Celebration of Life.
The last stop on my summer Lemonade Tour was Washington D.C. for the Quilt for Life exhibition on the National Mall. A huge tarp was erected on the grass directly in front of the Capitol building. As I walked closer, I saw rows and rows of quilts hooked up to boards with wire and clips. Over in a smaller tent, there was a collection of navy blue T-shirts milling about.
I volunteered a couple of hours for the Children with Diabetes Quilt for Life, which is a collection of nearly 700 quilts representing children and adults with diabetes. We listened to Jeff Hitchcock and Ken Moritsugu talk about the Quilt and what it represents. Jeff spoke about his daughter Marissa diagnosis, but the emphasis was on our lives – not on diabetes – that makes the Quilt for Life so special. While it is certainly a dramatic reminder of all the people diabetes has touched, but Jeff said this was a celebration of life.
Towards the end of my shift, I spotted Jillian and, as I do with everyone I meet, gave her a big hug. If you’re affected by diabetes, you’re in my family. Plain and simple. (Unless you’re a psycho, but so far, so good.)
Jillian told me that Kevin was down at the other end of the tent.
Yes. You read that right. Kevin. THE Kevin. With his wife, Meg, and his freaking adorable children, Ian and Eleanor.
Rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated.
Kevin (with Eleanor and Ian), me, Jillian and Meg.
Afterwards, Kevin had to return to work, so Jillian, Wendy and I went to Ruby Tuesday’s for lunch before taking off.
It’s been a long long few weeks for me and I’m thrilled to be grounded for longer than a couple of days. While July was nothing but a great adventure, I’m looking forward to a quieter, mellower August. Exploring my new town and the larger one across the river sounds exactly what I need before my big voyage across the pond.
If the past couple of months, with all the people I’ve enjoyed spending time with, have taught me anything it’s that there is nothing so rejuvenating and inspiring as spending time with people who understand you and encourage you. Thanks to everyone who have come out to the meet-ups and I promise there will be more.
More photos are in the Quilt for Life set on Flickr.