In case you were wondering, it is not getting easier for me to speak in front of groups; it is getting more difficult. I do not know why this is so. Once I'm up and speaking, I am fine, but I have more anxiety beforehand now, than ever. It's ironic. Paging Dr. Freud...but what I mean to say is that I need to pray before I speak now, more than ever. So I was doing that as I got ready. And wondering why I said "Yes," yet again, to a speaking request, and praying.
This was my first Kiwanis meeting, ever. They are a philanthropic group of businesspeople, and their focus is largely benefiting children. I had prepared a Powerpoint presentation about Katie's Comforters Guild, and then prepared some remarks about the new Center for Childhood Cancer and Dr. Mike Jensen's work at Seattle Children's Hospital. They are a very kind, funny, informal group here in our town.
It "just happened" that the Kiwanis' Lieutenant Governor for our area was present at the meeting, announcing their new, 4-year initiative to support Pediatric Cancer Research! HELLO! How's that for perfect timing? And it was NOT planned - it was a surprise to the Kiwanis, too. So my information could not have come at a better time. I learned about their work, and the generous gifts that they have already made to hospitals - including blankets! It was a great experience. They treated me to breakfast (Thank you, Renee) and gave me a Kiwanis lapel pin. Thank you for the warm welcome, Kiwanis Club of Poulsbo!
One of my favorite moments came after I had finished my presentation, and sat down again at the table. A long-time friend of Gregg's, who was our dentist when the children were very young, was present. He and I chatted a bit, and I remembered one of my favorite Katie stories, in which he is a central character.
Katie and I were in side-by-side cubicles in the dentist's office, having our teeth cleaned. Dr. Hoover was examining Katie's teeth, as the hygenist was cleaning mine in the cubey next-door. I could imagine her reclining in the comfy chair, looking up at him as he examined her mouth, and I heard her little-girl voice say, "Dr. Nostril - I mean, Dr. HOOVER?"
I laughed so hard I cried, and accidentally bit the hygenist who was cleaning my teeth. He has been "Dr. Nostril" to our family ever since. I reminded him of this today, and we had a good laugh about it again. Ahh, Katie. She brought so much fun into our lives, just by being herself.