Crossing the Road


#1

I met my dad, who's up from South Carolina, for breakfast today.

On the way home, I drove past a turtle in the middle of the road. I couldn't help myself - I had to get out and help the damn thing get across.

I should mention - when I was a kid, my cousin Michelle and I found a turtle on her front grass that had been hit by a car - but was still alive. The poor thing's shell was cracked into about thirty pieces. We forced my Aunt Mary to bring us, with the turtle, to the vet. There, the vet proclaimed the situation hopeless and put the turtle to sleep.

I couldn't let it happen again - could I?

I got out of the car - and realized how large this turtle is. And clearly it's a snapper - with its wide muscular neck and head.

I go back to my car and put on a sweatshirt I've got in the back seat. I'm going to move the turtle.

Shaking like a leaf, I position myself in back of the thing and try to pick it up as someone had shown me when I was a girl - hands toward the back feet, firm. The thing jerks its head out, snapping its whole body tight. Trying to keep my cool, I move my feet as fast as they'll carry me toward the nearby woods and stream. Then, the mouth opens, and the hissing begins, and it turns its head back toward my (thankfully) sleeved arm. Had I not known what was coming I would have dropped my "cute" little friend and high-tailed it back to my car. Instead, I move even faster toward the woods - and place the turtle as far back as I dare carry it.

It looks back at me as I retreat - still poised to eat my face.

The whole incident made me think of the way I am about my diabetes sometimes.

This morning, at breakfast, friends of my father joined us. I took out my pump to bolus for the English Muffin I'd eaten - and dad's well-meaning friend asked if I'd tested. I had, just before they'd arrived. She asked what my test was. 149, I said.

"OOOhhhh..." She remarked... Looking sorry. Looking like she felt terribly for me. I should mention, this woman's husband has type 2 diabetes and doesn't make much effort to control it.

I could have looked a lot like my turtle friend at that moment - I sure felt like him. Back off - go away - I'll bite you - I can do this MYSELF.

I guess it's like that here and there - I just want this disease to be mine. I don't want the assistance of others - however well-meant. I don't want the judgement of others - however justified or correct it might be.

I don't want pity - I just want to get across the road on my own.


#2

Indeed. It felt like I’d been poked, you know?

I’m lucky I didn’t get myself bit but good.


#3

Hee, I saw one the other day crossing over Rt 95, he had either made it all the way across or decided to turn around - he was headed off into the woods - I wanted to stop and take a photo but had to get the boss (wife, haha) to work.

It was a big one and I got to tell ya - I would never pick one up - you’re brave!


#4

C Irons. I’m not brave… I’m just sort of dopey sometimes, and sappy… My soft heart is trouble when it comes to creatures.