I had a sweet, reflective moment this week while driving to work. I usually listen to NPR on my commute, but the radio was tuned to a local Christian station and I didn’t change the dial. As I listened, I began praying. Soon, tears were forming in my eyes as I felt the Lord responding to my prayer. I looked up to see the Nashville skyline appear amid the rain and fog. I glanced to my left and the car stopped next to me in traffic had two bikes positioned in a rooftop rack. The juxtaposition of my personal world flooded me with emotion in that moment. My heart filled with gratitude and I was overwhelmed by what my life has been, what it is currently and what the future will bring. I’m sharing this because I want to capture that brief moment in time and remember it. My words are the best record I have to reflect on what my heart felt that morning.
Twenty years. That’s how long I’ve had diabetes, come tomorrow. In that reflective commute earlier this week, I cried out to the Lord with a grateful and hopeful heart. Grateful for my health — my functioning kidneys, my eyes, my pumping heart, my toes and feet, my emotional well-being — and grateful for my people. For my littles who fill me with ridiculous amounts of joy and hope. For the adults that get it and understand. For the ones who don’t but continue to ask questions and learn. For my parents and their unwavering foundation. For my brother who kept me from wallowing and always held (and still holds) me accountable. For JDRF and for cycling and what the two have done for my life. For you, my friends and trusted peers.
Truth be told, I’ve been a bit sentimental all week. My diaversary doesn’t usually elicit such emotion, but I suppose in the midst of moving and other stresses, it has affected me differently this year. Or maybe it’s simply the two decade mark that makes it more profound. I’m more humble and determined because of diabetes, and I care about things I don’t think I would have otherwise. This disease makes me perfectly imperfect, and I’m fine with that.
What a long time and what an incredible journey. This is one of the most interesting seasons in my life. With all the emotions and thoughts I feel and think throughout the day, reflection and hope seem to be the ones most consistent. And on this 20-year mark, what better things to experience. Reflection on two decades well-lived with love and support and friendship. Hope for the future and all it holds… and someday, a cure.