The fourth and perhaps the most important blessing we have this holiday season is family. Yeah, I know too much family is nerve shattering. But I am not talking about the entire family you were born into, rather the family you choose to be nearest to. No one knows us better than those with which we live.
Not surprisingly, I often discuss the importance of my wife Sheryl in my daily living. She is a rock and a person who will often help me see a different path, or both sides of the situation. Sheryl and I have been married for 38 years and dated for a year before marriage.
She tends to my low blood sugars, gives me balance when I stumble (literally), keeps me moving, and reminds of upcoming appointments. She cooks, edits and keeps me going with things like walks and outings. There is no way I could live my life without her. It is not just someone like her, it is her that makes my life as I understand it possible. If we were not married, my life would be different and frankly, I have doubts I would even be here.
As much as Sheryl means to me I have other family members who also support me. This past Sunday I spent the day with one of our grandsons, playing cars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Cheese head attacks on the floor. Benjamin is four years old and so full of life, it just jumped out of him. I benefited by being in his proximity. He was so much of an inspiration at one point I had to stop and think about it for a few minutes and I was just blown away.
This little guy was giving me such a wonderful gift of strength and he did not even mean to do it. When Benjamin went back to Mom and Dad, I was energized. What a great gift he shared to lighten my load. My joints felt better, I was happier, and I was happily tired from playing all day. For those who have never experienced these gifts from children it is one of the best gifts I receive.
The same was true this past summer when our grandchildren, Madison (7) and Graham (5) visited us for a week. They were full of energy and fun. Sheryl and I had a difficult time keeping up and we got tired, but they energized us. Playing games and cars on the floor, visiting the orchard, airplane museum, merry go round and parks were reminders of our Sons when they were youngsters. When we left them with their Mom I also felt good tired and I knew the blessings that family brings us.
I know we could not take care of the children every day, or likely even every week, but these occasional visits gives me that energy boost. There is nothing like getting recharged by children and as for the little ones who live in a different state, I cannot wait to have them back next summer.
On Thanksgiving I attended the James Bond film, Spectre with our sons. One had already seen it the other was of the opinion he could take it or leave it. But both men went with me to see the movie. The movie was ok, but the fact I got to go with my sons was amazing. It lifted my heart to be in the same car and doing something outside the house. Who else but family would go see a movie they had already seen or did not really care about? No one, and that is the most
Those we choose
We have other family members though not legally related. I think of care givers like my infusion nurse, who I consider part of my family because of the way she takes care to make my infusions easy. Or perhaps my friend Kathy, who I have never met face to face, but who continues to inspire me to do the best I can with my diabetes and in life. She is remarkable and when I see a note from her or a post on Facebook I am renewed. She is a member of the family I choose.
While these are just a few examples, I see family members, both those I am related to and those I choose in almost every corner. The thing is you just need to look for them. When you find people who have your best interest at heart and who will give honest advice, a quiet word, or an alternative opinion; that is family. When you find a person who will get the glucose tab, or apple juice and is not afraid to give a glucagon injection needed those people are definitely family. And when you find those people who will acknowledge the flare and act accordingly those people are family.
For those and hundreds more reasons family is one of the main blessings I have enjoyed in 2015.