WARNING - This post is full of spoilers for the movie.
This past weekend I found myself exhausted but unable to sleep. Remarkably, it wasn't diabetes that was keeping me up (like it did the five nights prior), this night I was trying to stay awake so I could pick my son up from a party at 1 am - so I turned on the television and found that 'The Descendants' was about to begin.
The movie follows a man (George Clooney) as he comes to terms with the news that his recently comatose and soon to be dead wife, was cheating on him. There is a scene toward the latter part of the film where the wife's father (played by Robert Forster) puts his hand on his adult daughter's head and kisses her while he is coming to terms with the fact that she won't be waking up. That made me cry the first time. It was a small moment in the film that was very touching, but did not effect me personally.
After the movie ended I made my way to Arden's room so I could make some last adjustments to her basal rate. When I was finished, I bent down and kissed Arden on her head just as I always do before I leave her room when she is sleeping. It was then that I began to cry for a second time, this time it felt personal. This time I thought about losing my daughter as the man did in the movie. I thought about how hollow the world would seem without Arden, and I wondered if I would want to exist in the void that her passing would leave.
I never thought about diabetes...
Until I did
I walked into our bathroom to collect myself because Kelly was sleeping and I didn't want to wake her. It was dark and so I could only make out shadows. There are personal photographs in that room and one of them is of Arden standing on the beach, it's from a few years ago and she is walking toward the surf with her hands stretched out to her sides. I took that picture as I watched her walk away from me. She looks like she is trying to absorb how wonderful the moment was... like she wants to hug the sun. I love that picture.
I just about had myself together when I heard Arden's CGM beep
Then I thought about diabetes and all of the things about it that we try to guard against but don't speak about very often. I thought about the possibility of long-term complications. And that's when I fell apart.
I was okay a few minutes later. I pulled it together and reminded myself that I get extra emotional when I'm tired and then I went back to Arden to check on that CGM.
I'm sharing this story today because I imagine that something very similar to this has happened to you - and it will happen again. It's totally normal, expected and human and I wanted you to know that it happens to me too.
BTW, I really liked the movie, if you've never seen it you should check it out sometime.