True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge us to combat. -Napoleon Bonaparte
This post is titled "Diabetes Hero". As if there's ever been any question, my hero is about 3'6", weighs around 51 pounds, has chocolate brown eyes and the most beautiful curls. She's 6 years old and is sound asleep, wrapped in her princess comforter and dreaming of a better tomorrow.
Laila isn't quite old enough to blog, and unfortunately, we don't know anyone with diabetes. She's seen a few people here and there with a pump, but no one we've ever been in contact with. This post is entirely about her. She's amazing, to say the least, and she'll forever band e my hero.
Occasionally, I remember "D-Day", and the things that stand out most to me are not the tears, the needles, or the sleepless nights, but the smiles, the laughter, and the perseverance I saw in Laila's eyes. I knew the minute she was finally allowed to eat, after a painstaking 24 hours, that diabetes wasn't going to own her, she was going to own it.
The first few days were hard, I'm not sure who shed more tears, Laila, Dustin, or myself. By the end of her hospital stay, it was Laila who was comforting me, not the other way around. She doesn't know the true impact this disease is going to have on her life, she only sees tomorrow. The tears that I shed were for the rest of her life, for the future she's going to endure, for the loss of her innocence.
A hero, in my opinion, is someone who looks into the face of adversity, and doesn't back down. Laila has no choice but to do exactly this. Her fingers are polka-dotted with scars, her arms and legs just the same. This doesn't make her any less beautiful, smart, funny, or independent. Laila doesn't let her diabetes slow her down, she loves to play, read, dance, run, swim, and eat. There's nothing she can't do, because she believes in herself, and we believe in her, too.
If I could be more like anyone, I'd choose to be more like Laila. She inspires me to be strong, to ignore what others think and to follow my dreams. One day, when she's more comfortable, she's going to make a great role model for other children with diabetes. She's wise beyond her years, she understands the seriousness of this disease, sometimes I think, better than anyone. I know she's in inspiration to others, and that makes me even more proud to be her mom.
Laila Bernadette Smith, you are truly my hero.