Good Riddance to You, 2009
We're not sad to see you go.
By Tom Karlya
January 2010 — 2009 entered the elevator and pushed the button that would eventually lead to dismissal. "I know the rules," thought 2009.
Each year prior the same fate had awaited 2009's predecessors. 2008, 2007, even 2006 and all before them were dismissed, citing "Objectives not met; A cure for diabetes was not found." The cure was indeed not found in 2009 either but 2009 knew that advancements were made across the globe in both research and in diabetes care.
Perhaps the boss would see it differently this year. "Maybe I'll be surprised," thought 2009. "Maybe an extension will be in order to finish what was started." 2009 knocked on the door.
By the tone of the boss' voice 2009 knew immediately that something was different.
"You wanted to see me, sir?"
2009 sat and the two stared at each other for what seemed an eternity. Finally the boss spoke.
"I heard you were hoping for an extension. Do you deserve it?"
"Some really good things happened this year in the world of diabetes..."
"You're joking. Please tell me you're joking."
The big man continued.
"Good things? GOOD THINGS?! 2009, you were the worst year since 1992! This is not about diabetes advances or research advances or even major accomplishments like Diabetes OC. You are missing every single point. THIS IS BETWEEN JUST YOU AND ME."
The boss's face was beet-red. 2009 had never heard him scream so loud. The man was shaking and 2009 was a bit frightened. The boss slowly sat down and looked at 2009. He regained his composure and spoke with a quiver in his voice.
"How could you, 2009? How could you have been so cruel? So mean? How could you have made my wife go through the pain all over again? How could you be so cruel as to steal another childhood from a child who did not deserve it? How could you, 2009?"
2009 had forgotten that in March the youngest child of the boss had been diagnosed, meaning two children in the same family had to battle the disease. In his attempt to fracture the family structure once again into pain and disbelief, 2009 had forgotten the incredible occurrence that took place in March.
"If I may say, sir, is there really a better family to deal with another diagnosis?"
So many had stated the same; the boss was infuriated each time. It was the dumbest statement ever to be uttered. He could feel the rage starting to build and then something happened.
As soon as 2009 finished speaking, the boss felt at peace. He wasn't angry. He wasn't enraged. He wasn't even mad. It was eerie.
The boss was filled with determination.
"2009, when 2008 was let go, the table was set for you. I almost wanted 2008 to stay. Go and read my article. Many great things had happened in 2008 and I thought you, 2009, would be a banner year. But you weren't. A cure was not found."
"I truly AM sorry about your son's diagnosis; and also the death of so many of your family members and friends; all six of them including your dad."
"Well actually 2009, it was nine. And my son's diagnosis…well…here is the deal. I'm not angry at you 2009 or even at diabetes. I won't give you that; I won't give you a thought anymore or a second more to feel sorry for myself. I won't give that to either of you, you're not worth it."
"What do you mean?"
"You're history, 2009, and that is your punishment. 2010 has already moved in and is here. Diabetes? Here's the short version: As long as I have a breath in me, as long as I can walk or crawl an inch, I will not stop in my efforts to rid this world forever of diabetes. I'm not allowing myself to be down and out at the occurrences you allowed, 2009, in fact, I'm re-energized. Not one more ounce of my energy will be spent on worrying about what diabetes will do to my family, or could do down the line, or does in everyday management, or might do, or could cause, or anything like that…like I said when you entered 2009, this is personal. It's as personal for me as it is for every parent and every person who faces it. The many powers of one put together are strength and a voice the likes no one has ever heard before. So get out, 2009, we have work to do. You did not beat me this year and no year will ever beat us. This battle has just begun and it will be won….of that you can be assured."
2009 got up to leave, but turned before the exit through the door. "How can you be so sure?"
I can because I know, and I know because I'm a Diabetes Dad.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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