I hear the old man saying, "Step right up ladies and gentlemen! Who is strong enough to hit this with the hammer and make that bell all the way on the top ring, ring, ring! Yes, ladies and gents, who will make some lucky lady smile by hitting this so hard and winning this amazing teddy bear for their lovely lady on this sun smiling afternoon?" And he looks at all the men, young and old, challenging their manhood, regardless of their health, looking them straight in the eyes, "What about you, Sir, care to see if this is your lucky day? Don't want the lady to think you can't make it even half way now? Only $ 2.00, sir. Two tries gets the prize!"
The crowd gathers and everyone looks at you, wondering....
Am I strong enough?
Am I able to even hit it?
Can I do this and will I look like a big fool if I can't even hold this huge hammer?
The challenge to prove yourself if tremendous and your heart beats a million beats per second.
And, yup, that's how I feel on most days.
Not just for me.
I sort of feel that's how my son, Jacob must feel on most days.
Some mornings he's up and ready to go and others, man, to say it bluntly, he feels all crappy and shitty and just not in the mood to hear this guy at the fair. I think if this guy were to show up at our home on some mornings, he'd get shown to the door with the teddy bear and the hammer wrapped around his arms.
When does it end?
As a teen who had already lived most of his life with Type1Diabetes, the struggle doesn't get better or easier. Having people say, "Oh, he's not little anymore." doesn't mean anything. So what?!!!! I want to tell people. Are you in my home? Are you in his body? Do you even know what some or most morning in my house are like? Can you even begin to imagine what some afternoons are like while he waits for me to get home from work?
You see, unless you wear my same size shoes, similar size or have walked through the fair of life in the past where this old man calls out to you and challenges you, you just won't know that sometimes you get fed up, you get frustrated and the only thing that goes up and makes that bell ring is your anger, your tiredness, your moments of frustrations and the times when you cry out to God, because in all reality, He's the only one that can truly know the cry of your heart.
Type1Diabetes or saying you have it is not the same as saying, "Can I look at your Pandora bracelet?" You don't wear it like a fashion statement. For some it may not be a severe condition, but it is for many. For teens, for children in school, for young adults in education it means pushing themselves to go to school when your body says to stay in bed. T1D means many sick days stuck in the nurse's office with, and I am sorry to say it like it is, with unskilled and not very well equipped school nurses who much rather call parents to pick up their kids or call 911. Kids with T1D end up in Summer School when they don't need it, just because they didn't have enough work in their folders but oh, yes, the teacher says, "They're so smart, but you know, we didn't have enough work to prove it because they spent so much time in the nurse's office."
We treat these kids like they're a bother and then penalize them when they don't meet our standards. We expect them to do what all the other kids do but are not willing to go out of our way for them because, oh yes, teachers have one hundred other kids. Yet, we expect the kids to go out of their way even though they are sick, dealing with high or low blood sugars and have a boxload of class and homework piling up to do at home on their own without the assistance or the examples of a teacher who will talk and show them what to do. Hmmm, something wrong with this picture.
The old man at the fair calls out to me as a mom and asks me to take a try at hitting the metal to see if I reach the bell. Hey, I did that already! Can't you see that everyday I am on speed dial, on super fast? Every day I am trying to do something better for my son, buy the moment I don't answer my phone fast enough, you want to call 911.
When does it end?
So, what do we do?
We take this huge situation that is bigger than us and we run with it to the cross of our Lord, Jesus. Why do I say this? Because if I don't, then I will go crazy! If I don't turn over this moment to the Lord, I will feel like I am breaking apart. We take our child and we carry him or her up to our Heavenly Father and say, "Lord, I can't anymore! You can! Teach me. Show me. Guide me. Help me. Lead me. Speak to me. Make a way. Calm me."
And we pray for our child.
"Heal my child."
We stand believing that the price Jesus paid on Calvary is not in vain. There is and there has to be power in the blood and in the name of Jesus. Otherwise, I would have lost my cool, my mind and my sanity a long time ago.
Please do not give up when you see the challenge to give up come your way. Give it to Jesus. He will make a way!
By Angeline M Duran Santiago