On the 729th Day…

On the 729th day that Ian has Type 1 Diabetes, I have a lot of mixed feelings.
Tomorrow it will be 730 days….

That’s two years.
Only two years?
Two years already?

As January 4th – his “2 Year Dia-versary” – approached, I kept having this strange feeling….almost like a sense of relief or something. I almost felt “excited” for the day, like you’d feel for Christmas.   I don’t know why. It’s not like on the 2 year anniversary, we’d be “halfway done” or “almost there” or “cured.”  It’s not like we beat some milestone, or even met a goal. His A1C sucks.

Still, I felt relief.

But I also felt some sadness and some anger and some fear and some pain….

It all just came rushing back to me. The day, the day that followed, and the days after that….

And I realized that every year, every January 3rd, I will mourn the loss of that particular life we had. I think I’m entitled to that; I think it’s to be expected.

But every January 4th, I will let out a sigh of relief.  I will celebrate the life we are living now, another year of accomplishments and dreams, of growing up and finding our way.

What’s Love Got to Do With It?*

Last weekend, I was cleaning out the garage and organizing all the toys, tools, and trash.

By “organizing trash” I mean strategically placing those items the kids might give me grief about in the bottom of trash cans.

Who needs broken plastic golf clubs from the Dollar General, a fabric frisbee that has taken on a pentagon shape, or a crusty bottle of bubbles?

Not this mom!

Anyway, as I was cleaning I was reminded of a funny story from years ago.

Ian and I had spent an entire day outside playing “ball.”

Baseball, basketball, football, golf, tennis, lacrosse, kickball, volleyball, bouncy ball, paddle ball, and “Swick”.

(“Swick” is a mash-up of a game of kick ball and swinging. There is a complicated scoring system that only Ian really understands, but the rules amazingly stay consistent.)

Anyway, as we were cleaning up our yard, which looked like a ball pitt that had exploded, Ian recapped how fun the day was.

“We played baseball, basketball, football, golf, tennis, lacrosse, kickball, volleyball, bouncy ball, paddle ball, and “Swick”!

“Yeah, buddy, that’s a lot of ball. It was fun!”

“Yeah, we never do that at Dad’s. Dad doesn’t have any balls.”


*What’s this title got to do with this post??

Dad’s Story: Snapdragons, Duct Tape, and Tomato Soup

I recently read a short piece called “Grandpa’s Story: A Comb, Penknife, and Handkerchief.”

Jack Bruschetti was born in 1999, the same year his grandfather, Leonard Carpenter, died from Alzheimer’s disease.
But 13-year-old Jack wanted to know more about his grandfather, who worked as a tire builder for BFGoodrich in Akron, Ohio, where he also raised his family.
“It was very important for him to be in control at all times,” Jack’s mom, Lynne Bruschetti, said to him during a visit to StoryCorps in Atlanta. “We lived in the city, and we had very tiny yards, and he didn’t use a lawnmower. He used clippers because he wanted every blade of grass to be exactly the same height. We could play in the driveway, on the sidewalk, in the middle of the street, but we were not allowed in that showplace yard of his.”
Lynne said her father — who was 86 when he died — always kept a comb, handkerchief and penknife in his pockets.
“And the handkerchief was always clean and pressed, and he would use a handkerchief not to blow his nose but to clean. If there was like a mark on the side of our house, he would wipe it,” she recounted. “And when I was a teenager, I was starting to lose respect for your grandpa Leonard.”
Lynne said she resented her father for “always wanting to keep the house perfect and always being in control, and I was starting to realize that he wasn’t that educated.”
Carpenter became president of the board of trustees of Park United Methodist Church and served as president for a few years. When the trustees met, he would take apples.
“First he would pull out his handkerchief and he would wipe the apples and make them shiny,” said Lynne, who is 51. “And then he would pull out his penknife. And he’d always cut so that there was just one long apple peel. And as they’re arguing, he would slice the apple, put it on the penknife, and hold it out to each member of the trustees. And every meeting, they would eat apples together.
“And they started getting trust back. And so he had that ability,” she continued. “He didn’t have a lot of money. He didn’t have a lot of education. But he had that handkerchief, and he had that penknife in the trustee meetings.
“And people did start to get along. He was an important part of that.”
                             ~ Copied from http://www.npr.org (originally posted July 1, 2013)

Unlike this woman’s father, my dad is an educated man and just recently retired.  He now spends his day doing all the things on his To Do list that he hasn’t had time for. He also got involved with the local Rotary and does volunteer work all over town, from placing flags on holidays to landscaping the local park.

My dad is a funny, loyal, creative, and compassionate guy. As I tried to think of this year’s Father’s Day post, three things came to mind: Snapdragons, Duct tape, and Tomato soup.


My grandpa, Dad’s dad, had these amazing little flowers that lined his front walkway.  Fascinating yet terrifying, their little mouths opened up when you pinched them in just the right place.  Such an ironic little flower; not what one would expect. This summer, I bought my first snapdragons and put them in pots in the yard. I wish Grandpa was here to tell me what I was doing wrong, because all the little flowers have dried up and have not come back.  Still, every time I walk out my door,  I am reminded of him and I smile.

Taken from flowerinfo.org, because mine don't look anything like this!

Taken from flowerinfo.org, because mine don’t look anything like this!

