Her name means “light.”
When she was a baby she cried the hardest and laughed the loudest. I had friends with calm, docile children—the kind you
might not even notice bundled up in their car seats on the floor next to the table.
Lucy hated car seats
and high chairs
and swaddle blankets
and anything else that threatened to confine her. Even her own skin, at times, seemed too restrictive.
The brightness of her could never be contained or ignored.
From the time she could talk she was a storyteller. She would recount actual events that impacted her with exaggerated
hand gestures and animated facial expressions. She would dramatically create fictional adventures with academy-award
I am a storyteller too. Her story is one of my favorites to tell.
Sometimes the telling of stories must wait as we shift all of our energy into the living of them. In the weeks following
Lucy’s type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosis we focused all of our time and energy on learning how to live a new story.
As the shock of having a child with a chronic illness wore off, I began to face the reality that my story going forward would
be very different than I could have ever imagined. Her story would be different, too.
It’s one thing to grieve lost dreams in your own life. It’s another thing to grieve them for your children. It is painful. It is
I never planned on sticking needles in her arms multiple times a day
or cringing every time someone offers her a piece of candy
or reading the labels on everything in the stinkin’ store
or obsessing over the number on her blood sugar monitor
or planning for sugar crashes that could leave her unconscious
or looking into her tear-filled eyes and telling her,
Yes we will have to keep doing this every day for
the. rest. of. your. life.
I have been filled with grief.
But the thing about grieving is that it is a process of letting go.
Sometimes our fingers must be pried off the dream of a good life so that our hands are open to receive a better one.
It’s hard to believe that your 5-year-old daughter being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (and a thyroid disorder) is a good
thing. So I don’t believe it’s a ‘good’ thing. I believe that within it lies a better thing.
I believe that for reasons I cannot yet fully see
her life will be more significant,
her light will shine brighter,
her faith will root itself deeper,
her love will span wider,
her grace will stretch farther,
because her story took this turn.
And so we do not live defeated by type 1 diabetes. We live hopeful. It is a choice we make every single day and it makes
all the difference.
FOR FINDING HOPE IN THE HARD PLACES OF T1D, CHOOSE:
Thankfulness – talk openly about all the positive ways your family is different because of T1D.
Laughter – it’s funny when people overhear you talk about your kid being “high”, so laugh!
Togetherness – struggles can divide us or unite us, decide to battle T1D together as a family.
Compassion – remember the ways others have helped you on this journey and go help someone else.
Courage – don’t let fear keep you and your child from living life fully.
Joy – T1D was the diagnosis, not the definition. Make sure your lives are defined by something greater!
Hope – consider what all your T1D child (and you!) have accomplished and expect even greater things in the future.