To present at the annual Inland Empire Business Journal WOMEN & BUSINESS EXPO is exciting!
To share the general session platform with Patty Duke and Maureen Reagan is exhilarating!
There's something about a room packed with 950 enthusiastic energetic women that makes me proud just to be one. Projections tell us that by the end of the year 2000, women will own fifty per cent of all small businesses nationwide! YEAH! We women are making more and more of an impact.
I made a different type of impact on my concrete driveway just six days before the EXPO. I tripped and fell flat on my face. Husband Hank dropped the groceries he was carrying and came running. He pulled me to my feet as blood spewed from my head onto the driveway. He grabbed a towel from the dryer in the garage, wrapped it around my head and said, We're going to the Emergency Room, as he plopped me into the front seat. I held onto the towel and worried that I'd have a shaved head for the EXPO.
Hank ran five red lights racing to the hospital. Now I worried if I'd even HAVE a head for the EXPO. As we entered the emergency room, the nurse took one look at my bloody towel, put me on a gurney and summoned the doctor. As soon as the doctor arrived I began babbling, Duke...Reagan...EXPO...PLEASE dont shave my head!
He looked at me in disbelief, saying, The stitches on your forehead can be hidden by your bangs. I dont have to shave your head. The stitches were sewn and we went home, stopping for every single red light along the way. I slept like a baby. The next morning, I looked into the mirror and I screamed. My left eye looked as if a whole box of crayons had melted on top of it with the red and purple ones oozing over to cover the top of my nose. My head felt as if I had painted the town red and purple all by myself. I thought of calling Patty Duke that very minute. I truly needed a Miracle Worker.
I spent the next four days with ice packs, makeup mentors, and fearful thoughts that my EXPO audience would think I was an abused woman. My eye and nose were different theme- park colors every morning. But by the day before the EXPO, I had mastered the makeup application, except for two ugly scabs on my nose that defied disguise. All of which meant absolutely nothing when I met Patty Duke in the hotel restaurant that night. What a charming woman. She makes you feel like youve always known her, and not just through television and the movies. Her presentation the next day at the EXPO had that very same warmth, letting all us women know that she too had had her share of hard knocks in her quest for survival.
She was followed by Maureen Reagan, who truly got the audiences admiration when she spoke of her determined plans for continuously funding Alzheimers Research. Its powerful to see and hear women supporting women. As for me, when I was applying my makeup just before going onstage to present the EXPO kickoff keynote, those two ugly scabs fell off my nose as if by magic. I whispered, Thank you, as I stepped into the spotlight and smiled at all those ambitious energetic and powerful women.
Lola D. Gillebaards latest presentation, GROWING OLD DISGRACEFULLY has audiences laughing at any age. For more information, visit her website at www.fulloflife.org