Every afternoon of my childhood, I climbed down from the school bus to begin the mile long walk up Kimball Farm Road. I plugged my nose as I walked by the Spackman’s farm to mask the smell of cow manure and warm milk, and began telling stories in my head. I dragged my feet as I passed the Marher’s house with the horse barn, tennis court and sometimes Pepperidge Farm cookies if “Grannie” heard my dragging feet. After milk and cookies, if she didn’t offer me a ride home, I’d continue my walk and go back to my story. Our house eventually appeared through the birch trees, and I’d linger outside on the porch, swinging my legs over the edge of the wooden deck until I was ready to go inside, to put the stories away until tomorrow.
When I wasn’t telling stories in my head, I was reading them. I read to escape and to understand my world and clutched my books in front of me like a map.
I wouldn’t have been caught dead reading a book about diabetes when I was diagnosed at 14 years old. Mom subscribed to Diabetes Forecast and signed us up for support groups. When I flipped through the pages of Diabetes Forecast, my stomach sank. Staring back at me from the front cover was an old man. The topics covered in that issue meant nothing to me. At 14 years old, my magazine of choice was Seventeen.
22 years later, I’m writing a coming of age memoir called, “Dreaming About Water” to fill a void. I’m writing my story because when I was finally ready to read books about living with diabetes, there were none.