Fleeting moments of community | Diabetogenic

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I live right near one of the busiest streets in inner Melbourne and Fridays are extra busy. This morning, I was walking quickly to grab a coffee, a mental checklist working through my mind of the things I needed to get done for work for the day. 

I was stopped at a light, waiting for green so I could cross. ‘Meeting in 45 mins to discuss the next project; review proposal that was sent this morning; reply to email about Melbourne Uni presentation; send bio and headshot for program for conference in August; amend flights for San Diego trip, call…. Wait. Am I low?’

The unmistakable urgent low alarm of my Dex snapped me out of my to-do list, and I pulled my phone from my pocket. My Dex line was straight, my number in range. I shook my head thinking I must have dreamed the blaring alarm. As I was shoving my phone away, I saw a woman next to me rummaging through their bag. The next second, she crouched down and turned its contents onto the footpath. 

‘Hey,’ I said quietly, knelt down so I was level with her. I handed over an unopened packet of Mentos. She looked at me, surprised. I smiled. And said, ‘I’ve done that very thing more times than I care to remember.’ I passed her a small purse and a couple of pieces of paper that escaped from the dumped bag debris. She thanked me and we stood up together. ‘Are you all okay?’ I asked. She nodded. ‘Yep, I’m okay. Thanks.’ 

I picked up my pace and turned down a paved laneway, and into a café. As I waited for my coffee, I thought about how that brief encounter was a snapshot of the invisible community of people with an invisible condition. Until, of course, it’s not. Community isn’t always apparent. It doesn’t have to be the coming together for face-to-face meetings, or long Twitter exchanges. Sometimes, it simply lies within fleeting moments of strength and vulnerability and solidarity that provide solace and remind us that there are others out there who truly get it. 

The light changed and I set off, giving a little wave. ‘Wait,’ she called after me, breaking the Mentos packet in two and handing half to me. ‘Take this in case you need it?’ I shook my head. ‘You hold onto them; I’m nearly home. Hope the rest of your morning is hypo-free.’

I picked up my pace and turned down a paved laneway, and into a café. As I waited for my coffee, I thought about how that brief encounter was a snapshot of the invisible community of people with an invisible condition. Until, of course, it’s not. Community isn’t always apparent. It doesn’t have to be the big things – coming together for face-to-face meetings, or long Twitter exchanges. Sometimes, it simply lies within fleeting moments of strength and vulnerability and solidarity that provide solace and remind us that there are others out there who truly get it.

A large tree covered with autumn laves in red and yellow  the branches of the tree are overhanging a bluestone-paved laneway

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