But, then, I saw it, a movie I used to love, that was until Riley got diabetes. I own the movie, but have not been able to bring myself to watch it over the past 17 months. It just hits too close to home.
But, I turned it there anyway. I didn’t really plan on watching it. I was almost compelled to turn it there.
I missed the beginning. When I turned it on, Shelby was sitting in the kitchen and telling her mom that she was pregnant. Her mom was none too pleased with this information.
At this point, I started telling myself, “OK, turn it NOW. You've seen it a hundred times. You know what happens. You really don’t need to watch it. Turn it.”
About that time, Shelby followed her mom into the other room and said:
“Mama, plenty of diabetics have babies and they do just fine.”
“But not you Shelby, you’re special.”
And that, my friends, is when I lost it. I started to cry. And, I pretty much cried through the whole rest of the movie.
I would get OK and then something would happen and I’d start up again.
Occasionally, Michael would walk through the living room and say, “You shouldn’t be watching this.” I would just peer at him from beneath the Kleenex I was holding up to my eyes.
I cried softly most of the time. But, when Jackson found Shelby lying in the floor, I started to sob.
And, when she died, I sobbed some more.
And, when her mom lost it at the funeral, I sobbed even harder.
I sat on my couch and cried all I wanted. I sat there and grieved for my son like I haven’t done in a long, long time.
It was just something that I needed to do.
After the movie was over, I got up, dried my tears, checked Riley’s sugar, read him a bedtime story, and tucked him into bed.
All the while, my now favorite quote from the movie was running through my head. Something that Shelby says to her mom when she tells her she's pregnant:
“ I’d rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”
And, I felt blessed because I think it’s the other way around for me. I’ve had a lifetime of wonderful and maybe thirty minutes of nothing special.
That's what I wish for Riley too. And now, I'm at the point where I can see it happening. A year ago, I couldn't say that. But, now, I'm sure that's what's in store for my boy: a lifetime of wonderful.