As I sped down the 15 Freeway heading towards my weekly movie, the song “Yesterday Once More” played through the stereo. As I heard the song It made me think of the Carpenters. Not Karen and Richard, but rather Cindy and David of Corona, CA. Yesterday once more we lost another person to cancer when Cindy passed away. Yesterday once more someone way before their time. I did not know Cindy extremely well, but enough to know that she had a profound impact on many people’s lives, as someone who was a Life Coach and Speaker. I met Cindy when I became involved in the local Corona Toastmasters a few years back. I joined because I wanted to enhance my public speaking skills, as well as get involved with the local community for my own social life. At this time Cindy was already a strong presence within Toastmasters having won several district speaking competitions as well as competing on an international level. Since Toastmasters for the most part is a volunteer program, it can consume a tremendous amount of personal time. Cindy, as well as being an officer, would also take time to speak and train other Toastmasters in different clubs. One particular moment I remember was when she conducted a training session in my club where she taught a lesson on proper eye contact. This is an area that I have struggled with my speaking skills, so it was very helpful to me. The training she used was called Eye Bowling, and it turned into a great game, as well as a method of improving speaking presence. Her influence on me however brief, helped with my speaking presence and I constantly think back whenever I do speak to remember to make eye contact with the audience.
I have always felt that there can be no more noble profession in life than to help others to improve their lives, and that is what Cindy did. By offering her life coaching and speaking skills both in group settings and on an individual basis, she changed countless lives, and helped so many reach their personal goals. By offering brutally honest feedback regarding ones speaking style, she truly challenged the individual to be their very best. It is not always easy to accept criticism from someone, but I never really thought how it must have felt to be the one who had to give it. It was her desire everyone succeed that allowed her to make that sacrifice, and challenge every person she worked with. While this is not usually the time people enjoy reflecting on the past, her life and who she touched in it, must be honored. To David and to her son Hunter, I know that they would trade much to have yesterday once more. For my own gratitude, I would like to say thank you to Cindy, and may you Toast in Peace.