As I was planning our drive to Maine I made reservations for a hotel in London, Ontario. In doing so I somehow came across the fact that the man who discovered insulin and purified it so it could be injected into diabetics, lived and worked there. His home is a National Historic Landmark. I googled the distance from the hotel and announced to everyone that we were going to go. It would be too early to actually go into the house but I wanted to drive by and kind of pay tribute.
The boys kept asking, "now WHY are we going to this house?" and I did my best to explain. I told them that during the 1920s this man had discovered a way to keep diabetics alive. Their grandmother was born in 1929 and became diabetic in 1939. If it wasn't for this man, Frederick Banting, she would have died, I would not be here, they would not be here….and who the hell knows what their father would be doing without us. I told them that I think it's important to acknowledge people that have changed our lives, even though we might just be acknowledging it ourselves—nobody else might know….but still…in honor of their grandmother I wanted to visit. I told them about other friends we have that depend on insulin and how, even though it's not something we think about much, the discovery of insulin has changed our lives. They nodded seriously.
We drove through morning traffic (and oh my but London has some delightful Victorian buildings!) and found it. We got out and took some pictures and then I hugged the guys hard and thought of my mother.