It’s not me.
You just keep showing up.
November is National Diabetes Month, so here we are.
Until 2009, November meant pumpkin-spiced everything, Christmas music, and Thanksgiving. It smelled like apples and cookies and cranberries. It was filled with the anticipation of twinkling Christmas lights and childhood excitement. Prior to 2009, I was too overwhelmed with managing 2 toddlers and a preschooler while balancing Type 1 Diabetes in the middle of Halloween and Christmas to give National Diabetes Month much thought.
And then I learned about The Blue Circle.
November, you took on a new shape for us. You started to smell like insulin and look like a flurry of numbers. Never before had I been so in tune to the intricate images of diabetes in our life: the random test strip on the floor, the empty juice boxes on the nightstand, the nutrition labels with serving sizes and carb amounts circled.
Social media was booming. November engulfed my overwhelmed loneliness with collective reflections from others who understood — parents and PWDs (person/people with diabetes) alike.
Over the years, the anticipation for November began building almost as soon as the New Year. With endless advocacy opportunities and blog posts galore and pictures of families just like ours carrying the burden. I had never felt so connected and in love with a community before. The Diabetes Online Community (DOC) became my sanctuary.
At the same time, however, storms were hovering over the homefront. The housing market crash, furloughs, and pay cuts had forced us to begin thinking about long term solutions because the trenches had gotten too deep. Mr. Rose began taking college classes. I began working more hours. We began making decisions between things like test strips and a tank of gas. Gluten-free food dominated our dwindling grocery budget. Hard times always followed good times, and each time the fall was harder to recover from.
But there was always you, November.
I could regroup each November.
Remind myself that we aren’t alone on this journey.
It’s November again.
Our 9th November since Sugar’s diagnosis. Next year will mark a decade. Every day I see another small part of her childhood fade into the young woman she is becoming. November, you’ve seen it happening too, haven’t you?
On November 1st, Mr. Rose donned his cap and gown…
You were there, November. It’s fitting that he graduated on the first day of my favorite month. The month of our wedding anniversary. The month of Thanksgiving.
We don’t really know what happens next, and that feels okay right now.
Like I said…
It’s not me.
This November I’m lighting my pumpkin candles and making cookies. I’m playing the Christmas music and I’ve already put up my little strand of snowflake lights over my desk. I’m cherishing this last November before my little girl is gone knowing her sisters will be quick to follow.
These days are numbered, November.
I’m quite sure there will be a few blue circle moments that pop up. Afterall, diabetes isn’t disappearing anytime soon…but I’m kicking it old school and I hope that’s okay with you.
I know you’ll always be there, November.
I’ve learned I can count on that.