Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Simonpalooza: Simon's Arrival.

Friday night was spent at Jess and her husband's house with snacks, cupcakes, a live Twitter feed of our weekend's hashtag on their TV (how nerdy are we?) and the creation of some welcome posters.

image credit (for all in this post): Sara
T-shirts were distributed and we made plans to greet Simon at the airport.

Have we mentioned that he thought just one person was coming to pick him up?

All twenty-something of us gathered at his gate, and tried to wait patiently. Our group attracted a bit of attention from both the TSA ("....Wow.") and fellow passengers. One gentleman that deplaned early saw our group and asked, "Are you all waiting for the Australian guy?" *cue affirmative squealing* "Oh, he's a GREAT guy. I sat next to him on the plane and heard his whole story. You're really going to like him. He's great."

It seemed like we waited hours, but it really was only minutes. We decided that he must have been the "nice guy" that was letting everyone else get off of the plane ahead of him. :)

And when he finally was within view... well... you need to see it for yourself, I think. Allison at DiabetesMine put together a video explaining what "Simonpalooza" was all about, and got Simon's arrival on film. The look on Simon's face when it registered that the big mob of people was for HIM... well, that one moment would have made the whole trip worth it.

It isn't that Simon is some sort of celebrity (though he most certainly is in our eyes), though the spectators at the airport probaby believed he was. (They also believed that Sara's marriage proposal sign was the real deal, until we told them it wasn't. Ha!) It's more that we all knew the sacrifice he'd made to come to the U.S. and what it meant to him. And what's even better is that it meant that to us, too. We lift each other up in this community; we cheer each other on; we share the weight of our difficulties and challenges. (Related: Simon is so fearlessly honest that I think his words took a few of us by surprise. Case in point: Simon telling Cherise what she and her work have meant to him. Sara caught part of that moment and posted a video today - it's very worth the watch.)

That undercurrent of understanding we all share amplified the emotion of the moments we had.

As Jess described in her vlog today: We're all with the band.


  1. great post, kim! thanks for sharing. i also appreciate simon's fearless honesty. thanks so much for coming, and for writing about the experience so beautifully!

    and you made me cry again. like you do. ;)

  2. Great post Kim (and yes, I do know I say that all of the time).

    You nailed it on talking about how we all knew the sacrifice he'd made to come to the US, and what this trip meant to him, and how his trip meant that to us as well. Very well put.

  3. Ah, loved this. He is a "D" celebrity isn't he?!?!? What a great story. :D

  4. All you crazy kids bring me joy.

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