I had the pleasure of having a rare Girl's Night Out last Tuesday, April 27th. A dear friend, with whom I golf, invited me to attend SmartTalk ConnectedConversations with Lee Woodruff. Another golf friend's company, JNBA Financial Advisors was an event sponsor.
Lee and her husband - Bob Woodruff (best known for his work as an ABC NEWS anchor) were immediately thrust into the hearts and homes of millions when breaking news announced that Bob's brain had been critically injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, while on assignment back on January 29th, 2006.
Lee recounted the entire course of events during her speech - engaging the emotions of the audience with every word. She sees herself as the "face of the caregiver" who relied on "strong foundations and faith" to lead her through the ordeal and Bob's long recovery process. It also allows us to identify with her & how we would react when presented with our own crisis situations. She chooses to "live in a world of hope" and "to stay in the zone", which at the time meant waiting to find out Bob's baseline before forming any conclusions about the future of their existence together as a family.
"I have to know - will he still love me?... and he did... (the doctor) was right." - Lee Woodruff
She talked about "hope needing to be dispensed a little more with the reality" in the medical community and how it was the nurses that gave her glimmers of light - recounting Bob's hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute accomplishments as his brain slowly worked to "re-wire itself", which she called "an incredible miracle."
"He's a fighter... He wants to live." "He is my Bob." "I can't believe you're here...You shouldn't be here... every night is a gift." - Lee Woodruff
I really encourage you to pick up her books: "In An Instant" and her newest work: "Perfectly Imperfect - A Life in Progress", which deals with "what happens when the adrenalin stops." I won't give a way every compelling detail - I want you to experience it for yourself, in her words.
I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet Lee and to hear her speak. She literally peeled back her layers and invited us into her soul - helping us understand what it took to get her through their family's personal tragedy, but more importantly to "come out the other side." She stressed the importance of connecting yourself on a daily basis to your loved ones - living in the moment. It's something every one of us could relate to - forgetting to do just that and taking the little miracles of life for granted.
"Be In The Moment" - Lee Woodruff
Giving thanks for the moment is the only way to glimpse eternity.
- Modern meditation from Seville, Spain
If you haven't heard about Bob & Lee Woodruff's foundation, I encourage you to check out their website & learn about the incredible work they do through their grants. They have a great mission and purpose: to provide "resources and support to service members, veterans and their families to successfully reintegrate into their communities so they may thrive physically, psychologically, socially and economically."