|Happy Mother's Day|
By Chris Dudley
When my wife walks into a room, her smile lights the way. She is someone who immediately puts people at ease. Instantly, they can tell that she truly cares about them, and wants to know how she can help. That is certainly what happened with me the first time I met Chris Love Dudley! Since then, I have come to both know and admire her generous, compassionate soul.
Chris and I were introduced by mutual friends while at the Multnomah Athletic Club watching the Civil War game - University of Oregon vs. Oregon State University. I remember thinking that she was "the one"! Of course, she does not believe me when I tell her that.
A fifth generation Oregonian (her grandmother used to visit the local schools with family artifacts from the wagon trail!), Chris has maintained the family's pioneer spirit. She is an incredibly driven person who is successful in whatever she takes on because of her determination and passion. Lately, she has even become an avid beach volleyball player and is quite good at it. Look for her to join the tour!
Over the years, Chris has been the most supportive person by my side in so many ways, including embracing my diabetes. She has devoted endless hours to looking out for and taking care of me. After we met, when I finally disclosed to her that I had type 1 diabetes, she was surprised I had not told her initially (as I should have!). She then went to the library to learn all she could about diabetes, diabetes and exercise, and how I could best take care of my diabetes while playing in the NBA.
Chris has developed assorted routines and tricks to keep me on track. She makes sure that I am frequently checking my blood sugar levels, and has even put notes in the car to guarantee that I remember to test before driving. I now have a small sign attached to the steering wheel, that says "Dad, remember to test before you drive! Love, your Family." Obviously, that is a great reminder and much appreciated. Chris has also been a sweetheart with low sugar desserts - her strawberry shortcake is my favorite!
When you have diabetes it can be easy to become discouraged or complacent; she does not allow me to become either. She reminds me how critical it is for my long term health to take care of myself, and how important it is for my family that I do so. Chris always makes sure that I block out time to exercise or do an outdoor activity. She will remind me that "there will always be work at the desk", but that I need to keep a balance and take care of my health.
On an even larger scale, Chris has always been integral to the Foundation, and to Camp. Camp would not be here today without Chris. She was instrumental both in getting it started, and in keeping it going. She is quite skilled at relating to those who have diabetes, and really connects on a meaningful, personal level with others who are close to someone with this disease.
Furthermore, Chris is an outstanding mother to our children. I want Chris to know how much I love and appreciate her. My children and I are blessed to have her in our lives. Every day, I thank God for putting Chris into my life, and for giving our children such a wonderful mother and role model.
I know that there are many more dedicated mothers who are supporting, parenting, or married to loved ones also with t1d. We know that there is so much you do out of love for us, and sometimes we don't always express that appreciation enough. Thank you all for supporting those of us with t1d.
May every day, not just today, be a special Mother's Day for you!