Sunday, February 20, 2011

A D-Meetup - 8 year old style!

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.  ~Douglas Pagels
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What, you too? I thought I was the only one!" -C.S. Lewis

Grace first met L at Camp Victory, her diabetes camp where she went for a week in August. L lives in the same state, but about 3 hours away from us. They each didn't know a soul at camp.  They became quick friends, slept side by side in bunks for 6 days straight, and survived their first overnight, away-from-home, diabetes camp experience together.

It bonds two girls, I tell ya.

They have been penpals since camp in August. They have sent each other Christmas presents and talked on the phone. And they have been missing each other since the day they said goodbye to each other in August.

L's mom called me about a week ago and said she'd like to bring L down, stay in a hotel just outside Philly, and let the girls hang out for a day or two. Grace was beyond excited. HER L coming to visit??!!!

Well, it happened. We just said goodbye to them at the hotel and they are headed home. Can I tell you what this visit with L meant for Grace? What it did for each of them? What it did for us as Mamas to two 8 year old girls with diabetes?

It made lifelong friends out of all of us.

They screamed when they saw each other again. Grace brought her camp photos and they pointed to each one - 'Remember this? remember that? who was this again? oh that was fun!'
They fell right back into place.
'You look the same! You got your hair cut! I like your earrings'

I bought the girls shirts that said 'Camp Friends Are the Best Friends.'
What are the chances, right?!
They wore them straight for two days.
They went to the local mall and each made a Build A Bear.
The same one of course, the peace and friendship bear.
Grace named hers L.
L named hers G.
Each bear has 2 hearts inside it, one from the 'mama' of the bear
and the other that was wished upon by her friend, then placed in the bear.
I honestly had a tear in my eye when they placed one heart in each other's bear.

They swam at the hotel pool.
They cannon-balled and played mermaid and were the life of the party.

We wrapped them like mummies and they laughed.

They jumped in together as girlfriends do.
Hand in hand.

They wrapped each other's hair in turbans.

They tested together in the mall.
One was high, one was low.

They rode the escalators, hand in hand.
You should know that L LOVES escalators.
Enough said.
We rode each one we saw.

They colored and doodled and chatted, long into the night.

Grace stayed overnight with L in the hotel, along with her mom.
Her mom, J, checked Grace at 2 am in the morning.
Grace was 27.
Yes, 27, the lowest number we have ever seen on her meter.
I want to publicly thank J for saving my little girl and stuffing her with juice and cookies.
She returned to 90 just 20 minutes later.
My friend J saved the day.
I owe you one J.

This was more than just a friend coming to visit Grace. This meant that two girls were coming to relive their whole rock-steady friendship, forged by a kinship in diabetes. This meant that they came to chat about diabetes and so not chat about diabetes. This meant that they each had a friend who had lived through the camp experience. They now know what it is to have been missed dearly by a friend. This meant so much more than I can ever express. Grace and L feel cared for by a friend. Is there no greater gift that I wish for my child?

As for J and I, I cannot tell you what good it does for my psyche to talk with other D-Mamas, ones who fight for their child, who understand and push on through, who soldier on despite missteps and challenges, and who see the good and the blessings within all of this. That was J. A great listener, a good laugh, chatting about the D and our lives. It does a soul good.

It was beyond the beyond.


Heidi =) said...

Beautiful! I love this post and that the girls gave a "same" friend. I have to be honest and tell you I had to wipe away a few tears as I read this post.

Joanne said...

How awesome! I have tears in my eyes from reading this post too! So glad Grace has L in her life. I pray that Elise will find an L of her own one day!

Jen said...

I am crying over here!!!! How wonderful for ALL of you. I love that her mom brought her to visit ..We can all wish our kids find a special D friend just like Grace has...

Alexis Nicole said...

oyy Joann pass the tissues! Beautiful!! Im overwhelmed reading this. I wish J had someone here like that.

27 holy crap. Thank you J!

Haley said...

So amazing! camp friends ships are the best kind you could ever ask for.
and ironic enough, yesterday I got to see one of my camp friends! My friend, Dan rode the train down from Philly and we hung out!
I don't think a single day go by where I don't talk to my camp friends through texting or Facebook.
Also an amazing thing with today's technology, is that I can video chat with my friends who live hours away.

Like camp all over again!

Meri said...

It doesn't get better! What a beautiful friendship! I'm so happy for your cutie, AND her friend!

LaLa said...

Oh my - that sounds so amazing. Seriously - wonderful!!!

I love G and L and I hope Nate finds a friendship like that one day!! :)

And holy guacamole on the 27 ---
I'm so glad that was caught!! Another D Mama rock star!

Amy said...

I love these happy / sappy posts! The photos MAKE the post. Thank you so much for sharing such a happy event!!!!!

Tracy1918 said...

It looks like they had such fun. What a blessing!

And 27! WOW! Glad Grace was sugared up so quickly!

Another big blessing! : )

sweetmystery6 said...

It's so nice to have someone else that you can turn to that truly understands what you're going through. It looks like they had an awesome time together and how nice that you were able to form such a special friendship w her mom!

Jacquie said...

These pictures almost just made me cry! Here's hoping they get to be friends for a long, long time, and can look back at these pictures over a glass of wine someday.

Unknown said...

Hey, how about slapping a pancreas in those bears!!! LOL...Joe and Bridge just built a bear each the other day...and I couldn't help but think of that.

I am so glad that Grace and her friend were/are able to develop such a strong connection with each other. You D Mama's are ROCK STARS and I am sure you bonded on so many levels as well.


k2 said...

OK, I'm crying now!!!
I'm so glad that Grace and L were able to get together - and I have to tell you, my former 10 year old self is VERY jealous. I would have given ANYTHING to have a sleepover sans camp with my diabetes camp pals !!!!

Jules said...

Such a great post, Penny. Such beautiful girls and a long frienship ahead for you all. I have a big tear in my eye reading this. Off to sniff into my hanky now ...

Heidi / D-Tales said...

What a heart-warming post! What a special friendship! Really enjoyed all of the photos, especially the last one. Those happy, smiling girls made me smile! :)

I love how you and L's mom have nurtured the friendship.