Friday, November 13, 2009

World Diabetes Day--My thoughts

For the last few days I've been contemplating what to write to acknowledge World Diabetes Day. After much deliberation, I've made a decision. Parenting a child with a disease such as Type 1 Diabetes does more than just affect Sydney's physical health. It is a mental and emotional challenge for the entire family. It's like fighting a battle that doesn't end. Some days you're stronger. Other days you struggle but if you quit--well you just can't quit.

Are you familiar with a refiners fire and it's purpose?

If you were to visit a silver smith and watch him work, you would notice that in order to finish a piece of silver the smith must use special equipment that holds the silver over the fire to heat it up. When refining silver one must put the silver in the very center of the flames, where they are hottest. This will burn away impurities and strengthen the metal. Although it may seem counter productive to heat something so intensely that it should be destroyed, this is actually the process to make the metal the strongest it can be.

It's the same with us--with me. Type 1 Diabetes is my refiners fire. It is my daughter's refiners fire. I hold fast to the belief that even though it "burns" and it seems the fire should destroy me, it doesn't. In fact, what should be my demise is actually strengthening me so that I am the strongest I can be. In turn, this allows me to help other's through their "fire."

Everyone has their own refiners fire throughout life--we will go through many different kinds of refining fires. When it seems we should give up and succumb to the heat, remember, just as a silver smith uses the fire to make his metal strong and durable--to withstand almost everything--we go through our trials which will build us, mold us, and make us strong and durable.

Through my fire I have learned a few lessons:

1) I am stronger than I thought possible--it's that refiners fire working it's magic. :)
2) It's ok to let people help me. I'm not supposed to be able to do it all alone.
3) My math skills are better than I thought they were.
4) It's ok to cry sometimes and it's ok to let people see me cry.
5) I will go to lengths I didn't know possible to ensure that Sydney gets what she needs both physically and emotionally.
6) We have friends for a reason. You remember the equipment I talked about above? The equipment that holds and supports the silver while it's being refined? Those are friends. I have the best friends. They hold me and support me. I love them dearly. They are close enough to my fire that sometimes they too get "burned." But they don't leave me. For that, I'm so grateful.

So, my question for you, whether you live with diabetes or not, what is your refiners fire? Have you grown because of it? This little girl below is why I endure our fire. It's shaping and strengthening us. We don't always like it, but it has it's benefits. And, when it comes to our children, who wouldn't walk through fire for them?
Happy World Diabetes Day


Hallie said...

What a wonderful analogy! I love it! Very true.... Type 1 is my fire, too. And yes, it burns. It hurts. But we are not destroyed. It has made us stronger - and for that, I'm thankful.

Wendy said...

BEAUTIFUL tribute!


Blue circles abound...all around!

phonelady said...

yes amen what does not distroy us makes us stronger . so true . god bless you and your family .

sarefamily said...

and oh what a sweetie she is.... you are the best mommy!!!

Meri said...

Thanks for the cry, and the reminder that what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.

Sending my love to you and yours on this World Diabetes Day!

Crystal S. said...

Shamae, like I have said before, you always say things better than I could ever think about saying.

Thanks for saying it for me (ha, ha)! You're the best!

AjsMommy82 said...


Megann said...

Shamae, I LOVE this post. You are a gifted writer. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Jen said...

Beautiful post Shamae..Thank you!

A.Larson said...

You are amazing.

Thanks for these beautiful thoughts.

Kendal, Wendy and Avery said...

My name is Wendy. You dont know me, I stumbled onto your blog through Rosa. She was a friend of mine in Blackfoot. My 3 old Avery was diagnosed with Type 1 in May. Its changed our lives. I am also starting to use my blog to help comfort and inform anyone who may want it. Thank you for you beautiful words! Your girls are just precious.. I would love to talk to you and hopefully we can get to know eachother more. I hope to hear from you soon xoxo

KLTTX said...

Wow Shamae, great post and analogy. I guess my "refiners fire" is my infertility and loss. It has shaped me as a parent and makes me appreciate what I have.

tiburon said...

Fantastic post.

I would say being a parent is my refiner's fire. I have learned more and grown more than I ever thought possible.