Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Felt Like Home

I've had some time to think about it, and I'm still not sure what I want to say about Friends for Life.  I'm having a lot of trouble coming up with the words.  Sara, Kim, Brian, Kerri, Martin, KarenMeri, and Kate have written some fantastic posts about the week.

It's not often that I am speechless.  But when it comes to spending a week surrounded by people with diabetes and their loved ones, words are hard to come by.

How do I describe how it feels?

To catch the first glimpse of friends you haven't seen in an entire year.

To go out to eat, and almost everyone at the table is checking their blood sugar and bolusing.  Not just you.

To spend two days in the exhibit hall, telling people about the You Can Do This Project.  And to see all the people running around with YCDT stickers and bracelets.

To sit in a session after breakfast, listening to all the CGM high alarms go off.  Because mornings are rough for all PWDs.  Not just you.

To have carb counts listed for all the food.

To hear something beep, and everyone reaches into their pocket or purse, because no one has any idea whom it might be.

To meet people you know in the DOC in real life for the first time.  It's indescribable.  You already know each other from twitter/blogs/podcasts.  Seems like it would be awkward, but it isn't.

To stand in the hotel lobby, and see all the green bracelets.  In a place where living with diabetes is normal.  Where loving someone with diabetes is normal.  Where it is impossible to feel like you're the only one.

To spend time with some of your best friends in the entire world.  Who happen to have diabetes too.

Photo credit: Kerri

Meri said it best.  She said FFL was a family reunion.  Which it is.  Everyone there either lives with diabetes or loves someone who does.  And spending time with those people is a magical thing.

The Diabetes Online Community is so important to me.  You guys are more than friends.  You're family.  And last week, it felt like home.

Disclaimer:  Josh and I paid for all expenses involved in attending Friends For Life ourselves, including plane tickets, registration, hotel, and food.  I was not asked to blog about the event, and all opinions are my own.


  1. that is exactly what i told my mom. that FFL felt like home, like i was with family-instead of people i only see online or once a year. there is such a strong community and i am so blessed to be a part of it. now i just need to put it into words on my own blog...not working so well though! =) hugs and love, friend!

  2. I agree with every word of this post. There is something special about being a PWD among PWDs. I need that more than just once a year.

  3. Dammit Jess... you made me tear up

    Those things you listed... they may not mean much to people outside the community, but they mean so much to me

    Everyone is family to me as well, whether they like it or not!

  4. This is just awesome. I don't think I've ever felt so happy for others than I do right now. What an amazing opportunity for all who attended. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Lady, you nailed it. I had a hard time trying to explain to folks what FFL was all about (hence me writing a post more about follow-up than the conference itself), and your post does so perfectly. HUGS! And here's to next year!

  6. It's funny how we all come back feeling like we can never capture the magic of FFL on our blogs - and yet every post I read does exactly that. You have summed things up perfectly!!

  7. Scott is not alone. You made me tear up & I wasn't even there! Explain to me how it's possible to miss people that you've never even met, because I missed you guys while you were at FFL.

  8. It was beautiful. I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to attend...feeling blessed by FFL12!

  9. Although there are sessions aimed at adults with type 1, you could go the FFL Canada in Vancouver at the end of August so it's not a full 12 months until you all can see each other again. :-) There's also a CWD Regional conference in October in Sugar Land (kid you not), Texas. Looks like about the same programming for both events, but we all know it's not just the programming, it's the camaraderie. See you all next July!

  10. beautifully said! :)

    thank you so so much for making me feel so welcome, from popping a YCDT sticker on me to inviting me to the green-only party, i appreciate your generosity!

  11. It does feel like home. Only we need to stay in one giant room together so we don't miss out on anything by doing something silly like sleep.

    I like how it looks like we were sitting together at dinner and that I wasn't crazy high and grumpy :)