In everything my mother did back then, she simply considered me. Whenever she bought soda for the house, she brought home some diet sprite as well. Then, came Fresca, Diet Dr. Pepper, and Diet Mountain Dew. My Aunt Terry brought me Diet Orange Crush, all the way from Texas on one of her visits in 1991. Mom signed us up for a support group at Providence Hospital, called P.A.C.T. (Parents And Children Together). I met some awesome people there and had my first experience working with the American Diabetes Association. My junior year in high school the Alabama Chapter sent me and a chick from Huntsville to Washington D.C. to represent Alabama at the National Youth Leadership Conference, sponsored by the ADA. While in D.C. we all had appointments to meet with our State Senators to discuss healthcare and the need for more funding for diabetes research. Unfortunately, Howell Heflin was too busy for us Alabama folk, so we sat in with Landon Bates (my new buddy from GA) and discussed our concerns with the Senator from Georgia. Anyway, as I focused on this new life of mine, my mother submerged herself in it. She subscribed me to Diabetes Forecast, and many other things diabetes related. She sought out the sugar-free versions of things she knew I loved, like chewing gum. Yes Mother, I blame you for my addiction to the green Extra gum in high school when I was killing a plenty-pak a day.
As I was pondering all this, leaving the Dr's office, I read a post from one of my additional Mothers, Jan Burton Hoobler. Mama Jan was our head nurse at Camp Seale Harris, and most of us became her children. Her post this morning was concerning her experience while tarrying in a hospital waiting room as my Baby Sister Jessie underwent surgery. While recalling all the things my mother went through, sought out, and pressed through to do in my early Type 1 days, I also thought about Mama Jan and how protective and involved she'd been with Baby Sis. Mothers like mine, and Mama Jan simply went to work for us. They are two of the greatest and best definitions of "Mother" one could ever know.
So, I've said all of that to say this.......Ma, I know you went through a lot but I am SO grateful that you jumped deeper into this mud puddle than I even did in the beginning of my new life as a Type 1 Diabetic. You never lost sight of me and always considered me, my new limits, my new life, in all that you did! Just know that when I was away at Camp, Mama Jan filled your shoes and filled them well and ALWAYS held me accountable. Ma, I love you, and you know I will always be your ride or die dude. You put in work for me, so I will always put in work for you!!
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
P.S. Pray for my Baby Sis, Jessika, that our mighty and all powerful God heals her, keeps her, and makes her stronger than ever!! AMEN!!