Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Beautiful Day

I promised that I'd fill you all in on the rest of my recent trip to Massachusetts.

(Yes, I know-- this is very late.)

Soooo, where did I leave off?

Ah, yes . . .

. . . after a fabulous evening of birthday festivities, an evening that went well into the wee hours, my sister and I awoke early the next morning and drove 45 minutes (to the fine state of Rhode Island) -- so that we could take a walk.

With 4,000 other people.


This beautiful, sunny October morning was all about Type 1 Diabetes-- my son's disease.

It was about walking with those who understand intimately what it's like to walk every day in our shoes.

And drawing strength from their massive numbers.

It was about hoping for something that seems so far away, but nonetheless, just a little more attainable because more than 4,000 individuals were reaching for it together.

My only regret is that Joseph was not there with us.

(Though he and I are already plotting next year's trip.)

So why did I -- a Wisconsinite -- decide to participate in the Rhode Island JDRF walk?

After all, the JDRF holds the same event at venues far closer to home.

Well, it seemed more than a bit charmed that this event coincided with my sister's birthday party weekend-- and that Team Six Until Me would be among the many teams walking.

That's right, the OC's own Kerri would be there-- along with her mom and stepdad, her boyfriend, Chris, and members of his family.

Now when you read Kerri's blog, you probably get the impression that she is a kind, joyful, intelligent, down-to-earth young woman.

Well, let me tell you...


... she is.

All that and more.

Walking and talking with this amazing person filled me with hope for my son's future-- with or without a cure.

If he can grow up to be half this wonderful, he'll be just fine.

Now, I also got to chat with Kerri's mom-- sharing a hug, the joy of having strong, healthy children, and the feeling that we'll never stop worrying about them.

That we both hate this disease.

And if that wasn't enough--

After completing our 5-mile walk, I watched with immense admiration as Kerri's mom marched right up to the Governor of the state of Rhode Island, who stood at the Finish Line distributing high fives, and queried him about his stance on stem cell research.

Yes, the apple didn't fall far from this wonderfully strong tree.

And what about Kerri's boyfriend?

I found Chris to be a thoughtful, funny, enthusiastic young man who is clearly smitten. The easy banter and knowing smiles they shared were telling.

Oh yes, I definitely approve the match.

An added treat was getting to talk with Chris about his wonderful film, An Uzi at the Alamo (which I highly recommend), and getting a verbal sneak peek into a couple of upcoming projects that I'd love to share here, but think it best that he be the one to unveil.

The only real disappointment of the day-- and it was a big one -- was that Nicole was unable to join us. I very much wanted to meet her-- not simply because she was instrumental in the whole surpise party plot, but because so many times she has written things here (and on her own site) that have moved me.

Yes, I'm taking a raincheck on at least one hug and a quiet talk with that young woman.

So there you have it.

Coming soon (unless of course, something more pressing comes up): An update on Joseph's ever-changing love life... and then, maybe, we'll be all caught up.

5 comments:

nicolep said...

God Darned careless drivers in a hurry.

Sandra, I can't wait until I'm there - or you're here - to get to meet in person. How odd I feel I already know you so well - but I've never laid eyes on you.

Talk soon.

Shannon said...

Isn't Kerri great?! And Nicole is too as well....I wish you could've met her.

In reference to Joseph, the first thing I thought of was:

"Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives."

(Cue the music).....

Kerri. said...

Meeting you was a complete honor. Honestly. My mother agrees and Chris does, too. You are a wonderfully warm person and just as easy to talk to in person as you are on your blog.

It's so strange, to meet someone for the first time and fall right into step with them - literally. Here's hoping you and Joseph make it to RI next year ... and that Chris and I are attending a WI film fesitival sometime in the near future. :)

Sandra Miller said...

Nicole-

The feeling is mutual-- I'm sure I'll be in NE again in the not-too-distant future... and if you're ever considering a trip to the heartland, please let me know.

We have plenty of room.

Shannon-

LOL! Oh yes, that would make a perfect soundtrack to my son's life over the past few weeks...

Kerri--

Funny, I felt exactly the same about all of you :-)

Joseph is totally game for the RI walk next year (Shannon, maybe you and Brendon could come too?).

And on the possibility of attending a WI film festival-- just say when, and we'll rally.

Shannon said...

Yeah, we'd definitely do it next year!!