Thursday, July 10, 2014

Free Write: Friends For Life 2014

So much happened during this year's Children with Diabetes Friends For Life 2014 Conference, aka FFL, that I could write a book - Seriously, 6 days and damn near 24X7 of learning, laughter, self realization and understanding about life and life with diabetes  - And  for the past couple days I've been plagued with the question: Where the hell do I start? 
Starting at the very beginning is of course a very fine place to start - But then the post would have gone off in a Maria Von Trapp twist& that's not the direction I was aiming for - And Lord knows how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some  "Sound Of Music!" 
Instead I, decided to start by setting my kitchen timer. I set if for 20 minute and did a FFL free write - And here’s what I came up with. 

Ironicial: It’ s funny how life works. Every single time I attend FFL I come home with no voice and spend the next week sounding like a frog - Which is indeed ironical because every single time I attend a Children with Diabetes Friends For Life  - I find my voice I'm inspired by thousands of others. 
There’s so much that hits me like a ton of bricks before, during and after I attend FFL that it’s hard to articulate - literally and figuratively  and that there’s a magic that is given from the wearing of the green and orange bracelets that is indescribable unless you're actually wearing one. It’s a feeling of home, of being and continually becoming - Feelings I love, need and require. 
Feelings and emotions of being better understood and being able to better understand what life and life with diabetes is and how to deal with it. And not just in my life because it’s not just about me, but in every single person who deals with diabetes. 
I was reminded how diabetes affects me even when I’m not thinking about it - And that others feel the same way.
That I’m not crazy or alone for feeling overwhelmed with my diabetes life sometimes  - That  it’s OK. 
That I'm strong even when I falter- So are you. And the people we love are strong, even when they falter -- And no one is perfect.

FFL is amazing, exhausting and exhilarating all rolled into one and for the third year in a row I’ve come home sans my physical voice while having reignited my diabetes voice.
Some sessions had me crying from the realizations of my life... and my life with diabetes.  And some things were shared in those sessions that I’ve never shared with anyone.
What bubbled up to the surface was freeing and it shed light on some stuff, but it rocked me. 
But I could share freely because I was in a place of trust, love, safe and understanding was huge. So to those of you in the room - Thank you and I love you  - let's ALL get back on that elevator! ;) 

The Master Lab: An advocacy boot camp that left me feeling that I must do more in reinforced the fact that regardless of the diabetes type, we are all part of the same diabetes family tree - just different branches. 
A single branch breaks more easily and is helpless in a storm, but surrounded by other branches it bends and  is able to change and move with the flow and regardless of the elements - Damn right I’m for that! 

There were many moments during FFL that had me laughing until I was literally crying and just thinking of those moments brings a smile to my face and brings me to better whenever I think of them. 

Moments where I was mothered and I can’t even begin to pontificate on how much I need and miss that - And how appreciative I am for all my Dmamas and D friends who are and for those who aren’t mothers (and who are chock full of maternal) and who mothered me none the less - more on that later. 
And as a woman sans children FFL always gives me the opportunity to mother and mentor and that makes my heart so damn happy. 

Beautiful moments of FINALLY meeting people I consider friends but have never met in real life - EFFING AMAZING. 

Moments where I met new friends and was like: How come we are just meeting now?? 

There’s something incredible and damn special about spending 6 days with people, be it in sessions, at the Starbucks, at dinner, the pool or in the lobby that spoke the language of diabetes in all dialects but with not need for translation. 
It was and will always be a homecoming - A place to hang my hat, to love and be loved and place to continue becoming - And I am grateful - And stronger because of the people that make up FFL. 
And then the timer went BUZZZZZZ and I had to stop writing.
More FFL posts to follow :) 


Alanna said...

That elevator was a toughie but so good. I have been practising! Love you. You're so wonderful and strong and a friend to everyone-that's something not many people can claim.

Lora said...

Im not sure if I could organize it all before the timer went off. I loved hanging out with you in "moms group" ;). And I can't wait till next year.