Public Speaking

I am really terrible at public speaking. I get shaky and speak haltingly. I can’t stand listening to myself do it and I am sure others don’t want to hear me either. So – since college I have generally avoided it at all costs.

Tonight, I am going to speak to a group of people of unknown size (should be less than 100 for sure). I can’t remember if I volunteered or was asked, but there was never a question that I would do it.

Now the event is upon me – yikes! I just practiced my speech a few times and it isn’t pretty. I do hope that it will have impact, which is why I am doing it.

There is a fundraiser tonight for Flight of Hope.

This is the organization who twice flew us to NY when Nathan needed transportation there. You may recall that last year at this time, Nathan was in the hospital with no immune system and weak and feverish. We knew he was going to die and we desperately wanted to get him home for Christmas. We had been in NYC for three months after packing for a 10 day trip. Nathan had been in the hospital for 6 weeks with no immune system and we had given him his last bag of stem cells and were waiting for him counts to come up. The doctors were adamant that Nathan stay in the hospital. We knew the only way to get him home was to get him on a private plane because he couldn’t possibly fly on a commercial airline. Fortunately for us, Flight of Hope was able to schedule a flight for December 19. We had hoped his counts would have began coming up by then but they didn’t. Against the wishes of his doctors (I think we had to sign a document to that fact) Luke checked him out of the hospital and brought him to the airport and we flew him home.

Without Flight of Hope, Nathan would have been in NY for his last Christmas and we all might not even have been together.

So – while rough and probably teary – I hope I can convey what a worthwhile charity this organization is.

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12 responses to “Public Speaking

  1. Oh, Susan, what a terribly rough and brave thing to do. I will be praying for you all evening that it goes well. Thank God for those people who helped raise money to get Nate home last Christmas, and thank God for you for speaking out to help others when it still hurts so much. We love you all so much. Kathy

  2. I, too, will be saying a prayer for you tonight. I pray that all of the love you feel will fill you with all that you need to make this evening go smoothly for you. I am so thankful that you were all together at home last Christmas.Thank you for continuing to share all that you go through with all of us.You are in my thoughts and prayers so very often…even when I do not write in.much love and a big hug — Katie

  3. How did it go??? I am sure it went great, you have such a real and touching story to share. I think it is great that you decided to speak and hope that it brings you a little more peace knowing that you helped to make a difference for other families out there. And btw, I just wanted to give you a big hug yesterday, but didn’t. Should I just maul you next time? LOL – Love you guys!

  4. As always Susan, you are amazing. You have so much power in sharing your experiences. There is so much potential for tremendously wonderful things to come about because you are willing to talk. You have opened my eyes to so many of the gracious organizations out there. Thank you for that, from my heart.I hope to see you soon, back here in Illinois.

  5. Thinking of you (((hugs)))Jamie

  6. Susan rocked her speaking last night. I just had to stand there silently by her and fight back tears, but Susan very articulately told Nathan’s story and how Flight of Hope helped us in amazing ways. And while there were tough moments in the night, the event was really nice and the people were wonderful.

  7. Wowie. That’s a big deal. Speaking at all is tough enough, but on such a topic. Wow. I’m not sure if “congratulations” is the right word, but congrats ata any rate.lty

  8. I knew you’d rock it. 🙂

  9. It’s going to be painful, no way around it. But after I read what you wrote, I was so moved and there’s not a doubt in my mind that anyone who hears you speak from your heart, will feel the same and what a testament to, not only the organization you are speaking in support of, but even more intrinsically beautiful is how all of this honors Nathan because it will touch others and enable these flights to assist other families who find themselves where you most recently were; facing some of the most gut-wrenching, life-changing decisions of their lives. You’re walking beyond your pain, and you are taking control and I just know that Nathan and your “earth-bound” family will be deeply proud of the courage it requires to speak about pain that is still so fresh, and a love for a little boy who will forever be so dearly entrenched in your heart. It will be great…and so will you. Merry Christmas! Susie

  10. Wow. That’s brave. I can only imagine how proud of you look was, as part of the audience.

  11. Uhh, how proud of you Luke was.

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