Current Occupation: Mom to Mikayla, Tlell and Jack; photographer; advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Mikayla was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 18 months old after a terrifying hospitalization when they did not know if she was going to survive the night).
Connection to the Trousdells: High School friend of Tracey's, reunited a few years ago through Facebook.
With Sara's permission, I am posting a message she sent to me. Since Mikayla's diagnosis, Sara knows first hand what it is like to have a child with health issues and she shares many similar feelings to me; feelings likely shared by most mothers in our positions.
"I have held back from posting anything to your blog though I have been reading from the start. Just like nobody has ever had the exact right words for me I don't have the words for you. I think, maybe, they don't exist.
You once sent me a message, before tragedy had found its way into your house, saying that you wondered how parents with sick kids coped.
I wish more than anything that you didn't now know. Our circumstances are completely different, and I would never, for even one moment pretend to understand the depth of yours. But guilt, anger, grief, bravado, fear, resentment, exhaustion, love, a deep sadness that thrives in the very core, courage, admiration and determination are things that we do share.
You will be applauded and cheered on. You will be admired and even called hero but you might wonder don't they know? Don't they get it? Nobody but you will ever know what lies in your heart and in your head when you look at your beautiful boys and how turning the corner and watching a healthy pregnant lady chasing her healthy toddling one year old son down the street will make you feel.
I have been called one, but I am no hero for doing my job. I am just Mikayla's Mom. A very imperfect Mother. Nobody but me knows how I feel watching her in the batting cage at baseball calculating the energy it costs and resenting the Moms who don't know how lucky they are sitting in a coffee shop somewhere being normal. Or how pissed off I was, behind my smile, by her glory in eating a bowl of fruit loops last week. It should have been just a silly treat during our neighborhood camping trip not something hard and put off for days by something we can't control. Its just a bowl of *** Fruitloops to everybody else. For me the results of its cheerfully colored box were devastating. Normal? Of course not!
The negative feelings are what make us human. They keep us grounded and more than that they keep us grateful. They stop us short and remind us of how far we have come and how lucky we are to have these beautiful children at all.
I've learned to be thankful for them. They remind me of every promise I made when I held her and begged her not to leave. I hope some day the feelings come less often for you. That they don't hurt quite as much. But I don't hope that you stop feeling them all together. They are important and they are normal. And they make us fierce Mothers."
Thank you Sara for your support and your beautiful words. I feel honoured that she puts me in the same class of mother as herself as I really admire her strength. It is no wonder that she is often asked to speak on behalf of the JDRF for Diabetes awareness and fundraising!
Now, as my own public safety announcement - if you have kids, how about you read the signs and symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes here, just to be on the safe side!