Friday, October 25, 2013

How Will You Be Remembered?

(**warning** This post involves DEATH and DYING so if you don't want to read about that right now then click the red X in the top right corner of your page....Thank You!)

Since hearing the news about Shamae on Sunday night, I've almost a whole week to reflect and allow things to sink in. Our online group of D-Moms is such a tight knit community and many of us have never even met. Just the impact of words....daily words of encouragement...daily words to cheer you up and let you know you're not really got me thinking.

How Will You Be Remembered?

If you were to die tomorrow...or tonight even...what would people say about you? What would be written in your obituary?

Would you be remembered as the bright light? The complainer? The optimist? The smiler? The hard worker? The great mom? The great dad? The giver? The taker? The church goer? The leader? The shy one? The outgoing one? Will they say you were a good person? A bad person? Did you matter in their life? Did you make a difference? Did you care? Were you supportive?

Did you leave a legacy?

It's something we all don't want to think about....DEATH. But it's a reality that all of us will face, one day, we WILL die. Some of us sooner than others, some before their children and some after their children. It's something that we tend to stay hushed about but we really should be talking about.

If you could write your own obituary, what would it say?

I ran across an interesting video that is well worth watching! PLEASE Take the time to watch it.

Are you REALLY thinking yet? Yep! That video did the same thing to me!

I've watched the outpour of love from our online community over the last few days. I've read all the stories shared about Shamae and one thing became very clear....she was a light in our community and she was an uplifter of support. Every single one of us can say, she commented and supported us. She was involved in many of our lives, yet many of us never met her face to face. She loved her girls and Loren but she also loved us. The pictures she shared with us on her blog and Facebook showed nothing but happiness. Sure, we all have our bad days but I can't ever remember her saying a cross word about anyone.

When we die, all our loved ones are left with are memories. Are you creating those memories?

Are you prepared to die tonight? Have you made those amends and said the things you want to say? Are you living today as it was your last? You may not be given the chance to wake up the next morning. You may not make it through the drive home this afternoon. Are you ready for your family to face those things? Have you talked to them about death, your wishes and how you want things played out?

So many questions have swirled around my head and it's a huge elephant in the room that I try to avoid. I don't like talking about death but if it happens, then I want my family prepared. I don't want people to be sad...after all, getting to Heaven is a celebration and everyone should be happy. The only reason they should be sad is because they couldn't go to the glorious celebration with me.

Yeah I know, this post is a downer but I've just had so many thing swirling through my head. You don't have to be old to die. It does happen and it WILL happen. We just wait for our time but we need to be sure we're leaving a legacy.

Over the next few weeks, I want to sit down with my husband and plan things out for our funerals. It's something we haven't done in writing and I want to make sure several things are very clear in the planning. I'd also like to write letters to my children. My wishes, my hopes and my dreams for them. Something they will have to my own writing and my own words...not just what others tell them. Just so many things that I need to get lined up so they aren't left with everything to decide on their own.

Sorry for the depressing post!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fieldtrip Fun

In our 504 Plan, it's stated "A parent will attend EVERY fieldtrip with Kacey". At first the school bucked me on this. Why do you have to attend? We can send the nurse with her. She should be okay for the few hours she is away. NOPE! I WILL attend and I WILL care for her while she is on the trip. Sometimes they would tell me that if I was going then I could just be a chaperone or I had to ride the bus. No problem! I will go under those conditions. place I will NOT chaperone is an amusement park. I made the mistake of doing that last year and because I was a chaperone I had to ride the bus and because I had to ride the bus then when Kacey's blood sugars went wonky that meant we had to sit somewhere and we couldn't just go home. It made a long day for her. As I thought about the whole "chaperone" thing, it made me think a little more about actually taking on that position. What if something happened to Kacey and I was a chaperone? I am responsible for an entire group of children that I now had to find someone else to care for. Is that safe? Not at a theme park! Our school lets these kids (6th, 7th and 8th grade) go off on their own and reposrt back to a chaperone at a certain time and location. Each "group" has a cell phone and they are to call if they will be late. The "group" then splits and these kids must be in pairs but I'm not crazy about this idea! Anything can happen! So I chose not to chaperone and I explained that Kacey would ride to the theme park with me in my vehicle and we would mingle with her groups of friends and when she was ready to leave then we would leave and that way if something happend to her blood sugars then I was solely responsible for just her and I could tend to her without added worry. Seems perfect, right? And then THIS happened within ONE HOUR of being in the park.....

