The forgotten sibling?

Emilia on her prom busEmilia on her prom transport, a wonderful old London bus

It’s 4:58am and I’m sat here awake, unable to sleep after picking up my eldest, non-pancreatically-challenged daughter, Emilia up from her after-prom party. It’s suddenly struck me how much of our time is geared up for managing Amy’s diabetes, or dealing with Emilia’s GCSEs and switch from school life to college life. Last night was completely different and it was lovely to focus on something wonderful and filled with joy: Emilia’s prom.

I’m not sure how often I stop and wonder how Amy’s diabetes affects Emilia, but I’m sure it’s not enough and it needs to be more. We’ve had a fair few chats about it but they never last long and it was only when we had a day off together whilst taking part in TrialNet that we spoke in detail about it all, how she felt, her worries and her fears for both herself and Amy.

Some months after Amy’s diagnosis Emilia and I ceased our only scheduled Father-Daughter activity, going to watch Southampton play football, and whilst this was more about finance and definitely nothing to do with diabetes I wish we’d carried it on. Soon after I launched into a world of finding out more about Type 1 diabetes; I wonder if Emilia links the two together. I should probably ask her. Today.

Last night’s prom turned out to be everything Emilia hoped it would be, meeting the high expectations that five years of dreaming about it had built. Surrounded by a great bunch of friends arriving together on a red London bus – which in my opinion looked far nicer than the posh cars which blurred into each other and will be forgotten tomorrow – I couldn’t be more proud of her. I should probably tell her this again. Today.

On hearing how she cared for several friends at the after prom party I realised that in some ways we’re one and the same, both worried more about other people’s health than we are about ourselves, both wanting to make sure others don’t end up in trouble or danger, both wanting to make sure that people get the pastoral/medical care they need. Again, I couldn’t be more proud.

I hope then that she doesn’t feel she’s a forgotten sibling, losing out to her sister’s care and the time that all takes. I hope she’s realises that we have no choice to spend time doing these things to make sure her sister lives a long and healthy life. I hope she realises that if diabetes didn’t darken our doorstep this inequality of time she suffers just wouldn’t happen. I should probably make sure of this. Today.

I’ll leave you with a picture of my eldest daughter, Emilia, a beautiful girl with a great future ahead of her, sitting on the swing beneath our apple tree.

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