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It's Ok To Cry: A Dad's Perspective

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I have a guest post today!

"Guess what I did today?" J asked me the other night. "I don't know... what?" I answered. "I wrote a blog post." he said - sounding very proud. "What? You did? What made you do that?" I asked. "I don't know. I just sat down and it came out." he said.

As you know, that's usually how the best posts are written! So, here is what J has to say about life with D.....

As we near the first year anniversary of Sweetpea's diagnosis, I find myself in tears quite often.

Maybe it's the word first in that sentence that gets me...because it implies there will be a second, a third, and so on. And that means Sweetpea's T1 diabetes is not something that will just go away. No matter how much I want it to, it's not going anywhere.

On the other hand, I am hopeful for many more anniversaries because I've read about too many parents lately who lost their child in diabetes-related incidents, and I know they would give anything to have more anniversaries. Then the tears come again because I can't even imagine the pain they are going through. And it scares me to tears that this is even a remote possibility for my family.

The other night when I was lying next to Sweetpea as I was putting her to bed, she rolled over onto my chest, looked me in the eyes, and said, "Daddy, you are the best Dad in the world." Yes, once again, the waterworks started. There were tears because I felt so loved and it was such a sweet thing to say. But, at the same time, the tears were there because even if I was the best Dad in the world, there is still nothing I can do to take her diabetes away. As a guy, I want to solve problems, fix things, be a hero. But, diabetes renders me helpless in that regard. There is nothing I can do. God knows I would if I could.

I remember hearing a D Mama (can't remember who it was) say her husband handled the diagnosis pretty well, but had more difficulty at the first anniversary. So, maybe all this is normal.

Although, I must admit, I was a pretty big mess at diagnosis. We had driven separate cars to the pediatrician. Hallie had Sweetpea. So, it was my job to call both our parents with the news. I'm not sure I made it 2-3 seconds into those calls without losing it. After some time, I think they heard the words 'Sweetpea' and 'diabetes' and put two and two together. At the hospital, we did a pretty good job of keeping things together, mostly because we didn't want to scare Sweetpea. But, when my college roommate/best friend, who also happens to be a pastor, came to visit and pray with us, I fell apart when he gave me a hug. I still remember having no choice but to let the tears go. Sweetpea still refers to Scott as "the guy that made Daddy cry at the hospital." Which is kind of funny!

Along this new journey, though, it's not all sad and gloomy. Actually, there have been even more reasons for tears of joy. Finding out at the hospital that Sweetpea was going to be ok. Getting insurance approval for an insulin pump. Finishing our first lunch together after hooking Sweetpea up to the pump and not having to give her a shot. Hearing from Sweetpea's teacher after their World Diabetes Day celebration, that it was like Sweetpea had been waiting for that day to come out of her shell and tell her class about diabetes and show them her pump. Experiencing our first JDRF Walk for the Cure with over 40 walkers supporting Sweetpea, and raising over $12,000. Seeing how our family is even closer than it was as we travel this road together as a team. Having Hallie find the awesome Diabetes online community, which has been an incredible source of information, strength, love, and encouragement (thank you all so much, by the way!). Watching my wonderful wife touch others with that same love and encouragement. Knowing that our God is in control and He is with us. And those are just a few off the top of my head.

It's ok to cry, no matter the reason. Happy or sad. Let it out. You'll feel better. I do.

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