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Check with meter revealed....
Yep! I'd say she was LOW! Crap! I had my backpack full of snacks and our cups to get filled with drink. As I reached into my backpack, panic set in! I had glucose tabs with me but NO quick sticks and NO juice boxes. OMGGGGGGG! Really?!?! GLUCOSE TABS?!?! Since Kacey got her braces, she can no longer chomp down on glucose tabs. What the heck do I do? We had just gotten off the Tea Cups (kinda like a scrambler but inside a tea cup that spins) and we are sitting on a bench and she says, "I feel like jello!" My eyes scan the little kiosks and I spot a Dippin Dots stand with a cooler of PowerAde. "Kacey, I know you HATE the taste of PowerAde but right now you have no choice but to chug it and I promise we will follow it with something yummy." So, with the blood sugar of 58 and falling, I help her stand and walk her over to the kiosk. "Can I please have a blue PowerAde? Her blood sugar is low. Here is $5!" The young girl hands me the bottle and I turn to tend to Kacey. She's standing there just looking at me as I urge Kacey to chug the whole bottle. As I turn to look at her she says "Do you have a seasons pass?" LOL! Poor girl! She was waiting to ring me up to save me 10%. Geesh...$3.50 for a PowerAde is highway robbery anyway! We sit and wait for her to come up as she nibbles the goldfish that I gave her. "Mommy, my tummy feels too sick now to eat something yummy." ***sigh***  My heart breaks for her as her friends are off having fun and not having a care in the world and here she sits with a stupid low. She can't be a normal kid. Diabetes is always there. think.....what if I wasn't on the fieldtrip? What if she was off in one of those pairs of kids? Who would care for her? How would the other child run for help? Just another validation as to WHY I go on every single fieldtrip and I don't hand over the responsiblilty to anyone else to keep my child alive. She is my child, she is my responsibility and I will gladly go on every fieldtrip.

For those that don't understand WHY I need to go....this should clear it up! Imagine your child being on a theme park ride, getting off and collapsing from a illness. Diabetes doesn't sleep. Diabetes doesn't always play nice. THIS is why we need a cure and THIS is why we advocate. When your healthy child is off having fun and riding those roller coasters, we are sitting on a bench treating a blood sugar and trying to keep Kacey safe enough to even ride those rides.

Yeah.....Diabetes....YOU SUCK!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In Loving Memory of Shamae

I've been a complete jumbled mess since I found out about Shamae's passing on Sunday night. I've had a hard time finding the words and this all seems like a big blur.

I didn't see all of the posts until we got home from our trip to Busch Gardens. It was about 11pm and as I sat down and begain to scroll through my newsfeed, I scanned over posts like usual...reading the important posts and scanning over the other junk of complaints. And then....the photo of the three girls...a post about the passing of Shamae. I read it....I reread it....and REREAD it! It can't be true! Someone must be talking about a friend of Shamae's....NOT Shamae! As I sat there with my mouth open, my husband was asking me to move so he could fold the covers down. I never heard him. I was zoned out....trying to register what I was reading over and over. He then yelled at me, "Jill, MOVE!" I looked up at him and the look on my face must have been bad because he came over to my side of the bed and asked me what was wrong? I handed him my phone and the tears came out of nowhere. It had sunk it and registered. It was Shamae, not a friend of hers, not a stranger...really HER! He read over the post and all I could do was sob uncontrollably. Those three girls! Her poor husband! I didn't know any details about what happened, only that she had gone to sleep and didn't wake up. But the devestation that was rocking our community was ever so present on Facebook.

I first met Shamae through my blog. She had commented to several posts of mine and although there was an age difference between our girls, they still had a connection....Type 1 Diabetes. Syd was diagnosed a few months before Kacey so we were going through those same emotions together. I would email her with problems and she would email me back. Emails became texts and texts became phone calls. We became cheerleaders for one another! Celebrating the good days and crying for the bad days. Syd and Kacey began emailing funny videos back and forth. Words of encouragement and "You're doing a great job!" filled the videos. A friendship was formed and we have diabetes to thank. Being on opposite sides of the US made it difficult for us to meet in person but we felt as if we'd known one another forever.

Today, we honor Shamae Lyon.
A sweet soul and a forever friend
Taken too soon
Leaving behind three sweet little girls....Sydney, Morgan and Hadlee
Leaving behind a loving husband....Loren

My prayers for the girls....may you always know how much your Mommy loved you. You were her world. You were her light in the dark. She revolved around all three of you. As you get older, may you all three become the loving, caring, social, compassionate woman your Mommy was. She could make someone's day with a simple post or comment. She knew how to cheer someone on when she knew they were down and out and she joined in the cheers when she knew someone was having a great day. She was an advocate and her devotion to making sure those around her were clearly educated about diabetes was infectious. It made us want to be better advocates and better mothers. May you each grow up to live healthy lives and I pray your Daddy will keep us updated with pictures as much as your Mommy did. Much love to all three of you! ((((HUGS)))

Loren...your wife was simply AMAZING! But then again, you already knew that! My prayer is that you find comfort and peace as you move forward without her. The days ahead will be tough. The days ahead will be dark. But I hope you find light and peace as you are flooded with all of the memories of her. She will be dearly missed in our Diabetes Community.

What did I learn from Shamae? If there is one thing I learned it's....TAKE MORE SELF PICTURES!
I don't take enough pictures of myself. Mostly because I am always behind the camera and because I always feel "fat" in pictures. But as I looked back over Shamae's posts and her Facebook, it's all SMILING pics of her and family & friends. She was ALWAYS smiling...even in pics when she is sick and a black eye. SMILE....thats what we all need to do more. When we leave this Earth, we have the memories that we've captured in our hearts but having the concrete photos to look back on are PRICELESS! beautiful friend...may you soar with the angels! May you watch over those beautiful girls as they grow into lovely women. May you comfort your husband from above and show him your presence. May you rest in sweet peace!