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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dearest Ella.

Natalie Grant - "Held"

I've been sitting here for an hour.

Maybe more.

I'm really not sure.

I type these names with a heavy heart.  They are a small collection of names that belong to a larger list of children who have lost their lives to Type 1 Diabetes.

Today, it is with great sadness that I add the name of another beautiful child.

Meaning:  God's Promise
Eilish and her younger sister, Ella
(Picture from CWD member profile)

I cannot begin to fathom the emptiness that must exist.  The heartache.  The grief.  The news today has knocked the wind out of me....and reminded me, once again, of how quickly everything can change.

My immediate thoughts turn to Eilish's parents....parents who were vigilant and educated....parents who embraced the challenge of Type 1 Diabetes and were sacrificially willing to do whatever necessary to ensure their daughter's well being....parents who, yesterday, feared this potential complication in the back of their minds -- and then woke up today to realize it firsthand.

And then I think of Ella.  Sweet Ella...the sister who is left behind.  I look at the picture of the two of them running on the beach and cannot help but to envision my own daughters.  I never had a sister growing up, but my girls have taught me how steadfast and indivisible the bond of sisterhood stands.

I cannot help but to come back to Ella in my mind over and over again.  Yes....I am a mother raising a child with diabetes. My heart cannot rationalize the pain that must exist in the emptiness.  But I'm also a little sister.  A little sister who once ran with her older brother while chasing waves on the beach.  A little sister who knows all too well what life becomes when the world around you shatters by the unexpected death of an older sibling.

And so, from the depths of my Candy Heart, I want to share these words....

Dearest Ella,

Your name has many meanings, including Bright Light and Beautiful Fairy.

Your mommy and daddy may cry alot in the days, weeks, months, and years that lie ahead.  You don't have to be afraid. When you see their tears, please remember that they love you and they are not angry with you.

I am sure you have always been, and will continue to be, a bright light in the world around you.  Despite the confusion, sadness, and anger you may experience, please do not ever forget how incredibly special you are.

You, Sweet Ella, have done nothing wrong.  You loved your sister with all  your heart and she knew how much you loved her.  I can see how special she was to you when I look at pictures of the two of you together.  If I can see your bright light in the pictures, I can only imagine the immense love your friends and family must have witnessed.

As you grow up, you may often ponder what your life would have been like if Eilish was there to share your journey.  It's okay to think about her as often as you want. It's okay to cry too.  She will never be far from your thoughts as you embark on the milestones of life -- your first date, your first day at college, your wedding...Eilish will remain in your heart forever.

Diabetes can never take that away.

God, make me brave for life: oh, braver than this.
Let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain,
Shining and lovely again.
God, make me brave for life; much braver than this.
As the blown grass lifts, let me rise
From sorrow with quiet eyes,
Knowing Thy way is wise.
God, make me brave, life brings
Such blinding things.
Help me to keep my sight;
Help me to see aright
That out of dark comes light.
--Author unknown


Tributes to Eilish by my Fellow Bloggers:
I'm trying to keep track of them.  If you have a contribution, please use the linky to add your post.  Thank You.

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  1. Such a beautiful tribute Wendy! I have had a heavy heart all day but no tears fell until now as I read your blog.

  2. Wendy that was beautiful. I'm so sorry you know how Ella must feel right now, but your kind and understanding words would mean a lot to her, I'm sure. My heart has been breaking all day. My thoughts have been on Eilish and with her family. I have spent my day hugging my girl a little tighter and thanking God that she is still here with me. This is a sad and scary day. I am keeping Eilish's family in my prayers.

  3. I am not sure if my previous comment went through. I keep telling everyone in the DOC how I wish we could all be together on days like today. Just to sit.


    Beautiful post btw..

  4. Dear friend - that is by far the most beautiful post I have ever read. I am a sobbing mess right now. Thank you for being so amazing.

  5. My screen is blurry from reading this. I am trying to hide my tears from my 7 yr old T1 daughter behind me because I dont dare let her know what has happened. I dont think many of us will be sleeping tonight. <3

  6. This is beautiful, a love filled, honest tribute.

  7. It is hard to push the feelings of sadness away after seeing the picture of the sisters. That picture will stay with me as I pray for this family.

  8. Beautiful! Just beautiful, Wendy! I think we've all had heavy hearts today, but reading words like yours helps us all shed a few tears so we can lighten the load and move on to be there to support and pray for healing and understanding for Eilish's family. Thank you for sharing this!

  9. Perfect, said it perfectly.

    Hugs to one and all on this sad, sad night.

  10. Beautiful post, my friend.

    Yes, hugs to one and all on this sad, sad night.

  11. Thank you for the prayer. Gods Promise. How fitting. It breaks my heart

  12. Tears are falling here, too. It's just so sad.

  13. Wendy, What a beautiful post. This is so sad. I am sorry that you and the other D mamas are so heavily burdened by this right now. I am so grateful for your friendship. Thanks for being so awesome! (((HUGS))) to you and your family.

  14. beautifully written and composed. Thank you Wendy

  15. As a parent of a T1 diabetic 14 year old, this really touches my heart. I can't imagine the depth of grief this family must be feeling. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with her family. Thank you for sharing and allowing me to be part of praying for her family.

  16. I too am a parent of a T1 who is 13 years old. I send my prayers out to this family. God Bless them.

  17. Quite beautiful Wendy. You have a magical way with words. So heartbroken for Eilish's family and friends. So so sad.

  18. Wendy, this is a beautiful post.. Sweet little Ella will definately be missing her sister.. Thanks for putting your thoughts into words and sharing with us...

  19. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful child. I am the mother of a 7-year old Type 1 son who is my little warrior. I am so sorry for you loss...A cure must be found NOW! Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am signing off with a heavy heart and send you much love and peace for the days ahead. God bless.

  20. An amazing part of you that makes me so proud to be your Mom.

  21. Beautifully written. one cannot hold back the tears. i want to hold all my kids a little closer tonight

  22. I have no adequate words Wendy. I'm so sorry. For you. for Ella, for all of us. . .


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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.