It meant that around 30 of us (type 1, type 2, LADA, and our loved ones) made the trek to Kansas City to spend a couple of days with people we love (and prove to each other that we are real, actual people).
It meant that we all seemed to feel very okay about being stared at for things like pump tubing flapping in the breeze and matching t-shirts that no one else understood, because we understood it.
|There we went, walking down the street. And we totally did get|
the funniest looks from everyone we met.
The relatively short trip for us (less than five hours' drive) meant that Aaron finally got to meet some of the people I talk about all the time. (And they found out that he's a real person!)
It meant that we got to see, hear, and bear hug the people who so often can put words and hashtags to what we're feeling in our own lives - with diabetes and without.
It meant that I heard Simon's story straight from the man himself, and the memory of our conversation is something that I will remember and cherish always.
It meant that I cried. A whole lot.
It seems that things happen for a reason - the people you meet, the places you end up, the things you do. To borrow a phrase from someone wiser than I am, it's nearly impossible to connect the dots while looking forward - it's only when you look back on life that you can see the clear connections between decisions, circumstances and situations.
Sometimes you share your life with others (whether it is blogging, Twitter, online forums, whatever) and have no way to know if what you're doing is helping anyone. You share your experiences in the hopes that what you've been through resonates with someone; that maybe hearing your story will bring them some small amount of comfort. You hope that you can spark just a little glimmer of the thought, "I'm not alone after all".
This weekend provided multiple opportunities for folks to tell each other, face to face, that what they do matters - because they themselves were impacted by it. It's hard to wrap your head around the kind of impact simply know someone who is living and struggling and triumphing over the same thing that you are can have, but this weekend I had a chance to witness that very emotion in person.
It was beautiful, and I'm so thankful to know so many wonderful people. What you do matters - so please, keep doing it.
The video above was created by Sara, who so thoughtfully brought a video camera and wrangled us together to get these clips recorded. Please check in with her blog in the coming days to see the photos and videos she took of the weekend. There were a lot of great "moments" that she caught on film. :)
In order of video appearance (and who they are on Twitter):
Nina (Cherise's mom)
Lisa (Jeff's wife)
Sarah Jane @SaJaBetes
Eric (Allison's husband)
Heather (and Becca!!) @auntlyh
Aaron (Kim's husband)
Scott J. @scottkjohnson
Scott S. @Strangely_T1