Friday, February 12, 2010
Life Sentence - Jesse Alswager passes away at age 13
I don't have words. But I know I have to give you some. It has now been 10 days since Jesse died unexpectedly to complications of his type 1 diabetes. Tonight my family - now only 4 - went to dinner to try to feel some sense of normalcy...
Those first few days I kept saying to everyone in a fog, "How can I go on telling people its not a death sentence? I've lied to them..."
Joe Brady, a good friend and a Triabetes athlete showed up the next day with a poem he claims was written with divine intervention. Framed, it sits next to me, I write it below:
Did I say these words to a hundred,
a thousand parents?
"My name is Michelle Alswager
and my son, like your child, has type 1 diabetes
but don't worry,
it's not a death sentence."
My son Jesse, so little, diagnosed at age three
and so early gone at thirteen
I ask myself, what will I tell the parents now?
With eyes closed, I see my son..and know the answer:
Refuse with me to feel sorry for him
For he lived his diagnosis as a life sentence
with no time limit guarantee.
A life sentence to celebrate his days
touching others with his smile and patient ways
chilling with his school friends and neighbors
advocating with Governor, Congress, and doctors to find the cure.
Hanging with Dad at neighborhood parties
loving music, playing his sweet-sounding life melody
carving sharp, crisp lines with Sean on snowy slopes
laughing with brother and sisters at mom's corny jokes.
For him, beating the disease was to never
compromise, yield, submit or succumb
to an affliction whose victories
are counted with each lost possibility and
"can't do 'cause I've got type 1."
Never did he say "pity me" or "it's not fair"
Instead we heard "what's next?" and "let's go" and "cool!"
as he lived his life sentence.
So Please hear me, dear parent with newly diagnosed type 1,
not once did my son yield, submit or succumb
his life was rich, vibrant, a celebration...
Jesse didn't lose - he won.
Godspeed Jesse. We keep fighting for you and mom misses you and wishes you were here.