Thursday, June 25, 2009

Purple Mountains Majesty

PORTLAND, OREGON - So there I was, getting ready to speak to the largest crowd I’ve ever addressed - more than 4,000 people (mostly Lutheran ladies) and I don’t think I could have been more nervous. I had asked for a podium because I am a big coward and need a security blanket when I talk. They set me up with some cool futuristic metal lectern that consisted of just a few skinny poles and a little platform. Had I known I would be that exposed, I would have worn a longer skirt:)

Anyway, the crowd was amazing. I didn’t get to see their faces – which is a tricky thing when you are trying to judge crowd reaction. I tried to limit the number of times on stage that I laughed to myself (I always think some things are really funny, but I end up laughing alone. Usually regarding historical references.) This great group of Lutherans met in beautiful Portland and took the time to listen to me and learn my story, but most importantly to share their stories with me. There were so many people who had been touched by cancer, and so many survivors in the crowd. My favorite part was the number of people who had cancer more than 35 years ago; those type of numbers are so hopeful, aren’t they? 

So let’s hear it for the Lutheran Woman's Missionary League ladies and their favorite purple attire. Thanks, ladies, for including me in this amazing event!


starrettfam said...

I was there and your story hit me to the core. I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was 18. I was moved when I heard your story and had to share it with the women of my congregation. They too have been moved and praise God for your continued healty life with your family.
I would like to know all the things you packed in your gift bag to give to those who have been diagnosed. I heard the sock and lotion but what else was there in the bag. We would like to be a hill for others.
God's continued Blessings on you and your family.

Ginger Starrett
New Jersey

On the Road said...

Hi Ginger, I am so very sorry about your mama. As you know, I totally understand that grief. Thank you for sharing this information with your congregation! The gift bag also included some funny reading material, a small pillow and wrap, and a journal for information - docs information, questions about treatment, important phone numbers, etc. I think I have been asked to attend your lwml regional meeting as a speaker next year; I can't wait to share with more people. Hope I get to see you there, and give you a big hug. Blessings to you as well! heidi

jflaatsch said...

Heidi -- I'm not a blog person nor even a Vera Bradley girl, but I left Portland telling people the story you shared with us. I promised myself then that I would buy a bag before the year was out, and I just came online and did so -- any company that would treat it's employees in such a wonderful way as your were treated deserves what support I can give it. Thank you for sharing your life, faith, and humor with us -- and BTW, you looked fantastic on the stage!