Mother’s Face by Nicole PurcellAudio version <a href="http://ripr.org/post/i-believe-mothers-face" target="_blank">www.ripr.org</a>I believe that living can’t be about the easy things. And I believe in my mother’s face.I remember my mother’s face the day I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1982. Confronted with the news that one of her children would encounter life-changing challenges, daily bloodsugar checks and insulin injections, and the prospect of deadly complications, my mother’s tear-streaked face told me everything.Her blue eyes, determined and bold said, “We’re going to meet this thing – head on.”Her mouth, usually smiling, tightened – her jaw, usually relaxed, set itself hard, and said, “You will be OK. We will be OK. “Her tears, though she tried to hide them – said, “This isn’t fair.” My mother’s face told me these things on that June day, in the office of our pediatrician. There were words “needles every day, finger sticks five times daily, restricted sugar.” I listened intently, but what I heard loud and clear was the beautiful, unspoken, language of my mother’s lovely face.Many times in the past 27 years, I’ve seen that face. I saw angry lines when I was thirteen and a doctor told me that most diabetics don’t live past 30 without serious complications. I saw the easy smile that conveyed my mother’s pride as I graduated high school, then college, as I advanced in my career, as I defied those odds – making it past my 30th birthday without even a whisper of a complication. I saw the frustrated frown when I fought daily injections as an eight year old, refused to pay much attention to my disease as a teenager, and stubbornly went to work sick as an adult.Those faces taught me, and my mother’s patient, easy guidance taught me.I learned that life isn’t about how we react or behave when things are going well. I learned that life is not about the easy things. I learned that life is about how we confront our greatest challenges – whether they’re physical, mental, or emotional. I learned that life is about the strength we reap, the lessons we learn, the compassion we gain, the love we show - when things are just plain hard. Today, I see my mother’s face - in my own mirror. And I see that she’s given me my life’s greatest gift. The ability to see challenges as opportunities. The ability to understand others’ trials and to lend a hand when I can. The ability to move forward, to step past the pits of self-pity and into the land of true strength. And the ability to communicate, with a look, the love I have to share.I believe that life can’t be about the easy things. And I believe, always, in my mother’s face.