Again, 3 am. I'm struck by a familiar smell as I walk up the stairs for what's become a nightly ritual. What is it? It smells like band-aides? I realize it is the smell of life or death. A wave of sad gratitude washes over me, my stomach churns as a wave of nausea rises. I remember I used to hate that smell. It smelled sterile, like a hospital, the smell of dependence, unknown implications for the future. Tonight though, a different feeling quells my churning stomach. In my hand is the source of the odor, a little clear liquid. Liquid that balances in a drop on the very tip of the needle, like a bubble about to float away. I love that smell now, the smell of insulin means everything to me, as it means life for my little girl. Reaching the top of the stairs, I peek through her bedroom door and watch her sleep. I think how when she sleeps, she looks just like she did as a baby. I'm brought back to those middle of the night rendezvous with her. Leaning over and scooping her up out of the cradle right next to my bed, laying her in the crook of my arm and looking down on her little innocent face before a feeding. I remember life before diabetes. Sometimes I walk by pictures in the hall, of just a year ago, and I stop. I remember life before diabetes and I cry, but tonight – I'm grateful. I love that smell. As I close my eyes to breath it in, a guttural, aching groan escapes my chest. I love that smell now, it means life.