Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Word in Your Hand Quilt

A couple of years ago, Manny Hernandez and his wife Adrienne Davilla, founders of the Tu Diabetes community, started the Word in Your Hand project. Members were asked to write a word on their hand that represented living with diabetes, and to take a picture and send it over.

Here is a video of some of the hands. Mine is the fist on the opening frame with the word “fear” on it.

Last week, I heard from a TD friend,Marie B. Marie is a kind and wise lady who has weathered decades of living with diabetes. She is also a classic rock fan who doesn’t think I’m a freakazoid because I’m nuts about Dylan. Marie was co-recipient of the TD “Life Coach” award. She is also a master quilter.

Manny recently asked Marie to design a quilt with squares of some of the hands. She emailed me and asked if I wanted to participate. I thought “oh, for sure”. But then I looked back at my original submission. The fist represented anger and aggression. It was truly the way I felt back then. But I knew that things had changed. Why? Because I almost died and doctors continue to tell me that my survival was a miracle. Because one of my worst fears, kidney failure, has become a reality. And yet, here I am, fully participating in life. I told Marie I’d need a few days to come up with a new word, and as soon as I sent the reply, it came to me.

I spent some time contemplating this. Just what is it that I now trust?

I trust that:
- I did not die for a reason - there are some tasks that I still need to accomplish while among the living
- I will continue to have the strength to cope with the challenges that dialysis brings
- I will value my friendships, both in person and online
- the number of good people in this world outweigh the bad
- kind and compassionte doctors will continue to cross my path
when I need them
- my family growing closer as a result of my illness is a deep and precious gift
- no matter what lies ahead, I will be taken care of
- I can make someone's day by smiliong and saying hello
- life continues to impress me with wonderful surprises

Here is a preview of the quilt. I forgot to mention that each square has the person’s date of diagnosis. And, right next to my square is another dear sweet lady,

Thank you Marie. Thank you Manny. For making me contemplate a new word for my hand. It was healing and has made a difference.

Gracious a la vida que me ha dado tanto.