Monday, March 22, 2010

THE UNSUNG HERO

She is the one who weighs on my mind...her sweetness and grace...her sensitivity, at times an asset and at times a detriment...her table manners (ahhem; or lack there of)...her hot temper...her empathy...her animated discussions...her loud piercing screech that plagues my ears, sreaming at times of excitement and during periods of angst...her ideas, that come out one after another like rapid machine gun fire...her desire to help those in need and those less fortunate...she is BRIDGET. She is my daughter. She is my first born.

Her name means: Enduring Strength

How to even begin ... how has this life affected her? changed her? She is a willing participant in Joe's care, always desiring to learn more: how to check Joe's blood sugar number, how to bolus, how to carb count. She takes notes on his numbers, transcribes the "Diabetes" section of the World Book Encyclopedia into her polka dot notebook, and diligently studies the Calorie King. She once taped a glass pickle jar to her scooter and went door-to-door, unbeknownst to me, collecting money from neighbors for diabetes research...a sign asking "Please help us find a cure for Type 1" secured to her handle bars. I explained that a glass jar taped to the scooter was perhaps a dangerous choice for obvious reasons...so that ended that round of fundraising for her. This was no matter...you see, she has a whole list of back-up ideas and plans: selling tattoos, a lemonade stand, coins for a cure, cans for a cure...and on...and on.

This disease has had an impact on each of us...perhaps on Bridget more than all. The guilt weighs on me as a parent, it is heavy, it takes its toll. It hurts to be unable to shield her from the unfairness of the attention Joe receives with the day-in, day-out, hour-to-hour care and vigilance that type 1 demands of us...demands of us as a FAMILY. I know it is what it is. This is our journey, our story and it is meant to be. I hope we, as our story unfolds, as it progresses, and in the end...are the better for it...especially Bridget.

13 comments:

Alexis Black said...

An amazing tribute to Bridget! She is one of a kind for sure. You know she has learned from your example. You and Dave should be so proud.

JulieMomWifeThinker said...

Your Bridget is awesome. And life's trials makes us who we are. You were not to know what Bridget would be without a diabetic brother. Nor she. But clearly, already, Bridget has learned to make lemonade from the lemons of your life: she's learned that from you guys. I love that she is not afraid to try to make her own impact by collecting money. And I love that she's transcribing diabetes information from the encyclopedia; it beats my Katie transcribing the contents of every American Girl catalog! I love that Bridget.

JulieMomWifeThinker said...

I love your Bridget. She was meant to be a great big sister to her brother. She's learned from you guys to not be afraid to try to make a difference. And as for transcribing diabetes from the encylopedia - maybe she'll find her future calling from it. It seems more worthwhile than my Katie transcribing the contents of the American Girl catalog each month! Love love that Bridget.

Wendy said...

What a beautiful girl she is. A beautiful heart...beautiful spirit...beautiful strength. Thank you for sharing Bridget with us. She is most surely a blessing to anyone lucky enough to cross her path.

Meri said...

I am sure diabetes has taken its toll on Bridget. She is growing up faster because of it too...It for sure does not seem fair. :(
But Bridget has received a great gift out of all of this. The gift to be Empathic to others. She will not grow up to be selfish. She will look around and say, "What can I do to help others."

Look how amazing she already is! If anything, she is becoming more incredible by the day.

Heidi / Jack's Pack said...

I love that she taped a pickle jar onto her scooter and tried all on her own to raise funds for research. And I love that she transcribes the diabetes section of the encyclopedia. Be proud, Reyna, she's a wonderful, beautiful girl and an amazing sister with such a big heart!

It's true that our non-D kids are deeply affected by D and that their needs, though different, are just as important.

I so wish I could introduce Madeline and Jack to Bridget and Joe. :)

xoxo

Joanne said...

What an AMAZING daughter you have, you must be so proud. I love hearing stories like this, you never hear much about the good kids.

Donna said...

Reyna - this brough tears to my eyes!
I have often felt that way about Jillian... that T1 is as unfair to her as it is to Jacob.
One day maybe I will write my own tribute to her.
Your's was beautiful. And so is your Bridget.
((HUGS))

Reyna said...

All...Thanks. I read this to Bridget after she got home from school. She was touched and extremely appreciative of all the compliments.

I know each of you have your own sibling stories and I look forward to reading them...D truly affects the whole family. I think I have even forgot to feed our dog Oscar due to D.

Love to you all. Good night.

Amanda said...

Your Bridget sounds like a dream. What a sweet sister! I, too, have soooooo many guilty feelings about my little two year old who always gets pushed to the side by the big sister with diabetes and the little sister because she's a baby. Moms are so good at guilting themselves!

Amy said...

What an amazing girl! This post made me cry because I have one just like Bridget..my oldest boy. I know how proud you are of her!!!

Karen said...

That was an amazing post....and Bridget sounds like an amazing girl!

Thanks for your input on my post about drinking with diabetes....that's a tip I'm definately going to try! It's so hard to go to a party and be the odd one out and I think this just might work!

Please DO add me to your blog-roll! That would be amazing! =] I'm actually on a minimed...i just switched from animas (i was on that for over 5 years) and am also working on getting a Dexcom! Hopefully everything will work out and I'll have one very soon! It would make management so so so much easier!

I hope we can get to know each other...we ARE pretty close....and Burlington is such a great area!

Susanne said...

Bridget is who she is because of you, Dave and Joe.( and I can hear her now "and Oscar Susy, he is a part of my family") She is an amazing girl who will be a fantastic woman.