 Duct Tape

What great dad doesn’t have a million uses for duct tape? It is the universal fix-it tool.  So many times my dad has come to the rescue with a trusty roll of duct tape. Most recently, he temporarily patched my front window with styrofoam and duct tape after someone shattered it into a million pieces. While it wasn’t pretty, I only had to look at it for three days while the new window was made.  There is nothing duct tape (or a dad) can’t fix.


No matter how many times things in my life shatter, my dad is always there to pick up the pieces.

Tomato Soup

My dad always saves his Campbell soup labels for the kids to take to school. He’s more of a chicken noodle kind of dad, but this story does not involve chicken noodle soup.

When I was very young and married to someone who was not quite handy, we had a problem with a second story door that kept blowing open during high winds.  We had a dresser in front of the door, so we were not worried about someone getting into the house. However, the cold air blowing in was a problem.

After waiting several days for my husband to fix the door with a sliding bolt/lock type thing (forgive me for not knowing the technical name), I decided to take matters into my own hands.   Looking around the house for something that I could wedge between the dresser and the door, I found the perfect object.  I stuck that can of tomato soup right there and there it stayed until Dad was able to fix it for me with the appropriate tools. Because of my dad, I’ve learned how to be my own problem solver. He has taught me that sometimes you just have to improvise.

I can’t ever remember a time when my dad just fixed something without me being right there watching and learning.  When I am working on things around the house, like hanging curtain rods or putting together a t.v. stand, I always think of how thankful I am for the times that he spent teaching me how to follow directions, assemble things, and use power tools. If there is one gift that a dad should give his children, it’s taking care of them, but at the same time, making sure they learn how to take care of themselves.


How perfect! Italian tomato soup for my Italian dad! Felice Giorno del Padre!

Father’s Day 2013 post: All Things Grow With Love (A Father’s Day Tribute)

Father’s Day 2012 post: Big Shoes to Fill

The Underdogs

I sit behind the fence and smile. Each crack of the bat gives me hope that they will have a successful night.

Forty-five minutes to go until the first pitch. The park is quiet and the encouragement is positive.

“Just like that , Keegan.”

“Come on Danny, you got this.”

‘Keep your head up, Brandon.”

Eleven little boys, their stomachs twisting and their minds racing, focus their energy on the task at hand: win this and make it to the championship game.

Nervous energy buzzes, and baseballs criss-cross from third to first and home to second. They’ve done this many times, skip the directions.

Kicking their heels into the dirt, reaching for the fly balls, pounding their gloves, it seems easy as they warm up.

Adults chuckle as they overhear two little ball boys talking in the dugout, “Who cares if they are the best team? They won’t be after we beat them!”

The dark clouds are rolling in and I fear a thunderstorm. I don’t want a game delay. I don’t want to postpone a win or a loss until tomorrow.

I refuse to give up hope. I believe in the underdogs.

I love my little underdog. I love his attitude and his in-his-favor reasoning. He told me at dinner, “In the movies, the underdogs win, you know that, right?”

Yes, they do, buddy!! Yes, they do!


By the look on his face, I guess you can tell what is happening tomorrow night!!



This post is part of The Daily Post’s Writing 101 challenge.

Go to a public location and make a detailed report of what you see. The twist of the day? Write the post without adverbs.

Writing 101: Day 4 It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose

Ian has always been on the losing team. I am not kidding. Every team he’s ever been on has been the worst. In both baseball and basketball, his team always has the worst record in the league.

This year is different. His team is 4-6, still not a winning record, but not the worst team either.  And they have lost some very close games.  It’s been an exciting season.


Batter up!! I’ve been horrible at taking pictures this season. This is, in part, because I take the dog with me to most games, and it’s hard to manage a camera and a ferocious 10 pound Yorkie.

Since this is the first season with the OmniPod, it was like a whole new ball game. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)  The first few practices and games he was dropping like crazy…The second practice he plummeted to 44. Our previous plan of giving him an extra 15g before activity didn’t work anymore.

Talk about frustrating and defeating.  It was just part of the learning curve.

After a little trial and error, we figured out that a temp basal set at 70% is enough to keep him from going low. We have to test him every few innings. It’s annoying to him but he knows that going low is going to take him out of the game for a while, and he sure doesn’t want that!

When Ian was diagnosed, we sat in the ER and the doctor asked him if he had any questions. Do you know what his very first question was?

“Can I still play sports?”

This boy lives for his sports. And honestly, he doesn’t care if he wins or loses. He just loves the game. With his track record, that’s a very good thing.


I love watching him pitch. Look how serious. He tries to plan out his pod placement so it doesn’t interfere with his nights to pitch.

The tournament starts on Tuesday. Is it too much to ask for just one more win?


Writing 101: Day 3 It Comes and Goes in Waves

There was this random line from a song that I could not identify. I just could not get it out of my head. I found myself saying it over and over to myself.  It came to me at times when I wanted to throw my hands up in the air, which seemed to be a lot lately.

Instead of saying “I give up!” or throwing in the towel, I heard this quiet whisper, as if a little guardian angel was sitting on my shoulder reminding me everything would be ok.

“It comes and goes in waves….”

Sometimes it comes and goes in violent, crashing waves.

Waves that slam into me like a brick wall.

Waves that pull me under.

And then sometimes life is a little more merciful, and it comes and goes in gentle waves.

Up and down, up and down, almost rolling.

Up and down, up and down.

I ride them out.

Because I know the waves will never stop.

Blood sugars, papers to grade, piles of laundry, memories, things breaking down and things needing fixed up, sadness and happiness, boredom and motivation, stress and peace, bills and surprises, loneliness and contentment….

It comes and goes in waves….