Friday, June 01, 2007

No more gray

Since Riley was diagnosed with diabetes I have been determined that it wouldn’t stop our family from doing the things we always did.

And, I succeeded pretty well with that.

We still went on vacations. We still went to the beach to spend the day. Holden played on a traveling basketball team and I drug Riley along for the ride. Riley participated in sports.

But, it sort of felt empty. I was happy, but I felt like the happiness was tainted somehow. My happiness was a little gray around the edges.

But, lately, I feel as if I’ve awakened from a deep sleep or that I’ve been walking around in a fog for, oh, let’s say the last 19 months or so.

I go to the tennis courts and hit the ball around with Holden. I’m walking and trying to work myself up to start running. I go and sit on the beach and glance up from my book long enough to see Riley playing in the water. I cheer for Riley when he hits the ball and takes off for first base.

These are all things I’ve done many times before. But, somehow, it’s different now.

Before, I was doing all these things in spite of diabetes. Now, I’m doing things without factoring diabetes into the equation at all.

It may not sound like much of a difference, but it is.

I guess maybe I’ve just finally decided that diabetes isn’t going anywhere. It’s time to get on with life.

So, what have I been doing the last 19 months? I’ve been living life, but my heart wasn’t in it. My heart was still hurting too much from the pain caused by a disease that invaded my son’s body.

Don’t get me wrong; the pain is still there a little. I think, to some extent, it always will be there. But, it’s dulled enough for me to stop focusing on it.

And, as far as a cure goes, my hope is still there. I have to hope that one day Riley won’t have this anymore. But, do I believe there will ever be a cure? I’m not so sure.

I continue to pray every day for the researchers that are working to find a cure. I will be holding Walk of Hope again in October.

But, I’ve decided that there may never be a cure. I hope there will be. You don’t know how much I wish for it. But, I just have to accept that maybe there won’t be.

And, because I've accepted that, I'm the happiest I’ve been in a while. There's not any gray around the edges anymore.


Shannon said...

Sweetie, you've been going through a grieving process in a way.

Now you're on to healing. I'm so happy to see that you're enjoying life :)

Anonymous said...

Never give up hope. I was diagnosed with Type I at age 12 in 7/1950. I'm 68 now and doing great. Keep a positive attitude that you son will be able to be as successful as I have been.

Sandra Miller said...

Penny, you've moved through an excruciatingly painful -- and sadly, unavoidable -- process.

And you've done so with tremendous grace and strength.

This is just a wonderful post-- very inspiring.

Kelsey said...

Wow, you Moms of diabetics (and Dads too) are so inspiring. It seems like you feel the pain of your child's diabetes even more fully than your kids do.

I can only speak for myself, but I adapted to being diabetic without too much emotional upheavel. I know it was much harder on my Mom.

We're all so lucky to have wonderful parents to take care of us, and our diabetes.

Bernard said...


Thank you for capturing what this change was like for you, it's moving and it's good that you've been able to make it.

Up till recently, I'd have agreed with you about no chance for a cure. But now there's too much happening for me to still think that. I'm really thrilled by the stuff that Dr. Faustman is doing, and about the possibilities of some type of cure.

And (here's a plug for something) I'm happy that I can bike ride and directly support the research. Between last year and this year, maybe I've raised enough to pay for 4-6 months of a researcher's time. Maybe the researcher that find the answer to a key part of the puzzle. Exciting stuff.

Anonymous said...

I find myself reading your posts alot lately. 3 of my 4 kids are very healthy, while the other 1 has problem after problem. Luckily, they are minor, but still I feel so bad for him with him being the one who suffers everything. Everything from tubes in his ears to prevent ear infections and still got an ear infection every 2 1/2 weeks or so, trouble with nurse maids elbow as a toddler, asthma, mono at age 6 yrs.!, & now kidney stones (that he first had at 5 yrs. old). And I could list more.....but we deal w/ each thing, one at a time.
I read your posts about your "baby", and my heart goes out to you each & every time. I usually tear up & cry some....but I keep reading. I need to know how Riley is doing :) And you! You AMAZE me! I think what Kelsey said is right can be so hard for the mom. What a wonderful mom you are :)

Penny Ratzlaff said...


Just like any other healing, the scar will always be there.


Your comment was VERY encouraging for me. To know that you are out there living a healthy and happy life even after having this disease for 56 years gives me great hope for Riley. Thank you so much for commenting.


I remember you going through this not too long ago (wanting to believe, but not quite sure if you could). I didn't understand it at the time, but now I do.


Your comments were very comforting for me also. If I can bare the brunt of the emotional stuff for Riley, it is all worth it for me.


You are too kind. It sounds like you have your hands full too with your child. So, I know you "get it" to some extent. We moms just have to deal with things and move on. Our children need us.

art-sweet said...

I think this is a great gift to give Riley - the awareness that even though he has diabetes, he can still have an awesome life. If having a great life depends on a cure, than he may always be waiting for his "real life" to start.

Not that I don't want a cure - but I'm glad I'm not waiting for one to live my life to the fullest!

Amberthyme said...

Beautiful post Penny. I'm glad you've got Technicolor days.

Sarah said...

I feel this way sometimes. I was just thinking the other day that Gracie’s high blood sugars don’t knock the wind out of my sails quite like they used to. Healing comes in stages. Thanks for sharing this.

Lisa said...


You have just put into words what I have been feeling, except that I am not quite where you are yet. It gives me hope that I will get there in the (hopefully)near future.

I love reading your posts. Thanks for putting your feelings out there for us to share.

Penny Ratzlaff said...


Although it may not seem like it, you will get there. I think it may have taken me a little longer than most to get there. I had to get through my grief before I could move on.