This is not a New Year’s resolution. You’d think it would be, but it’s not. At least I don’t recognise it. My resolutions, such as they are, tend to drift, tend to wind out of reach and out of sight before I’ve caught up with them, or grabbed them. They are ghostly, and are quickly swallowed by regret.

This, however. Well. What happened is I woke up four mornings ago and thought It is time. Coincidentally, it was New Year’s Eve.

It’s taken nine months to give birth to this place, since the last entry over on Schroedinger’s Cat

That was then, this is now. What has happened in the meanwhile is the gradual glimpsing of a shoreline.

***

Because having something chronic and unusual happen to your family is like being thrown out of the boat. I feel that so strongly I’ve put that in my sidebar, so it stays there forever. You are out of mainstream, out of the flow, without social direction or definition. The only thing you know and that anyone else knows about you and what happened, for a long time, is that you (and your family) are suddenly not like everyone else. And never will be.

***

I have never considered myself normal. It has never occurred to me that I wish to be normal, or to be in any way like anyone else. Indeed, more times than I can count I have gone out of my way to be abnormal, to be what seemed to be different — in dress, in attitude, in art. Etc. I have never had a problem rowing the other way.

However. With a diagnosis of a chronic illness in the family — and especially one requiring such relentless attention as type 1 diabetes — every moment of every day marks you and your family out as different. This differentness is largely invisible. But you ignore it at your peril. Literally.

And how I long now for a day of that old normality.  I didn’t know we were ‘normal’, but we were.

***

In the last few months my daughter, now nine, has taken to saying after something surprising happens (a trip, a slip, a head bash), ‘I’m…O-KAY!’, holding her hand up in the time-honoured index finger and thumb circle. This comes from one of her old favourite films, A Bug’s Life. It’s what Flick, the main character, says after slamming into a rock cliffside and dropping out of sight. ‘Are you alright?’ he’s asked. There’s a pause, and you see his face struggle into view…. ‘I’m…O-Kay!’ comes the shaken but cheerful response.

Indeed. We are okay now, more or less. 

p.s. There will be lots more on the whats whys and wherefores of type 1 diabetes, and probably everything else in the whole darn world…but I’m holding back the flood here. Stick with me and it will all come in gentle swells. I hope.

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