I have sung You Are My Sunshine every night to Zoe since she was born. I know the first two verses only and I only know those thanks to that scene in Beaches where Bette Midler is driving her sick lawyer BFF to the duh, beach. When Zoe was a tiny baby, she despised bedtime with the fire of a thousand suns. The only way I could get her to sleep was by singing that song over and over. And it was enough. When Zoe was in the hospital in January and we were trying to swallow the big, bad diabetes diagnosis, I slept with her every night in that too small hospital bed. I sang that song over and over, hating that second verse with all my might.
We bought Zoe a necklace for her tenth birthday, I ordered it a few months before, I knew exactly what I wanted. She was discharged from the hospital three days before her big day and there was no time to shop for gifts or plan a party. I went to the store the morning of her birthday and bought supplies for “diabetes friendly cupcakes” because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and the internet told me I should make them. I was a wreck and I’m pretty sure I left out some ingredients because these cupcakes were whack. The ingredients that did make it in: Splenda, unsweetened applesauce, flax seed oil and sour cream, ingredients that really have no business being in a tasty cupcake. (Note: Diabetic children can have regular cupcakes, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.)
I realized while wrapping Zoe’s gifts, and sobbing, don’t forget the sobbing, that my best girl only had two presents from us. Your tenth birthday is a big deal, I mean, double digits. I hoped that it would be enough.
When she opened the necklace, she stared at it for a long time and asked me if I could help her put it on. She hugged me tight, so tight that I knew she understood. She looked up at me and told me she never wanted to take it off.
Last Friday, I went up to school at lunch time to help Zoe with her dosing, not that she needs my help. When she walked into the office, I could tell something was wrong. She told me that she lost part of her necklace, the necklace we had given her. She was trying not to cry, ten year olds don’t cry in front of the school secretary. I told her I would help her find it, I mean, it had to be at school, right? We retraced her steps down the hall, back to her class and to the bathroom. No luck. She then said that she noticed it was missing during PE while they were on the track.
Once we were outside, I mentioned that it might be gone and I would just order her another necklace. Zoe stopped and told me with tears in her eyes that it wouldn’t be the same. And I knew exactly what she meant.
I sent her back inside to eat lunch and I walked that track for well over a hour looking, searching for that tiny piece of metal. As I traipsed around, over and beside the track, I became increasingly angry. She’s just a little girl and why does she have to have such shitty luck? It seems no matter what, I can’t make it right, it is never enough.
I drove home in tears, I even stopped on our corner and searched the ground around the bus stop. Nothing. I decided I would email the lady that made the necklace and ask if she could make another and hopefully Zoe would understand. Sometimes we lose things and it happens. The thought of that made me cry harder because it seems like that’s all I tell her anymore. Diabetes? It happens. You go low and have to have juice? It happens. Prick your fingers numerous times a day and take insulin just to stay alive? It happens. I just don’t know anything anymore, I don’t know what the hell I am doing.
Later, as I am making her bed, I pull back her sheet and quilt and there it was: I found it. I found her necklace.
And on that day, it was more than enough.43 comments »