Friday, November 5, 2010


Today, I got up at about 4:30 a.m. (Don't be impressed - my husband gets up earlier that that, five days a week - now, that's impressive.) I got up early today because I was going to address a Kiwanis meeting at 7:00 a.m., and I wanted to spend some quiet time with God and a cup of coffee, before starting the shower-and-dress sequence.

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.


Kay said...

I know I couldn't repeatedly give talks like you've done. I have some half finished blog posts that I can't bring myself to finish just because I don't want to drag myself through the thought process. So hugs, my friend, for speaking on behalf of our little ones. You're far braver than I. : )

Very funny about Dr. Nostril. We always called one of our h/o docs Dr. Handsome (to ourselves) because he always called our boy 'handsome' and he hated it! So he is forever Dr. Handsome to us. : )

I can't imagine getting up that early on a regular basis. UGH.

Ellen said...

What a coincidence that your talking today and what they would be talking about related to beautifully together. Nervous you may have been but what an important speaking engagement for you to be at. Your prayers were answered in a way you may not have thought of....I know what you mean about speaking...I dread it when I have to but when it comes from the heart you pull it together, heart pounding, hands sweating and then it is over.

The Dentist story...priceless!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I wish you could hear me laughing so loudly at the Dr. Nostril comment.
What a little comedienne!
A coincidence that you were speaking on the day they made that special announcement? Maybe not.
I am sorry that your speaking engagements are getting harder for you, but I know in my heart that you are doing wonderful work.

In our house, if anyone gets up that early there is always a: "are you going camping?" comment.

ChiTown Girl said...

What an awesome picture of David and Katie. The pure joy just oozes out it!

Elizabeth said...

That picture of Katie laughing so hysterically, coupled with your memory of her humor brought the widest grin to my stiff face tonight. God bless you, Karen.

Jabacue said...

No better way to 'prepare' for the day ahead than some time for yourself, in prayer/meditation. It really makes a huge difference for me and I can see for you too. Good to have this 'fail-proof' strategy eh?
Love your sense of humour.......Katie came by it honestly I guess.

Clippy Mat said...

No coincidences, only what is meant to be. and glad that it triggered such a good and happy memory for you.
Hugs to you.

Tracey Axnick said...

Love the "Dr Nostril" story... so cute! :)
And the picture of Katie and David is adorable.

I'm glad the morning was filled with a great speech, a great audience and wonderful (and funny) memories! :)

Karen said...

You are a brave woman, no doubt about it. What a perfect morning for you to be present, to say yes to another difficult speaking engagement, to advance such an important cause, to honor your beautiful (and funny) Katie.

Allegra Smith said...

Her spirit is with you and reminds constantly of the value of laughter.
What beautiful way to remember, what a lovely way of sharing a happy moment to get to know Katie across time.

Looking forward to Saturday, I will send you a map and right now I send you hug.

Mary said...

I'm catching up! Your posts are so full of things I want to respond to. I'm sorry it's still hard to give talks...but your pre-talk ritual sounds centering. I think of you pushing through and I feel hope, because I know that would be so hard for me too and there you are just doing it. I love the photo of Katie cracking up and the Dr. Nostril story is hilarious. And I especially love that each new picture you post and memory you share fills in more of the story of her life and yours. xxo