Still, every once in a while, when I'm least expecting it, one of those punches lands squarely on my jaw and I feel the sting as tears well up in my eyes.
I was sitting at my desk this morning, when I saw this picture out of the corner of my eye.
These were taken when Riley was one year old. I looked at his bright smile (the boy smiled constantly in those days) and his chubby little legs and instead of nostalgia, I felt sadness.
Sometimes I look at pictures of Riley before he had diabetes and I can't help but feel a loss all over again. I love my Riley with diabetes fiercely. But, I can't help but think of what it would be like to love a Riley without diabetes.
This morning when I looked at his picture I started trying to imagine what life would be like now if Riley had never gotten diabetes. But, I can't fathom what life would be like without pricking my son with needles and praying for a cure, both of which I do several times a day.
Would I be happier? Would he be happier? Would I appreciate life as much as I do now? Would he be as generous and loving as he is now? Would Michael and I be as close as we are now? Has it hindered Holden's life in any way?
Most of the time I can dodge and weave and every once in a while diabetes lands a glancing blow. But, sometimes, like today, it hits with a force that momentarily knocks the breath out of me.
But, just like many other days, I shake my head, rub my jaw, and wipe the tears from my eyes. Diabetes may not fight fair, but it still won't beat me. It won't beat my son.
I won't let it.