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Freckles, Diabetes, and Heaven

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It started out innocent enough.

A simple conversation in the car.

Revolving around - what else?  Her birthday.

Her birthday has the been the main focus of LIFE for awhile.

She said to me, "Mom, I wish my birthday was on Christmas and then EVERYONE would get presents!"

Then she asked, "Whose birthday is it at Christmas again?"

"You mean Jesus?  Or someone else?" I answered.

"Oh yeah.... JESUS!" she replied.  "Who else's birthday is it?"

"Well, my grandma's birthday was Christmas Eve.  Gaga's Mommy."  I said.

"WHAT?!?" she screamed.  "We missed it!  Why did we miss it?  We were having Christmas Eve with  Nanny and GDad!"

"Well, we didn't really miss it." I tried to explain.  "We just didn't celebrate it."

"Why not?" she asked.  Quickly followed by, "OHhhhhh yeah.  She's dead.  I forgot."

"Yes.  Who knows?  Maybe she celebrated in Heaven with Jesus." I said.

"What does Heaven look like?" she wondered.

"I don't know, Sweetie."

"Is it all fluff and clouds and stuff?  Where is it?  Is it up in the sky or what?"

"I don't know.  I've never been there."

"Are people babies in Heaven?  Is Heaven just full of babies?"

"No.  We do know that.  You don't turn back into a baby.  We don't know exactly what you look like in Heaven but the Bible tells us that our bodies are made perfect."

"So I won't have freckles in Heaven?"

Giggling to myself... "Well, I don't know about that.  But I do know that in Heaven you won't...."

She cuts me off.

"I won't have diabetes in Heaven."

"Nope.  There is no diabetes in Heaven."

Silence for a few seconds....

"I want to go to Heaven.  I want to go now.  I hate diabetes sometimes.  It hurts.  I don't like.  I just wish I could go to Heaven."

"I know, Sweetie.  One day.  One day you will.  But let's just hope it's not too soon.  Your Mama would miss you too much!"

And she was off.  Hopping out of the car.  Running into the house.  On to the next thing.

But those conversations make my heart feel like it's in a vice.

Whose seven year old tells them that she wants to go to Heaven to be rid of disease and a life that is all she's known?

The thing is - I know that she does not understand.  To her, Heaven is a place similar to Florida or Hawaii.  It's someplace you go.  Someplace physical.  And although she knows you don't come back - she can't really process that.  So I know that those words are the words of child.  With childlike understanding.

But they still sting.

They are still hard.

I can't help but believe this is true.

It hurts me, as a Mama, to know that she's in pain and to not be able to make it better.  To not be able to take it away.  To know her life has been changed in a way that none of us can comprehend.

Even though we know it's not in their best interests to live a life filled only with the good, the easy, the beautiful, the perfect (because that's not REAL) - we, as parents, still wish we could make their lives easier.

But I believe that she IS being prepared for some kind of extraordinary destiny.

Because I see her toughness.  Her fight.  Her confidence.  Her courage.  Her belief that she can do anything.  I see her spunky, independent streak.
I see her joy.  I see her happy spirit and her sense of humor.  I see her compassion.

And I know that diabetes is inexorably linked with her being.

I see her working through it all.  All the normal seven year old questions.

It's just that she's got a little more to process.

And it's my job to help her through it - any way I can.

Because, just like EVERYONE with diabetes,  she's pretty awesome.  And she's got a pretty awesome future waiting for her.



  1. Ah, sad stuff, when my girl was first dx'd she ask us "I'll have to do this until I die?" and I'd say "no for the rest of your life", a couple of weeks ago Great-Grandma passed away and I told my son that she was happy in heaven and she felt good and her old body didn't hurt anymore, he asked if Korky's D would go away when she went to heaven, I said yes, he asked if Great-Grandma would come back when she felt better, I said no, he asked if Kortnie could go to heaven and get better and come back, I said no, once you go you don't come back. I'm so scared that someday a depression will set in and.....I can't even say it, but its something I think about....

  2. Wow, Hallie, powerful post.

    I know it's hard to think about, but I appreciate you sharing.

  3. I can relate.
    2 weeks into diagnosis, my 6 year old (soon to be 7 year old), was eating supper. Out of the blue she just says "well having diabetes is better than being dead". That just did it for me. I excused myself from the table and went to the bathroom for a good cry. Such an innocent age to be thinking such deep things.

  4. Thank you for sharing! I know that when we first hear or child day something like this we sometimes feel alone even more as type 1 patents but to hear it from others, similar stories, it helps to know others are in it with us! Thank you for what you do! I know it probably helps you to let how your feeling out but it helps us other parents so much to not feel alone! Recently my 6 year old, who was diagnosed a year and a half ago had been asking why doesn't God take diabetes away if He loves her so much and then goes into why she hates diabetes.......I feel that same sting! But at the same time I am like you and one I get through that moment of shock and hurt inside bc my 6 year old has to have those types of feelings I think of her strength, bravery, courage, compassion etc. and then I think of how she is going to have an extrodinary future!


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