I have been very fortunate to be a Toastmaster for over 30 years. I joined to learn the skills of communication and leadership, as do most Toastmasters. I have applied these skills to community activities. It was also to get my points of view across, to lead, and to train. This happened particularly in my professional life, where I was able to transfer Toastmaster skills to teach girls well and use evaluation techniques to their advantage. With student teachers, I was able to teach them through the skills of Toastmasters; and of course presented Youth Leadership courses to my students over the years. Toastmasters has served me well. I feel I have been very lucky to be able to take on positions and develop the skills and talents that I have. Attending Conventions, being District Governor, and winning district competitions; have all been highlights of my Toastmasters life.
However it wasn’t until just over two months ago that I learned the true value of Toastmasters. As most of you know, I was overcome with a very serious illness, cancer. I had to have an emergency operation so that I could walk again. I spent nearly 2 months in hospital. I never expected that this would happen to me. BUT all things have a purpose and I learned the value of my Toastmasters family.
Cards, calls, support, and visits, all showed me how loving and caring this family is. They even put on masks, gowns and gloves to visit. When I couldn’t eat, brought me delicacies to tempt my appetite.
It has been a long road and I have further to go. I am feeling fine at the moment. I haven’t been able to get back to Toastmasters. But I enjoy hearing about all the activities.
Whether you are in Toastmasters for 30 years or 30 days, remember you are part of that family – a family that loves and cares for each other constantly.
My illness has made me appreciate the warmth of members and the support that we give to each other – not only within our Toastmaster activities, but the support of members and their personal needs. I was in hospital for nearly 8 weeks, hated it, and am glad to be at home. I have had lots of tests and lots of procedures. But I am still willing to fight. I hope to see you all soon. Once again, many many thanks to my Toastmaster family.