The Broccoli Guy. (Yes, He’s Married.)

It truly warms my heart when a friend or even more so, an acquaintance, goes out of their way to let you know about a news article they have seen or read regarding something concerning Diabetes.

Tonight, I was surprised to find an email from an old friend whom I simply lost contact with. In fact, the last time he saw me, I was fraught with panic as Lance had crashed in the middle of a department store. I was crouched over the top of him, very indelicately, might I add, desperately trying to get Lance to ‘drink the juice’…

As soon as his blood sugar stabilized, my friend, Bryce, approached me with some trepidation.

“Hey, Kate! It’s been..what..three years since I saw you last?”

“Umm..yeah, probably. How are you?”

“Oh, fantastic!” (Holds up ring finger, and gives me the opportunity to study his wedding band.)

” Congratulations.” (Lance is moaning in my arms and defiantly indicating that he wants to go home. I soothe him, and tell him that I’m just saying goodbye.)

“So, what happened back there? This is your son, obviously?”

“Oh, yeah. Sorry. Bryce, this is my son, Lance. Lance, this is a friend of mine, Bryce. He just got married.”

(Lance gives his infamous half-smile as a way of acknowledgement.)

Bryce smiled back nervously, and said, “Yeah, so what was that all about? Or is that rude to ask? Oh, that was really out of line, wasn’t it?”

“There’s nothing rude about type 1 Diabetes, Bryce. Lance was diagnosed after his first birthday.”

“Oh My God. Geez Kate, I’m so sorry. Look, if you ever want to chat, here’s my number. I just can’t believe that you aren’t a total mess after dealing with that.”

“Ha. Well, I guess you were a good distraction in that case, huh?”

“Here’s my business card, do you have an email address?”

Pleasantaries exchanged.

“Well. good luck with everything. Sorry to hear about the diabetes. Poor little guy.”

“Ah, ok thanks, all the best for the future, congratulations again.’

I shuddered. What an awkward encounter.

It was so horrid that it seems that I blocked it from my mind completely.

So, you can imagine my surprise when, almost two years later, Bryce’s name appeared in my inbox!

The subject was left blank, which left me all the more intrigued.

The contents of the email read-

Kate,

How are you? I am at my office and I have just come across some news that I thought may be comforting to know.

How is your little boy? I have never forgotten how scary that all looked that day. I have been a real jerk, and I wanted to apologise. Not one person came to see if you needed help. Including me. I was too busy gawking and I’m so ashamed of that. I should have rushed over to help you immediately. Anyone could see that you needed help, and here was I, with my mobile phone in my pocket, standing there like a idiot. I don’t blame you for not contacting me.

Anyway, after you told me about how your little man has type 1 Diabetes, I got some books out from the library to find out what it is. I’m a Dad now, too, and it scares me beyond belief that kids can get sicknesses like this. You’re a really brave girl, Kate. Even that day, you weren’t scared (I WAS!!!) and you didn’t panic.

Anyway, I hope this link can be of some use to you. Maybe it’s just silly, I don’t know.

Cheers,

Bryce.

Or maybe that simple gesture was perhaps the sweetest and thoughtful offering of human kindness that I have experienced in such a long time.

(He got books from the library!!!!!)

i don’t expect huge benefits to be held in Lance’s honour by my friends, or anything outlandish, simply because he has type 1 diabetes.

However, Bryce’s email has made me consider a question.

“When your life suddenly gets complicated, how do you define a true friend?”

I questioned myself. What have I done recently that could be considered a gesture of good will?

 I sat and gave my neighbour performance tips the day before her violin exam.

I heartily congratulated Lance’s friend, Lachlan when his goal won his team’s soccer match and organised our local paper to get a shot of him and his Beckham skills.

I put up my hand to babysit my friend’s twins,(one of them eats dirt and gravel every chance she can get), when she felt that some alone time with her partner would be beneficial.

A simple gesture can make someone’s day, and not take a great deal of effort or energy out of yours.

It’s been a long, long time since I received an out-of-the-blue phone call from a friend.

I realise, that yes, especially when Lance was younger, phone calls with me were difficult. However, I learnt how to speak, on speaker phone and set up a glucometer, and gave my baby a finger prick without another soul knowing-I try to give my full attention to people who have found reason to call me.

However, as I said, in the early days, I would have to simply hang up mid sentence, as a smiling but vacant-eyed Lance would be ready to bungee-jump off  1.7mmol/L any tick of the clock.

I was always the one who let the “team” down, because Lance had just happened to have three consecutive horror days in a row, and he was naturally very clingy to me after these episodes. The sighs of frustration and impatience used to sting my extroverted soul, everytime I’d have to make the phone call..

“I’m sorry, I just can’t leave him. He’s only 2-and-a-half, and my parent’s won’t know if he’s crying because he’s sick or low or fretting, and I will be the most atrocious company.”

GROUP SIGH FOR KATE, SHE’S NOT UP TO COMING…AGAIN.

My point is, Bryce’s link about the natural wonder-properties of broccoli was just an incredibly thoughtful and kindhearted gesture. I don’t care that it won’t cure Lance’s diabetes, or that he won’t magically regrow islet cells as a result of broccoli a la puree consumed three times daily-it was just an incredibly kind thing to do.

Broccoli-Super Food and Natural Smile Inducer.

Broccoli-Super Food and Natural Smile Inducer.

 Someone cared enough to think of my little boy, and me, and pass on some information THEY thought may help us.

With the miracle of the internet, how easy would it be to email a friend, who you know could do with a:

“Hi, just wanted you to know that I was thinking of you…”

Thank you so much, Bryce, for thinking of us. Your link about broccoli means more to me than ten links of pure gold.

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