Yesterday I wrote a blog post that described how I felt about the DRI controversy. It was long, angry and just as I was about to post it, the man who started this whole mess wrote on his blog and tried to explain why he did what he did - I deleted my draft.
His words caused me to think about the DOC.
I've never met Tom in person, as a matter of fact I don't believe that I've ever "met" him online - but I have read his blog. I've seen how people in the community trust him, how they believe that he is one of them. I know that because that is how I feel about this man whom I do not know. I began to wonder if I am that person for you. I thought long and hard about your belief in my blog and the responsibility that your trust makes me feel. I tried to imagine what influence could make me write something online that could hurt so many people. I couldn't think of one thing in my life that could push me to so thoughtlessly disseminate my feelings as though they were more than feelings. What Tom did, in my opinion, was cruel and where he did it was unthinkable.
I was so angry that the appearance of hype was brought into our community, disguised as hope.
I'm glad that I didn't post my thoughts yesterday because they weren't thoughts, they were anger. Holding back allowed me more time to consider what must have been going through Tom's mind as he wrote and I can only come to one conclusion. Tom is a D-Dad twice over, he is a tireless advocate for us and I can only imagine that he wants a cure for my daughter as much as he wants one for his own children.
Tom must have seen something that made him believe in a cure. I, for one, am elated that there is research in the world that could make a man like Tom that excited. If that is the case, then I understand why he was so enthusiastic about telling us. He only made one mistake and I'm quite sure that he won't do it again, I'm quite sure that none of us will. His actions, misguided as they were, taught us all a very valuable lesson this week. Our voices are strong, they carry meaning and people are listening. We have a responsibility that is bigger than perhaps we may have imagined. We aren't just a collection of people connected by FaceBook, Twitter and the rest. We are a family. Actually, we are more than a family. We are people with diabetes and the people that love people with diabetes. We all want the same thing and we want it now. Tom forgot that for a few minutes, but I can tell that he remembers now.
If you were angry like I was, I hope that you can find your way past that feeling and join me in hoping that what Tom saw was so amazingly exciting that he lost his head for a moment. Because if that is the case, well, we all have something to look forward to. Even if Tom just mis-spoke or didn't give proper consideration to how his message would be received - he's done more for all of us than I imagine we could know... he deserves a pass. Trust me when I tell you that I was in full blown, Philly anger yesterday. I could have choked Tom with my bare hands. Today, I was able to see clearly again. I don't take how I felt is a condemnation of me or of Tom's actions - I see it as an indication of how much I don't want Arden and all of you to have to live with diabetes for one second longer.
One day this community will be the way that we all learn about the cure just as it is the conduit for finding out about advancements in treatment, support and friendship. We won't hear of the cure with a press release or a twitter post, our love will carry that message into each of our homes. You all are part of the most amazing man-made thing that I've ever seen. We have compassion for one another in amounts so large it boggles my mind. We help each other up when things are bad and we prop each other up until we can stand again on our own.
Tom, this is me propping you up. Don't beat yourself up too much. I may have done the same thing.
I can't wait to see what got you so excited.