Recently my husband Ed and I were in San Francisco for a few days. I was so excited that Manny and Andreina accepted our invitation to go to lunch. When the day arrived, I was ready and waiting in the lobby of our hotel, pacing, heart pounding, watching everyone who got off the elevator. Ed was trying to make me laugh with a countdown, "30 minutes until Manny!, 15 minutes!", which really helped because I had a huge knot in my throat, and I was tearing up at the thought of meeting my hero.

You see, a few years ago, things were changing with my old body, which has weathered the type 1 blues now for 42 of my 54 years. I felt like no one understood, really, what I was going through. I didn't know any other type 1s, and I wanted to know how others dealt with various issues relating to diabetes. I had some bad scar tissue from so many pokes, and I was afraid to try new sites. I felt ashamed when I had a high bg number, and beat myself up on a regular basis. I wanted to change doctors. I wasn't counting carbs. I was depressed, afraid, desperate and alone.

When I found TuD, I could not believe the unconditional love and support I received. Instead of blame and shame, here was help, information, encouragement. A soul cries out in desperation, and members gather around to comfort. A small victory is achieved, and everyone cheers. A loss occurs, and we mourn. We laugh and get silly just for fun. We stumble and fall, and help each other get up again. We share our art and poetry and our stories. Together we are so much better. We are not alone. We are here to help each other.

So, anyway, all these thoughts are running through my head, when we met at last, hugging like old friends. We all piled into a taxi, and headed off to Rose Pistola, one of my favorite Italian restaurants in North Beach. Everything was perfect: it was a glorious Sunday of sunshine, we had the best seat in the house, great food, wine, and spent two and a half hours talking about everything. We compared pumps, and Manny showed me his CGMS. (I'd never seen one before). Andreina was more beautiful than I'd imagined, and the love between them and their young son was so evident and touching. It was like a dream for me the entire afternoon.

After lunch, we walked down to The Embarqadero, enjoying the colorful crazy quilt that is San Francisco, (my favorite city in the world), and me, of course, not wanting it to end. I'll treasure this day forever, I'm sure. Just remembering it now puts a big smile on my face. Thank you, Manny and Andreina! I can't express in words how you've made such a difference for me. Really and truly, you guys are amazing!

Views: 34

Comment by Terry Keelan on September 15, 2009 at 2:30pm
Sounds fantastic! I'm glad you had a good time!

Terry
Comment by MelissaBL on September 15, 2009 at 8:34pm
Sounds like a lovely meet-up experience, Marie. I hope to meet YOU someday and am looking forward (with as much giddiness) to next month with I finally get to meet Manny and Andre, too!
Comment by Manny Hernandez on September 16, 2009 at 1:40pm
What can I say, Marie... meeting you and Ed was very special too. It was like finally seeing again a big sister that I hadn't seen in years, like reconnecting with an old time friend... we knew each other and were catching up on stories and so much to share that, in spite of our best efforts, can go untold when we connect online.

That Sunday will also be treasured for us... and you can write it down: we will meet again, some place, some day, soon...

Take care!
Comment by Sohair Abdel-Rahman on September 19, 2009 at 9:49pm
And Marie,inshal Allah,with God's will,I will meet all of you in next ADA meeting June 2010.Every body please we have to gather there......
Comment by Jaimie Hernandez on September 22, 2009 at 8:06am
such a great post! I got a little teary eyed reading it...the online community & D-meetups have been a godsend to me...such a great picture of you and manny!
Comment by jimt1cgms on March 19, 2010 at 7:31am
Marie, Thank you for sharing this with us! This just reassures me I have found a good place. PS: My wife's name is also Marie ;)

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Manny Hernandez
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Emily Coles
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Marie B (has type 1)

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