Today's post is from my cousin Karolyn. The best day of my life was her baptism because she became my god-sister. This was a big deal to a seven year-old only child. When we were younger, I couldn't understand her. I mean, how could you not love to ski? But then all of a sudden she loved it. And I don't know if that is when we became close, or if it was before then, but all I know is that now, we're close. Now, I don't know what I would do without her.
As my beautiful sister, Kate, said, diabetes wasn't a sickness in our family. All the cousins grew up with it and I was so little and hating skiing that I appreciated the 10 o'clock breaks, the lunch breaks, and if they could convince me to get back out there, the afternoon breaks where Briley had to test and I could happily munch on a bread bowl of clam chowder without the clams or cinnamon buns. Honestly, my understanding was that every family took breaks like that or someone in the family did what Briley did on those breaks. My mom, grandparents, aunts and uncles never let on that what Briley was dealing with was a sickness, and you'd never know it by looking at her. She, Kate, Megan, Michael and I would ski and swim like there was never a problem. As I've grown up I've obviously realized the severity of diabetes and how much it affects Briley's life, but she really never seems to let it get her down. Her accomplishments and array of activities absolutely amaze me, from her triathlons to her ski racing to synchronized swimming to nannying. She really is one of my greatest inspirations because despite having diabetes, she does so many amazing things and her family couldn't be more proud of her. I find myself reading her blog and thinking, "Damn, she's kicking ass these days," despite how much she's dealing with. She's my cousin, my God sister, and my friend and I love her to pieces. Thanks for the breaks from skiing when I was little, the love, friendship, and support as I've grown older, and for being an inspiration for all of us; it means more than you may realize.