A couple times, people have responded to my sharing information about Nick’s diabetes by saying something like, “You seem so happy for someone dealing with this!”
It makes me feel kinda bad.
Continuing on a later date:
When people point out that I “seem happy” despite the burden of having a child with diabetes, I feel like the implication is, I don’t care enough, or I’m too cavalier about it. As if my habit of happiness is incompatible with an awareness of suffering. But I can’t help it. I still find joy in life’s small moments of beauty, whether the grinning face of one of my children or a particularly beautiful morning over Humboldt Bay. I still find humor throughout the day — or rather it finds me. The world is often as funny as it is tragic. And so, as long as the day-to-day diabetes maintenance goes well for Nick, I can smile and laugh and remain publicly engaged in emotions besides despair. I think that’s OK. I think it’s best, even.
I hate that Nick has diabetes; I hate that he must be subjected to shots throughout the day; I have nightmares about the various ways in which his care could go horribly awry; my heart breaks often over the fact that he has this, will always have this, to deal with. I was not smiling in the hospital or laughing the first few weeks home, when we were checking him throughout the night, sleep-deprived and terrified.
But right now, the routine is stable. We have to remain vigilant; he still experiences highs and low, although thankfully not dramatically. But that’s temporarily. Which, to my way of thinking means, we can still be happy when the moment calls for it. We damn well better be.
I can understand your feelings Jennifer, but I think they probably meant just what you said – namely that they were complimenting you for your ability to stay positive, for yourself and for your son.Of course I wasn’t there.