Already just at the beginning of junior year, Lucy and I have come to the realization this year might be a rough one. Her vision has deteriorated enough that we’re not quite sure how to maneuver classes like anatomy.

I mean, how in the world can you memorize all those body systems, draw diagrams of them, and recognize them on a chart when you can’t see?

Oh that girl has the best helpers/teachers ever who will help her through, that’s for sure. But the heaviness of this new reality has been really weighing on Lu for the last little while. This is a difficult burden to carry.

So the other night, as she was wading through hours of homework, she asked if we could do the “fingertip thing.” And my heart just melted.

Because the “fingertip thing” comes from her childhood.

And mine too.

My dad would scoop us kids up every now and again and write the first initial of the “talents” he saw in us on our fingertips with a ballpoint pen.

It’s amazing the power that one little thing would have on us.

Sometimes when others recognize and celebrate the things they think you do well, it helps you to cherish/build/recognize them more as well.

So I carried on this tradition with my own children.

And Lucy remembered.

And I was so glad. Because of course this wading in some sorrowful worry would be a good time for a little pick-me-up.

So, the two of us sat by her bed, surrounded by her magnifier and papers and worksheets and the jumble of school things that had been taking her hours and hours after school each day, and wrote down the first initial of my most favorite things about her.

I was so glad for a chance to stop time and let her know that really, I “see” her.

I see how hard she’s trying. I see her kindness. I see her work. As her mother, I see her heart.

And with each letter I wrote, I felt her frustration and worry melt, just a little, as she sunk closer and closer into my side.

At the same time as I felt my love for surround us both and hold us close.

I hope that somehow, someway, through that little act of writing letters on fingers, that she might feel a piece of how much God loves her too.

Because this girl of mine is the real-deal.

I just hope that she can hold all those things I see about her close. Tiny seeds to help her recognize more and more of her own, as she does the work of growing into the woman she has such grand potential to be.

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  1. Lucy you are going to accomplish AMAZING things and I see you inspiring, encouraging and helping MANY people along the way!

  2. I have a question – as admirable as it is that Lucy wants to take Anatomy… is it a required class? Maybe it is, but it sure wasn’t when I was a junior in high school.
    Why does she have to take a class that is so ill-suited to her situation? The other siblings took it? Well, that is slightly different, isn’t it?
    Take something that she finds interesting that is not so hard. Only take the required classes needed to graduate. Do well in them, and feel good about yourself, not inadequate.

    1. Oh believe me, this is for sure her choice. She’s has had anatomy on her “wish list” forever, the rest of us have nothing to do with it. I don’t know if it’s something about wanting to figure out more how her own body works with a lot of interest in her own syndrome or if it’s just that she just has a deep desire to know how the human body works, but she’s been counting down the days for this class for a couple years. And she loves it. Maybe that’s why it’s just so heartbreaking to her that the pieces of it are difficult to put together. But if you know Lucy, when she sets her mind to something she figures out a way to make it work. Sometimes I wish she’d go for the “not so hard” but she’s determined to learn the things she loves.

  3. Oh Shawni, this made me cry! How I love that girl and her dogged determination to do well in everything she takes on! How dear that she remembered that! What a load that must have lifted. She is working her way through all this and she is “The Luckiest” to have such an incredible mom!
    Love to you both!

  4. I think Lucy is amazing. I think you and Dave and her siblings and the support she has is pretty amazing too. It is hard to watch someone you love struggle so much and not be able to help relieve the hard.

    I’m not sure if she is still into legos, but my husband just showed me this set, and it looks so neat!

    1. I had not seen that and she actually asked for Legos for her birthday coming up so I’m grateful to know about this. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I’m not sure if you all are starting to think about college, but there are some schools (like UC Berkeley and their Disabled Students Program) that have great resources for different abilities and large student populations with different abilities. My close friend in college was legally blind at UC Berkeley and it was a great school for her and had a good community of visually impaired students. Just wanted to share, in case that’s helpful!

    1. We are just starting to look into schools like this so I appreciate you sharing. Lots of research to do!

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