Monday, June 24, 2013

To the newbies.

I got an email a week ago from a mother whose son was just diagnosed.  Her words were amplified by her aching heart and I scarcly could internalize the emotions within.  I have since been battling my own eternal round of grief so I was unable to respond right away.  This afternoon my thoughts returned to her, and I knew I must write back without delay.

I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you my new, dear friend.  This letter is for you, and for all the other families that have recently been thrown into the fray, and to the ones that will be.

Dear Newbie,

I’m sorry.  I hate that you are hurting.  I hate that I know you are suffering through the death of a life hoped for.  I know your heart doesn’t know what to do with the worry right now, and the wonder for the days ahead are at times, too much to take in. 

I know you try not to think farther ahead than today, but I also know your mind wanders anyway…wanders to a hazy future with no solid lines.  One that you can only guess at.  You are mourning your child’s old life.

And I want you to know…it’s ok.  It is all part of the process.  Let those tears fall, but while you do, don’t let your hope fall too.

Take your hope and hide it away.  Hide it until you have the courage to take it out of the box and let it become a guiding force in your life.  Until then, it’s ok to be a little lost.  It will take time to settle into this new world.  Each step is a new adventure, but you will become an able captain to this new life soon enough.

From a parent that has been there, (three times,) I can make you two promises.

One) Your child will surprise you.

Two) Your child’s future will be just as bright.

All is well.  Lean into the love you have for your child.  Lean into your family.   Lean into this life knowing that others have traveled before you, and have made it to the other side.

Sure, the other side still has worry.  The difference is the experience behind the worry that tells us things will work out.  You are building on that experience now.  Each day is a fence post that will hold your life together in the future.  Fence posts are notoriously hard to line up…but the time you take engaging in the learning process will be worth it.

We’ve never learned anything worthwhile from the easy things in life.  Hard things are our greatest professors.  Diabetes will bring you battles, and in the end victories that will lay a sure foundation for your happy future.

You are not alone.  Read those words again, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  Continue to look online for others who are “same.”

You are doing a wonderful job.  How do I know that?  You’re hurt, endurance and unending love for your child is powerful witness to that.

Don’t let the numbers ruin your day.  They aren’t going anywhere…so make it your business to someday make peace with them.  They show you the next step, letting them stab you in the heart will only make for a heart full of holes.

Even still, Diabetes hurts.  I know.

But in a twisted way, it blesses too. 

You’ll find those blessings one day.  That is another promise for you.

Until then, keep soldiering on.  And if you can, don’t do it all alone.  Don’t hide…find your family, or your loved ones and get them involved. 

You can’t do better than your best.  And all that love you have for your child?  It only yields the best.

And on the subject of sleep:  I can’t make any promises there.  But one day your child will grow up, and the hours of sleep will lie before you like a magic carpet ride.  And then you will wish you could keep doing those checks for your child, to take away the burden just a little bit longer.  We are parents.  There is just no winning with this one.

One day at a time new friend!  YOU CAN DO THIS!  I’m cheering for you!

All my love, and understanding,


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