A couple of weeks ago my precious father in law quietly passed away at age 87. He was blessed with many full and enriching years of life. It was a fulfilling experience to meet so many of his life-long friends and extended family during his visitation and his funeral (I like to refer to it as a celebration of life). Through conversations with many of these friends and family, I had the opportunity to share about being a diabetes educator and, I found out several were familiar with- Reece’s Pieces in a Diabetes World blog, which I began last summer. As you can imagine, they had questions such as: Do you have diabetes? Why did you start a blog? as well as many other questions.
Papa’s death, along with the engaging conversations had with his friends of all ages, has prompted a time of reflection in my own life. I am intentionally taking the opportunity to reflect on my personal life – you know, the what’s and the why’s of my daily endeavors I commit my time and energy to. I’m even asking, why Reece’s Pieces in a Diabetes World?
Why I Started
Over the last 13 years, empowering people and serving people with diabetes has been a significant driver in my professional life. Over the last several years, I have had the privilege to get to know personally some very innovative people living with diabetes. I’ve met many diabetes educators who have provided creative and engaging support for those individuals living with diabetes.
They’ve all taught me how to think “outside of the box” to have a greater impact on those living with diabetes. Last summer, I decided it was time for me to model what I had seen others do. Hence, Reece’s Pieces in a Diabetes World (RPDW) was born last summer with the mission to provide practical information about medications for those living with diabetes.
Tom, Papa’s Buddy
Back to Papa, he spent the last 10 months enjoying life in an independent assisted living center which created the perfect environment for support and new friendships. Papa hit off a great friendship with Tom and, they both enjoyed watching old movies together in the afternoon. I found Tom particularly interesting in his rich life experiences which included both military and business worlds.
Also, I learned that Tom has Type 2 diabetes; so naturally, I had a desire to learn more as to how I could possibly provide support and encouragement. Unfortunately, I was not afforded the opportunity. Sadly, Tom didn’t have any peer support or support from a diabetes educator in managing his diabetes. Tom quietly passed away just a few days after Papa passed. As in Tom’s case, managing diabetes is quite difficult when grieving the loss of a dear friend.
Once you put your passion into action in a meaningful way, a natural momentum is created. Experiencing challenging life events will inspire us to dig deep within our soul and question ourselves as to why and what we are doing with our time. Doing so will help us to determine what really matters each day of our life here on earth.
As I close out this blog, I pose these questions to you:
What do you do each day to impact the lives of others living with diabetes?
Why are these actions or activities important to you?
Who should you reach out to and offer your support to?
This blog is dedicated in memory of my father in law, Harold Reece.
Please share your thoughts.
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