I spent this past Saturday morning at the "T1D Motivational Summit", held by a local diabetes camp, in a hotel ballroom in Omaha. I had met the camp's director last fall when You Can Do This Project exhibited at TCOYD Omaha (his table was right next to ours) and he kindly asked if we'd come to this summit event as well.
For the record, if there is a group of people connected to diabetes gathering somewhere, I want to go to there.
I didn't expect to see kids approach my table, pushing up their shirt sleeve, to grin and show me that they were still wearing their bracelet (was it from TCOYD last year, or the JDRF walk the year before?). My heart soared every time it happened.
I didn't expect to reconnect with an old buddy from the diabetes camp I attended twenty years ago. (Nevermind that it took about 45 minutes after we were "introduced" to come to the realization that we already knew each other!) Did I say twenty? My god.
I didn't expect to re-meet a nurse from the pediatric endocrinologist's office I went to as a child - nor did I have any expectation that she'd remember me when I told her my maiden name. ("Little Kimberly!!!! Oh my gosh, this is wild! I absolutely remember you.")
And I certainly didn't expect, later on in the day, after I had packed everything up and was ready to head back out into the snow, to see that endo in the lobby. I'm fairly sure that the last time I saw him was when I was 15.
"Dr. Corley? Hi, I'm a former patient of yours."
I introduced myself and watched his eyes widen with recognition.
"Oh, my! How are you?? What are you up to now?"
We only had a few moments to talk, but it meant so much to me to be able to have this full circle moment where I could tell him a little about what I'm doing, and how healthy my daughter is, and how thankful I am for everything he did for me. He disagreed - "you were the one who did all the work!" - but I know that the kindness, knowledge, and guidance that he and his staff shared with my family and I made a significant difference in my health, then and even now.
It's not often that you get to say "thank you" to someone who has had an impact on your life like this, and it just made the day that much brighter.