A magnolia by any other name

With my diabetes diagnosis in adulthood, I can still say that I have lived more of my life without diabetes than I have lived with it.

When I read 100+ books in the Baby-sitters Club series, I didn’t feel any special connection to Stacey. I am was a bit of an nerd so I actually saw myself as more of a Kristy.

We had mostly healthy food and drinks in the house when I was growing up, but when I ate cookies I would do it without once looking at the nutritional information on the back.

And every time it was on, my mom and I would watch Steel Magnolias together. I don’t know if it was because of the mother daughter relationship between M’Lynn (Sally Field) and Shelby (Julia Roberts) or the hits-too-close-to-home way that they portrayed religion in Annelle (Daryl Hannah) and Truvy (Dolly Parton) but there were many Saturday afternoons spent watching that movie on TV.

I’m not sure if my mom has watched the movie since I was diagnosed, but I know that I have to be careful who I watch it with now. I can’t quite handle the sideways glances and the look of sadness in their eyes as the storyline progresses (even when I explain that’s not how it is anymore or maybe even was for most back then).

But just because my life changed, my love of the movie didn’t. In fact, when it came time to name this blog, my title was actually inspired by something Shelby says. Without revealing too much about the storyline, Shelby’s mom disagrees with a decision she has made. In response, Shelby tells her


I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.


Almost 25 years after the original movie (based on a play), Steel Magnolias is getting a remake. This Sunday, Lifetime will premiere an updated version of the movie with an all black (all-star) cast. The cast is spectacular. The previews make it appears that much of the dialogue will stay true to the original. It appears that they will be making some changes though. Intriguing changes, changes that will affect the whole story line.


Remaking a 25-year-old story did require some updating, especially to reflect medical advances that made it safer for diabetic women to have healthy pregnancies. The main thing, says Meron, was that when it was originally written (and in the original movie), when a woman with diabetes was pregnant, it was life-threatening.

“There’s no real danger for a diabetic woman to be pregnant these days unless there are complications, (so) we had to make sure we were being medically responsible,” Meron explains. (source)

Credit USAToday. Click picture for original source.


What do you think of the original? The remake? Will you watch? Are you as worried about it as I am?

P.S. Speaking of this blog and its title inspiration – while I’ve been writing for over 6 years, yesterday was the one year anniversary of all my content merging together here from various previous sites. That’s a lot of moments.

P.P.S. If you click on the Diabetic Resources link on the Lifetime page it displays links to the ADA, Diabetes Mine, and the Diabetes Hands Foundation. Interesting collection – perhaps better if it included a link to a resource that covers diabetes and pregnancy.


  • I have only known this movie as a diabetic and truly hated it. It’s interesting hearing your perspective about the mother-daughter relationship part pre and post D. Alright you’ve got me curious Sara, I’m gonna watch it. xo

  • I’ve always loved the movie and the cast. It makes me laugh and cry, worthy of watching in my book. I have not watched it since my girls’ dx but I don’t think I would have a problem – but my d-mama emotions are often very sneaky. I don’t think I would want my girls watching it (age 12 and 16). I’ll watch the remake, if I remember, because of the cast alone.

  • I have the DVR set to record it. Haven’t watched the movie since my daughter’s diagnosis. Not sure how it will affect me – will it make me sad? mad? Funny, Stacy was always my favorite BabySitters Club characters.

  • Oh wow. I can still remember reading the third installment of the Babysitter’s Club, I think I was 11 (2 years after I was diagnosed) and lying on my parents bed, nose in book, when Stacy was diagnosed, and suddenly I had a friend in her, i wasnt alone. I was pissed off when they moved her to new York 🙂

    Regarding Steel Magnolias: I was 12 when I watched it, couldn’t get through it, thought for years I would die if I had a baby, still can’t watch it. Yeah, I pretty much hate the movie and most definitely won’t be watching the remake.

  • My only claim to fame is that I knew Bobby Harling in college. We went to Northwestern State University which is in Natchitoches, LA. Natchitoches is where the movie was filmed. For those who don’t know, it was written by Bobby Harling and it’s about his sister (whose name wasn’t Shelby).

  • Oh, and I forgot to say that Bobby appears in the film. His scene is at the very end at the cemetary. He plays the priest which is funny because he was Presbyterian at the time.

  • My daughter hates this movie with a passion after seeing lows where I am unable to communicate and so shaky. Especially since I have chronic kidney disease (diagnosed before I EVER was diagnosed with diabetes). I have always love the relationships in this film.

    I have it recorded on the DVR and will watch it on my own tomorrow when daughter is at work.

    BTW. My favorite babysitter club girl was Mary Ann. I totally see the Kristy in you!

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