Friday, January 25, 2013


I had a discussion with Chris on his Just Talking podcast the other day, part of which focused on the idea that I am an inspiration.  (You can find it in its entirety, HERE.)

I wasn't able to articulate my feelings the way I wanted to, so I thought I'd turn here to try to explain my take on this.

I'm often told I'm inspiring, and it completely throws me.  Is "enduring" inspiring?  Is muddling my way through, inspiring? 

Ask my family...I'm no big deal.

What is it about surviving that is inspiring?

I really feel like everyone is inspiring.  That is why I encourage everyone to start a blog, or at least find other peers to connect with.  Your story means something, and will effect others.  Everyone is going through something.  Everyone is fighting against the odds of this world, does the fact that I live my life out loud on this blog really make me more inspiring than the next guy?

I'm laying it out on the table.  YOU are inspiring too.  You.  You who has "only" one child with diabetes.  You who got up this morning even though your spirit begged you not to.  You, who works a job that you don't love, or can't find a job at all, or stays at home and is completely underappreciated because of it.

All of you.

I see people with many years under their belt who walk down the street, with obvious wear and tear written all over their face.  What is their story?  I bet if you sat down with them for an hour you would be blown away.  Their tales are powerful, as are yours.  Putting your story out there can make a difference in someone else's life.  We all know that there isn't such a thing as a simple life.  Why do you try to labels yours as such?

Is it the fact that I didn't fold and give up on life?  Is that why I'm inspiring?
I don't fold, because I take one step at a time, just like you do.  Looking at my life in front of me is daunting.  I have a dear friend named Dov who has just celebrated 5 years of survivorship with terminal cancer.  He has endured treatments for those five years that seem unfathomable.  But yet in every sense of the word he LIVES, and he is called an inspiration by all because of it, (me included.  Which is funny/ironic to both of us that we see the other as inspiring, but don't see it in ourselves.)  In his own words Dov says, "We had no idea what was before us.  A true gift in many ways.  Had we known, would we have had the strength to continue forward into the pain that awaited?  I would like to think yes.  I would like to believe that I would still have the determination to step forward down the path that lay before me, but I fear that would be nothing but a pleasant lie to feed my ego.  In truth, I think I only...I think we only, found the strength to deal with each step as we made it.  As we told each other early on, reciting lines from a book we read to our 3 year old: Can't go over it,  can't go under it,  can't go around it,  gotta go through it.  We don't do it out of courage, we do it out of necessity.  We don't do it out of strength, we do it out of dogged determination.  We don't do it to inspire, we do it because there is simply no other choice." 
Like Dov and his family, I feel like I have no other choice but to move forward and rise above the aching and the hurt.  When hard things are put in your path, you do the same too.
Maybe I'm "inspiring" because I always try to see the good in things.  I wonder if I'm hardwired that way, or if it is simply a coping mechanism.  I'm not sure why I try to spin everything towards hope...maybe it was Ryan's influence, maybe it is my faith, but if that is why I am inspiring to you, then I will own it.

If I help you look for the better?  If I help you to look up  at the sky?  If I help you look at your day a little more brightly?

Then, like a boss...I'll accept I'm inspiring.

But here is the thing...

You can be just as inspiring as me.  Not only CAN you be, you already are.

I know you are going through things.  Or have been through things.  Or will go through things.  Life is freaking hard.  But you get up, and do what needs to be done.  And for that I give you a standing ovation.

You are a fighter.  You wouldn't be here right now if you weren't.  You wouldn't be checking in here if you weren't trying to find something to connect with.  You are reaching out to the universe, even if it is silently.   The thing is, your presence needs to be felt beyond your front are valuable. 

"But I'm just coping," you say.

"But I'm just doing what has to be done," you say.

I say those things too, friend. 

We are no different.

I'm inspired every day by people just like you.  Don't underestimate your wonderfulness.

Don't hide your light.

You are freaking awesome.  I'm sure of it. 

You walk through life thinking you haven't accomplished much, but when was the last time you turned around and really looked at how far you've come?  How far you traveled?  How much you have overcome?

So stop pointing your fingers at me, and start looking in the mirror.

You are an inspiration.

And if you haven't heard it in awhile,  I want to say thank you for being so.


  1. "Can't go over it, can't go under it, can't go around it, gotta go through it." I loved that book as a kid and it just might be the perfect motto for a life with diabetes - not to mention all the other trials and tribulations we all face. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for this beautiful post. You have such a gift. And you indeed inspire. You inspired me to start my own blog and find my own voice. So thank you, my inspiration!

  3. You are 100% right, Meri, we are all freaking awesome!! Thanks for the reminder, your awesomeness!

  4. Meri, you brought me to tears with this one. Like a freaking BOSS. xo

  5. Merri, I love reading your blog.. You have such wonderful insights and your life experiences do inspire people.

  6. Meri, I don't comment often, but this post just struck a special place in my heart. I am one of those mom's with "only one" diabetic, a son who has been long married, the father of six children, and who also has a serious heart condition not diabetes related. I think he, as well as his wife, is awesome. He was diagnosed in 1984 when blood monitors had just become available for public use. We received the best care and education available at Duke Pediatric Diabetes Clinic He has always taken excellent care of himself as a diabetic and his wife educated herself just after they became engaged.

    We as a family are usually optimistic. I am a retired English teacher and of course have a favorite quotation:
    What one approves, another scorns, and thus his nature, each discloses;
    Some find the rosebush full of thorns. I find the thorn bush full of roses.
    * Arthur Guiterman

    We do really try to find the good in everything and we keep on moving. Thank you for this post!

  7. Very Moving. Sometimes diabetes takes so much effort that we don't have the ability to step back and give ourselves credit for what we do. Thank you for your words. I am often moved to tears by your posts, but this


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