Thursday, July 14, 2016

After Six Days At The Children With Diabetes, Friends For Life Conference - It's Too Quiet.

After a 6 days at the Children With Diabetes, Friends For Life conference (aka, #cwdffl16,) in Orlando - it's too quiet. 
My Children with Diabetes, Friends For Life, green bracelet - otherwise
known as my talisman of hope~
It's too quiet.
No green and orange bracelets at every turn.
No Laura sailing through the hallways giving hugs or Jeff capturing memories with his camera.
No talking to strangers with green or orange bracelets, Who become friends you hug hello.
When my pump and alarm went off yesterday, nobody said,"is that me or you?"
No one to have dinner with and talk about the day; the night, the daily sessions, pool shenanigans, the parks and everything in-between.

No one walking up to you (or vice versa,) and starting a conversation just because you're wearing a green or orange bracelet.

No one to say: Are you OK? 

When I walked through Orlando airport on Monday, it was too quiet - even though it was jam packed.
No green or orange bracelets to be found - no matter how hard I looked.
Not even a lone test strip on the ground - and that bummed me out.

And I drank my coffee in silence in terminal 30 something - and not one person said hello.
It felt like the loneliest place on earth.... because it was.
And as far as I'm concerned, Orlando International Airport on the day I leave Children with Diabetes, Friends For Life conference, will always be the loneliest place in the world.

I'm home now, but I'm not.

This morning I looked down at my meter and didn't like the number, and nobody was there to say "it's OK."

No sessions that made you feel like you weren't the only one.
No friends running down the halls of the Marriott to hug you because it's been 365 days since the last time you saw them - or two hours.
No chocolate covered strawberries. 

No friends I've known forever, but are meeting for the first time in real life at the hotel lobby bar.
No friends I've just met during the conference - but feel like I've known forever.
No little girls running up and shouting: Mommy, her got a green bracelet like mine!
No carb counts already calculated at every meal.
No yearly Mojitos with friends who are family.

No "me too's." 

No people who "get it."

It's too quiet.

And I can't wait for #cwdffl7


Richard Vaughn said...

Hi Kelly, I know the feeling you are experiencing. I felt that way after FFL in 2015. I was scheduled to be a speaker this year, like last year, but we cancelled our trip to Orlando. Our son in NC has cancer, and he needs us so much. If things turn out well for him we may see you at FFL in 2017.

Araby62 (a.k.a. Kathy) said...

Oh boy. Between you and Wil D. it sounds like I need to be at FFL next year :-)

StephenS said...

We did not spend enough time together last week (understandable). Now, people look at the green bracelet like it's completely inappropriate, even though it is appropriate on many levels. Sigh. I get you today.

Cara Richardson said...

You make me cry. I miss you. And your green bracelet.

Rick said...

I had such fun seeing you in Orlando and the sticker I earned, well it showed up in the wash on a.... well something that might belong to my wife. Word to the future Rick Phillips, take the sticker Kelly gives you off your shirt before it goes in the laundry. I am just saying.

I referred your blog to the blog page for the week of July 11, 2016.

Sara F said...

i wasnt able to go to FFL this year, but "me too." "I get it." I felt the same way after the JDRF Ride in 2014...the day after the ride, I felt empty and ever so alone once again....I feel ya!