I am very seldom surprised to the point that I didn’t see it coming. The last time I recall just missing it was from the movie with Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment called the Sixth Sense. You remember when the kid told Bruce that “I see dead people.” It was only near the end did I understand that he was including Bruce. I didn’t see it coming.
The only other time I recall was when the Redhead (Teresa) and a few friends threw me a 40th birthday party. My friend took me out for a round of golf and I only started thinking something was amiss when I saw extra vehicles in the neighborhood. But they were sort of spread out, so I was not ready when we walked in and I was instantly barraged with “SURPRISE” I loved it! I didn’t see it coming!
A couple of days after my rendezvous with the ER that I discussed during my last Blog post I had an ETMP Monthly Meeting at the Knoxville Convention Center. We had our Board meeting on the other side of the building from our Monthly meeting that was in the Lecture Hall. It was a last-minute change by Rebecca Williams, forever known as a key conspirator in the events that I will be describing. At that time no hint of any secret plan.
After the Board Meeting we all moseyed over to the Lecture Hall where I needed to set up the PowerPoint for the program. I was bit surprised to see Curtis Johnston (CUJO) there trying to get the sound system working for me. I assumed at that point that he was just there to help and enjoy the program. He was the featured speaker for the August Meeting when I had to be in New York and he has been to a few meetings. Plus, I see him at Toastmasters once or twice a week, so it didn’t seem unusual for some reason. I might have needed some “Six Sense” here. But if Curtis wants to become an actor in the next phase of his life I predict SUCCESS!
I could say at this point that I was probably under the influence of the pain medication that I had taken over the last week or so although I hadn’t taken any that day. But I was still in some pain so not as laser focused as I normally am. LOL Regardless, I never saw it coming.
So, Curtis and I sort of wandered to the doorway to the Atrium where the food was being set up. At this point the shock, surprise, appreciation of the totality of what was about to happen. There would be no regular ETMP Meeting this day. Only a coup could describe the situation.
When the doors opened not only were there a couple dozen of the regular ETMP attendees BUT about the same number of my Toastmaster Colleagues. This was instantly a big red flag that what I thought was happening was not even close.
The conspirators were many and included my lovely wife Shelia. I found out later that Shelia and Curtis were the main ones. Shelia was the one who had the idea to combine it with ETMP and it worked out very well. And I love them for it. They turned the meeting into a celebration for me receiving my Distinguished Toastmaster Award (DTM) back in the summer. I didn’t see it coming but I was so proud that I had so many of my ETMP and Toastmasters friends honor me with this special celebration.
I would normally get the Award at the next District 63 Spring Conference in April 2019 with all the other folks who achieved the Award during the year. But with my health situation it is not known if I would be able to attend. We even had the District 63 Trio (Top three officers for our District) come from the Nashville and Chattanooga areas. What a very special day it was for me. I will never forget the love and support from people I have known for a long time and some who I have been friends with for a relatively short time. It was a magical day and I thank everyone for making me feel so very special and honoring my achievement. As I always try to exclaim “Toastmasters Will Change Your Life…FOREVER!!! It sure has for me and brought me many friends who I love.
I didn’t see it coming but I will savor it forever!