A Letter from a child with a chronic illness to her parents
What I wish I had written to my parents when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, 23 years ago.
I know that you care about me, that you love me and do not want me to go through any adversity in life; I know that if you could take away my “illness” or rather, “condition” and bring it to you, you would. I know that you suffer hidden so I do not see you cry for fear of what can happen to me, and when you wake up til the moment you go to bed, You are wearing your super-woman and super-man cover, so that I feel more protected; I love and appreciate you for all this and here are some things I would like to tell you:
1. The adversities I face in my life are gradually making me stronger and a better person. Do not worry about taking away all the odds of me, because that is not possible, but just be by my side to go through them together, that is truly all I need.
2. You can retire your superhero cape (just take it out of the closet when its for the sake of playing with me). I do not expect you to be perfect or like a rock, in fact when you try to be like that it ends up giving me the message that I also need to be like this, and this is difficult for all of us. I do not feel frightened when you show your weaknesses, I feel more human, because I have them too.
3. My health condition is not a punishment or limitation. It is something that came to us for a greater purpose that we can not understand today, but later on we will understand better, and we will even be grateful for it. Neither you nor I know that yet, but this condition will help me become the person I came to be and you too. It is a calling that life has brought us to live better …. We just can not see all this because we still need to live it to be able to see.
As Steve Jobs said once “You can not connect the dots looking forward; You can only turn them on by looking back. So you have to trust that the points will connect sometime in the future. You have to trust something — your instinct, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
4. Live your life too. You are great parents and caregivers, you watch over me with the greatest appreciation and affection in the world and I want to say that I really want you to do the same for yourself. I love to see when you are healthy and well, it encourages me to follow in your footsteps without you having to say anything. I watch and I perceive how to live and act. So do not feel guilty of taking time for yourself, this time comes back double for me and I am greatly benefited.
5. God chose you to be my parents because they knew that together we will overcome this and many other situations comes our way and we will not have a normal life but it is gonna be a happy one!!
Author: Fabiana Couto, Health and Wellness Speaker and Coach, she lives in Brazil and have been living with type 1 diabetes since age 13, more than 20 years now.