When Glenn and I were married (over 32 years ago) we had the song "Friends For Life" by Debbie Boone sung at our ceremony. It has been the theme of our marriage and I am so grateful for the friend that Glenn is to me.
Three years ago we were invited, last minute, to fill in for open volunteer positions at the Children With Diabetes, Friends for Life (CWD FFL) conference in Orlando. I have been a certified diabetes educator for over 25 years and it just so happened that I had taken that specific week off with no plans. I said to Glenn
"How would you like to spend a week in Florida?"
Being the good sport that he is we ventured to our first CWD FFL event.
Besides the wonderful memories that the title of the conference brought to us, we were blown away by this amazing event. Hundreds of families that have children with diabetes gather at the Coronado Springs resort for a week filled with amazing speakers, age specific youth tracks (where they literally do make friends for life) and the bonus exhibit hall were families can find the latest and greatest products.
This crazy group works with the teens and makes sure they have an amazing time because if your teen is having a blast so will the whole family!
Everyone with diabetes wears a green bracelet and those without diabetes wear orange bracelets. It is just incredible to see these children, who have always been in the minority, suddenly see so many others with insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors now be the majority and they just open up and participate. Looking around the pool and the conference and seeing all of the technology just normalizes diabetes for the families. The support that the parents give to other parents is immeasurable.
So, Glenn and I are blasting off today for our 3rd Friends For Life Conference. We are looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. Can't wait to see what they have in store for this year!
Love you more...
"Friends for Life"
Thoughts of the soul Shared with compassion Everlasting trust in a Common goal Always forgiving Ever building True friends for life Loyalty Hearts in communion Mutual union built on a Sympathy Growing together Through whatever True friends for life As sorrow demands that someone would care So joy commands that its joy be should be shared Iron sharpens iron to strength in the end, and so Faithful and good are the wounds of a Friend for life A patient and caring Sanctuary Formed as we're Sharing strife Always protecting Not neglecting True friends for life
As water reflects the face of a man So a man's heart can be shown by his friend And if I am molded by what I love, it's you You've taught me lovingly how to be Friends for life Encouraged to be What we should be Committed to Make things right Sacred companion Take my hand We'll be friends for life