The Diabetes Tree

When ASweetLife suggested I create a diabetes-related art piece for Arbor Day, I thought, Diabetes and Arbor Day? Hmm…

I started researching trees. It turned out I didn’t even need Google because my 5 year old daughter, Maya, was a great resource. I was told “Trees give us apples,” “Squirrels hide in them,” and “They got trunks.”

What more did I need to know?

Maya asked me what I like about trees. I told her I love trees because they provide shade when we play in the park, and also they are really beautiful.

After all this tree talk, Maya showed me the tree pose that she learned in her after-school yoga class and it seemed clear that trees are pretty inspirational. But still, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to connect trees to diabetes.  And then Maya added, “Mommy, didn’t you know trees help us breathe?”


The Diabetes Tree by Jen Jacobs
The Diabetes Tree

I was aware of this, but never gave it much thought, even though I walk by trees every single day. Trees give off oxygen to help us breathe. We can’t live without them! And that’s what Arbor Day is about – planting trees and celebrating all the good in nature. That made me think of all the brilliant diabetes supplies that people with diabetes rely on in order to stay alive. Things that we sometimes take for granted. I decided that I’d create a diabetes-themed mixed-media painting of a tree.

The final piece – The Diabetes Tree – represents the D-stuff I can’t live without. My insulin. My pump. My Continuous Glucose Monitor. And so much more. All of the things that protect me. Just like trees protect the environment. I tried to make The Diabetes Tree bold and strong, despite the burden it carries.

As I completed the artwork, Maya told me that she and her little sister, Daniela, who is 2, also wanted to make tree pictures. Daniela’s scribble scrabble tree is quite cute, and Maya’s tree features a rainbow.

Happy Arbor Day! 

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