Saturday, November 5, 2011

Turning the Big 5-0

Let's start with some pictures.

I was around 11 months old here. What a cutie, looks just like my girls at that age.

This is my Kindergarten picture. My daddy used to say this was his favorite picture of me.

This is my senior picture. You can tell it was the 70's with my Farrah Fawcett hair style.

This is obviously taken at my wedding. The day I married Michael, the love of my life, I was 20.

Can't write a post about my life, and not put these 2 girls in it, as they are my life. These are the awesome, beautiful daughters God blessed me with. I love them more than life it's self. I was 25 when I had Amanda (right), and 35 when I had Hannah (left). I also have a step-son and daughter-in-law, who have 2 little boys.

This was taken at Michael's 20 year high school reunion, I think I was 31.

This was taken on a cruise the summer before our 20th anniversary, so I was 39.

My wonderful photographer daughter, Amanda took this picture of us in June of this year, I am 49.

This was last month, still 49 but close enough to 50.

50, 50, 50, yes I said it 50. How do I feel about that? I'm actually very excited about my birthday this year. My niece (who turned 50 in October, yes I said niece, that's a whole other blog about growing up with nieces and nephews), described turning 50 as "monumental". So I looked up the definition of monumental, this is what I found; Merriam Webster says, "Massive; highly significant; outstanding". Dictionary dot com says, "That of historical or enduring significance: a monumental victory. I like that, "highly significant, or monumental victory". It's a huge significance and victory to reach this age. When you're a kid, you don't really think about age in numbers, you just want to grow up, and 50 year olds are your parents.

I've had a very blessed life. I was the youngest of 5 children. We were considered poor, both my parents became disabled when I was young. My dad had a heart attack, and my mom had rheumatoid arthritis, we lived on a fixed income. However I remember I always had food, and clothes and a roof over my head. I got what I needed. It helped that I had older sisters who were married and an older brother, who was able to give me things that I wanted every now and then that my parents weren't able to provide. I always got a new dress or outfit for high school dances. I was a cheerleader. I'm sure my mom & dad did without to provide me with these things. I grew up with my sister who is 6 years older than me, as well as nieces, and nephews.

I married the love of my life when I was 20, I was so young but I trusted he would be here for me forever. We have had good times, and some rough times , but no matter what we knew that if we just worked things out together, everything would be ok, because above all else we love each other. My oldest daughter got married a year ago. One day we were listening to a Taylor Swift song that says "We've got nothin' figured out". I told her "your daddy and I don't have everything figured out, just when you think you do, something either bad or good happens, then you have to figure it out all over again, but what's important is to keep figuring it out together". And through all the years, that is what Michael and I have done.

When one of my brothers-in-law turned 50 I asked him how he felt he said this, "it's better than the alternative". The alternative, that almost came for me 2/2/11. I wrote a post about it here. That was the day I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I was in full blown DKA, Diabetes ketoacidosis. I was severely dehydrated, losing weight like none other. I had all the classic symptoms, that I didn't realize were symptoms then, I got to the point before my husband called 911 that I was gasping for every breath I took, and in sever pain in my rib cage. I was dieing, and I didn't even know it. By the grace of God I got to the ER in time, (guess he wasn't ready to take me home yet). I didn't realize how close I came to dieing until after I was released from the hospital and my doctor (who was my neighbor) came over and told me that was what was happening to me.

How do I feel about being 50 and having diabetes? I have had a great diabetes free life, I'd go back to my pre-diabetes life in a heartbeat. However, that won't happen. I'm glad that I don't have to worry about getting pregnant. I know, women do get pregnant with diabetes, but it's just one less thing I have to think about. Having read a lot of blogs of parents of children with diabetes, one common thyme is they wished they could take the diabetes on and not have their child have it. Being the mom, I'm sooo grateful that this illness was given to me and not one of my daughters, and I pray everyday that it doesn't ever happen to them or one of my grandchildren.

I wanted to grow old gracefully, requiring as little help as possible. At some point in my life I may get to where I am not able to see well or lose my dexterity, and I will need some else to give me my insulin. Someone else will be in control of my meals, and making sure they meet my needs, that scares me to death.

This little post about my 50th birthday took a dark turn, but when you're talking about diabetes it's hard not to go there. I couldn't write about my life without talking about diabetes, it is my life now. I've always been the kind to find the glass half full, and I don't wallow in self-pitty, it's too depressing, however once in a great while I do mourn for my lost life.

In closing, I have had a great life, full of love and blessings. I live a great life in spite of diabetes, and I'm extremely excited to be turning 50. In Jill's word "it's MONUMENTAL"!

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