It’s unbelievable that six months have passed since Luna’s diagnosis. We spent this past weekend at a beach in Holland, Michigan. While Luna splashed around and played in the sand; Paul and I talked a lot about what the last couple of months have meant to us.
Most of our conversation centered on how gracefully Luna has accepted her new life and how she remains authentically Luna. At diagnosis, we both had a plethora of fears, with our greatest being how this diagnosis would change our girl. Six short (and very long) months later, it’s such a relief to see that she is exactly the same fun, free spirit.
Prior to Diabetes, Paul and I were often frustrated by her strong-willed nature and overall passive attitude. She was always able to justify any situation by pointing out an absurd detail or silver lining, of sorts. We often joked that Luna is smart, tactful, and beautiful; with a splash of Disney villain. We’re talking about a kid, who at four, formed a club called the Trickster’s Club and admitted only the naughtiest of kitties. (Her words, not mine) I wasn’t allowed to join. The first and only rule of Trickster Club is, “Tricksters don’t take pictures!” Which is why prior to the last year Luna never looked at the camera or ran away at the sight of one. Yes, this is real life.
And even post diagnosis we’ve had our fair share meltdowns, timeouts and VERY LOUD CONVERSATIONS! And still Luna my trickster, my naughty kitty remains the same. In fact, we are the ones who have changed. The same character traits that drive us crazy have sustained our daughter. We’ve had a lot of moments since diagnosis that has shifted our perception of Luna. We aren’t perfect parents and often struggle with the pressure of the disease, but looking back over the last six months we are thankful to have gained a better understanding of what life with Luna means to us.
While at the beach, we spotted a woman wearing an insulin pump. Of course, Luna ran right up and introduced herself, shared that she was also a Type 1 diabetic. I watched from a distance as they chatted and then went over to introduce myself. Shelly told me that she was diagnosed when she was 4 years old and has been a Type 1 diabetic for 44 years. She chatted about her life with diabetes and how it shaped her. We talked about all the different ways managing Type 1 has changed and laughed at some of the absurd "cures' strangers often suggest. She attributed her overall good health to the fact that her mother was a fierce advocate and inspired Shelly to do the same. She applauded Luna for being fearless and open about her diagnosis; and advised us to never hold her back from disclosing anything she wants about her life with Diabetes.
Walking back to our spot, I felt relieved to have met Shelly, a perfectly healthy, vivacious and super-hilarious Type 1 diabetic. Paul pointed out how our meeting was definitely not a coincidence.
After the beach, we ate dinner at the New Holland Brewing Company. We ordered drinks and toasted to our girl. We told her how proud we are and how she continues to impress us every single day. She told us that the biggest lesson she’s learned is that she isn’t alone. She knows that there are a lot of people who love and support her. And she’s right; sitting there I realized how many people have walked into our lives in the last six months. All of this has served as a reminder that there is still so much good in this world. Their support has taught us that we don't have to endure all of this alone and that it's okay to ask for help. My heart was happy to know that Luna felt the same.
So again, cheers to you my Luna and to your effervescent, trickster, naughty kitty, valiant ways.