2 Years

It’s been 2 years today since that moment I can’t ever shake. The feelings and emotions are still so fresh. I was on a stretch of road I’ve ridden or driven hundreds of times over the past 20+ years. The drive between where I live currently, and my hometown, around 70 miles away. It was morning, the sun was behind us, shining into the back of the car window. I was in the back seat with my (then) 4 month old daughter, who was snoozing in her car seat, pacifier squeaking and bouncing away like Maggie from The Simpsons. I looked up into the rear view mirror and shared a glance with my husband, who was driving. I nodded that everything was OK, and smiled down at our daughter, relishing in her tiny little life, while looking ahead at the road that was leading us to the hospital in my hometown to see my Dad…where I didn’t know (but really, I did know) that he had already died earlier that morning.  In that one moment, I knew: my life had changed, again. Better start dealing with it.

Love you, Dad. Always.

My heart still aches, remembering this arrangement was only a step away from my Dad’s casket.

My Dad was so many things….Husband, Father, Grandfather. He was a jokester, a sports-lover, a salesman, and could strike up a conversation with anyone. He was also a Type 2 diabetic, and he had a ton of complications. Some were probably related to diabetes, but many were not.

In thinking of the last 2 years, I can’t help but wonder….is there anything he could have done better to take care of himself that would have given him 2 more years, or more, with us? I don’t want to sound selfish or unkind, but I get a little bitter thinking about all the “what if’s.” What if he had eaten better, what if he had lost weight, what if he had listened to me (and the multitude of doctors) and stopped smoking 30 years earlier….could he have been in our lives for longer? I could have given him so many more hugs, shared so many silly jokes, and asked him so many more questions. He could have seen his grand-daughter grow and flourish.

And then I apply those same concerns to myself as well, wondering….is that cupcake I just ate going to cause a high blood sugar that tacks onto the years of highs and lows that have taken such a toll on my body already? Is each high/low sugar taking away one minute, one hour, one day, one year more that I could have spent with my loved ones? I don’t know, and I really don’t want to think about it that way.

Appropriately, this morning was my 3 month checkup with the endocrinologist. Good news! My overall cholesterol is lower than it’s been in years (with HDL 67, LDL 106), my A1C is 6.4, and all my other blood-work numbers look great. I may not be perfect in my management of my health, but I’m trying. Despite any contradictions from the wizened sage Yoda, I’m trying (and I guess, technically doing things that actually add up to the trying) really hard, and I think that is the most I can ask of myself, or expect from anyone else. I am trying my best to be here and be healthy for as long as possible, and I hope the people who love me can recognize that.

I love you, Dad

The last time my daughter saw my Dad. The smiles on both of their faces are priceless.

7 thoughts on “2 Years

  1. I’m sorry you lost your sweet dad.

    • Thanks 🙂 Not to dismiss it (because I am obviously still emotional about it), but I have come to accept that with life and love, comes loss. Getting older and seeing the loss happen more and more to myself and the people around me…it’s just hard. But I wouldn’t trade all the love and life for anything. The memories and big-feeling in my heart – it’s worth it.

  2. Beautiful picture.

  3. I too am a diabetic, have been for years but just take pills and watch my diet.

  4. I think it’s dangerous to our well-being to worry about every decision we make in perspective of “what will it cost me later in life?” It’s a little like using allocated vacation days at work versus thinking how much you might get paid for unused days at the end of the year or the end of the job.

    We need to take care of our needs for the future, this is true, but we need to take care of ourselves in the “now” as well, which includes occasional breaks or indulgences. Otherwise, the life we extend is frustrating and miserable.

    I’m so sorry you lost your dad. I’m grateful that he was as cheerful and social as he was, and that he left such a positive impression on you. For you, there’s a trick to finding that middle-ground, and there really is no right answer.

    • You are absolutely right, Scott. Having a kid has made me think of all sorts of things in different (and not always good) ways – the worry, the fretting, the “what ifs” really don’t serve much purpose except to make us miserable in the here and now. Sometimes I just have to think about them, get out all the thoughts (like, in a blog post) and then move on. That’s the plan, at least 🙂

  5. This post brought tears to my eyes. My grandfather was type 1 and so am I and he lost his battle at a very young age, early 50s and I go through the same thoughts in my head. All the what if’s. I too didnt think about these things as much until I had my daughter 7 months ago….I wish my grandpa was here to meet her. He died 25 years ago when I was 7. I am sorry you lost your Dad, I cant even think about going through that.

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