After Gordon and I speak to various audiences, I am always struck by the stories told to us privately by a few audience members. People confide in us with their own difficult journeys, whether it be from illness or injury or whatever might have happened.
With each story, I am reminded to be grateful that Gordon has the opportunity to get better. Not everyone has that chance. Some must endure the long, slow decline of affliction, facing each day without the hope of improvement. These people and the people who love them live with that reality.
Gordon and I have hope for a better tomorrow. Rather than endure a long, slow decline, we persevere through a long, slow recovery, always optimistic that improvement is around the corner. We remind each other how far Gordon has come in his recovery and talk about our goals for continued improvement. We don’t want to squander this chance we have–a chance that many people don’t have. We will focus on the bright side of our difficult journey.
A little over two years ago, Gordon gave his presentation, “My Brain Has A Hole In It” for the first time to a group of close friends. That experience started us on a new path–Inspirational Speaking! But who, other than friends, would want to listen to us? Would we be inspirational to people who had never heard of us?
Gordon and I started making phone calls, trying to book an opportunity to speak to an audience of strangers. It took some time but we were eventually introduced to Dennis, an active member of Rotary. After a delightful meeting in front of a local coffee shop, Dennis agreed to give us a chance.
Our first speaking engagement was to the Greater Clark County Rotary of Vancouver, Washington. I was very nervous for Gordon but he was completely confident. I don’t think he even considered that the presentation might not go well. Gordon was right–he got a standing ovation.
Two years have gone by and so much has happened. Gordon has given well over 100 speeches. I’ve published a book and have launched my own speaking career.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to that same Rotary Club, back where we started. This time Gordon was nervous for me! No need to be nervous, Rotary clubs are filled with wonderful people. This time, it was my turn to get a standing ovation 😉