry for myself. It had just been one of those days where I wanted to pull my hair out! The kids tested my every last nerve, and I couldn’t keep on top of my blood sugars––let alone anything else. In fact, when I went to work that evening my co-worker (who also happens to be a very good friend) asked me if something was the matter. And of course I just unloaded! I think in one sentence I described it all. I said: “I’m emotionally and physically exhausted. All I really want to do is throw this insulin pump across the room and eat a meal without meticulously questioning every morsel of food that enters my mouth.” She replied “Well, honey, that’s not an option; so what else can you do?” I laughed out loud and thanked her for the reality check.
At the end of the day I went into the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth and came to a realization. Diabetes has given me a voice. Perhaps this disease really is a blessing more than a curse. It has given me the opportunity to reach out to so many people that I would have never come in contact with if not for it.
I just finished reading a book entitled The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Perhaps you’ve heard of him or been one of the 2 million viewers to have seen his “last lecture” entitled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams on youtube. He made a statement that I’ve been repeating to myself over and over. He said, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” Randy has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. And although his last lecture was supposed to be about imagining his legacy after his death; but instead he made it about living. The jacket of the book described his lecture as realizing “the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment.” However, the overall theme that I obtained from the book was living the golden rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
And perhaps that’s really what it’s all about, loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). I think we often forget the importance of decent human kindness and the impact it can make on those we encounter.
I’m just thinking back to our recent family road trip. On our last morning in the hotel we were down in the lobby eating our “free” continental breakfast and an older couple arrived. They shuffled in talking loudly often repeating themselves and asking the other to “please speak up.” At the breakfast counter there was a Belgium waffle maker . . . jackpot! The lady wished to make one, but between the two of them they couldn’t figure out how to operate it. Someone in passing explained how to pour the batter, close the lid, and flip the handle, but never offered assistance.
As I watched them both struggle with shaky hands, I couldn’t help but jump up out of my seat and offer a helping hand. Why hadn’t the person before me done the same? The couple thanked me and when the timer went off I again helped them retrieve the waffle and find the butter and syrup. They both laughed and said “What would we have done if you hadn’t been here this morning?” “Oh, you would have managed,” I replied. Doing what’s right is always the right thing to do.
Ellen G. White, author of Life at It’s Best, says: “We are dependent upon one another, closely bound together by the ties of human brotherhood.” She also goes on to say in her book that “Life is chiefly made up, not of great sacrifices and wonderful achievements, but of little things. It is oftenest through the little things which seem so unworthy of notice that great good or evil is brought into our lives.”
Perhaps in a world where there’s so much physical, mental, and emotional pain; the greatest gift we can give to each other is the gift of ourselves. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
I wish to all of you, your families, and friends God’s blessing and peace. I hope that someday I will get to meet each of you that have so faithfully read my blogs (even if you’re just tuning in for the first time) if not in this lifetime, but in the life to come! May your quest to better health lead you to a deeper and closer walk with the greatest Physician of all, Jesus Christ!