Embracing Life & the Child with the Disease

Surprised by Letter

I’ve been blogging about our life with diabetes (or OUR LIFE and dragging d along with us) for a year now . . .  March 1, 2010 was my first post appropriately entitled “The Journey Begins.” 

On February 22, 2011, about a week shy of a year later, a new journey began.

It was a beautiful, spring-like day in Texas and the boys dropped their back-packs in the house and bolted outside to burn off energy and carbs in the sun.  It wasn’t too long after running out the door that Ryan ran back in, slammed the door behind him and short of breath said, “Mom, I found this in the very back of the mailbox and it’s for ME!”  The funny thing about this is that I had already gotten the mail for the day and Ryan never gets the mail unless I ask.  I took the letter out of his hand and looked at the return address and it was from Chicago. 

I must digress for a moment . . . Sometime last spring, March or April, I “met” and became “friends” with a wonderful Chicago d-mom.  She read my blog in the earliest of days and was a great encouragement to me.  But our facebook “friendship” developed into friendship beyond the social networking page.  She is one of the one’s closest to my heart.  You other d-mom’s know what I’m speaking of . . . that friend you depend on, confide in, vent to and would die for . . . but have never had the opportunity to meet, to share a cup of coffee with or wrap your arms around their neck in a “get it” hug.  We share d-stories, d-complications, d-life.  But we also share all of life beyond d.  And most importantly, we laugh and we laugh a lot.  I have a few precious others that are the same, that the friendships have grown beyond being a d-mom – we’re just friends, the best of friends.  And friends that one day will sit at Starbucks & have that white chocolate mocha and herbal tea or lounge at the beach with our toes in the sand or shop ’til we drop in the big city.  One day, T (Cam and DD), one day.

But back to Ryan . . .

Short attention span led him to run back outside and, I suppose, try to catch back up with his brothers and their mischief.  So I opened the envelope.  Inside were two letters.  The first was for me, short and sweet, that said, “A, [she] brought this to me on her own out of the blue with a stamp already on the envelope for Ryan . . . ”  Tears filled my eyes as I read the rest of the note knowing this was special (1) because T and I usually communicate through facebook and seeing a “snail mail” letter from her was special (I know I am an emotional sap, but leave me alone in my moment!) and (2) I knew this letter was from her precious K for my Ryan and I knew this was going to be special too.  So I opened the second letter and this is what I found:

Love so many things about this letter . . . The bold orange (such a smart girl trying to grab his attention), the glitter spot at the top, the world art work recognizing the distance between them and how she is looking up and smiling at where he is, but most of all . . . she includes her number (her blood sugar for those of you who are non-d). 

So after I got my composure and blew my nose, I called outside for Ryan to come in and see his letter.  HE LOVED IT!  But I wasn’t all too sure he would actually sit down and write a letter. 

That night, Jason and I went out to the store and to run a few errands leaving the boys home with mom.  Upon our return, this is what Ryan said was ready to send back to Katie.

I loved his letter too.  I could not believe he wrote it . . . unprompted!  I love that he answered her letter just as if they were having a conversation, answering her question and sharing his number too.  And his thinking he needed to return the artwork just cracks me up.  I suppose we SHOULD teach them both that Chicago is NORTH of Texas, but I’m afraid it would burst their bubble or change things somehow . . . so I’m willing to leave well-enough alone.  It made him smile to think he has a pen pal.  We mailed it the very next morning.  He immediately wanted to know when he would get another letter.  I told him it might be awhile. 

“Awhile” ended up being eight days.  ONLY EIGHT DAYS!!  This letter was special though . . . it had 418 words!!!  Love it!  Whatta girl!!  When Ryan came in from school and I handed him the already opened (I couldn’t help myself) letter, he just grinned out loud, snatched the letter from me and said, “MOM, IT’S THREE PAGES!”  So we sat together and read it . . . him stopping every so often to smile at me and answer a question and/or make a comment.

It was an amazing dialogue of questions and sharing and diabetes and numbers.  It was random and flowing all at the same time.  The greatest part of this letter was that she started with her sugar and ended with a new one.  Ryan said, “Did it take her that long to write the letter that she had to check her sugar twice?!”  LOVE.IT.

Ryan sat down a few days later and began answering K’s questions, asking her new questions, telling her what he liked and about his numbers.  He also wanted to include picture(s) because she sent a picture of her family of eight.  I loved the pics he chose and he wanted me to take a picture of him right then doing something to “make her laugh.”  So he did a head stand up against a wall and giggled until his face turned red and yelled “TAKE THE PICTURE!”  But he also wanted to impress her and made me take a pic of him doing a freestyle handstand.  I love that there is so much thought put into what he writes and the pictures he sends.  But when he was finished, he had me count the words . . . 170.  He was disappointed, “Mom, I don’t have as many words as K.”  Then I explained girls naturally have more words than boys, that it happens to me and daddy all the time.  He accepted it and went looking for an envelope. 

Tonight at dinner, someone asked him if he liked a little girl at church.  He quickly said no and moved on.  Then someone asked, “What about K?”  He said no but a little more hesitant.  Then I said, “Are you gonna marry K?”  He smiled like the Grinch after his heart grew and said, “No, I am not going to . . . ” then he pensively paused, looked up at the ceiling, then looked back at me and turned red.  And he never finished his sentence.

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Comments on: "Surprised by Letter" (7)

  1. Awwwww, that is so sweet!

  2. Adrienne said:

    That is really cool. I love reading your blog!

  3. Reading ur message makes me relax and comfort 🙂 😀

  4. I read this from my phone last night Amy. What wonderful friendships that have developed for the both of you. This was so cute and refreshing.

    Bridget hooks-up with a fellow d-sib on one of her wii games. They can even talk while they play through wii speak. It has been such a blessing and support for her.

  5. Oh how I love this!!!! I had pen pals when I was young and it was the best! In fact, I still keep in touch with one of them, even now. And the fact that Ryan and K are T1 pen pals is even better – because it makes for an amazing connection. 🙂

  6. Lorraine said:

    Aw…that’s awesome. It’s wonderful to make these kind of connections. 🙂

  7. Samantha Jewell said:

    This is a beautiful story of life…that even through hard times, times we struggle and don’t understand, that there is still sunshine. Happiness and pure, Honest to God, LOVE. Thank you for sharing and I hope it last forever 🙂

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