Hi and welcome to my story! I refer to myself as a "country boy" born the youngest of seventeen siblings and raised on a farm in North Alabama.
My parents were poor farmers struggling to provide for a huge household but managed to give our family love and a strong moral upbringing. As a child, I struggled with a severe speech problem and was terrified to speak in public. But with time, practice, and the strong leadership training of Toastmasters International speaking organization, I came out of my shell and even captured a few awards.
In college, I met and married my sweetheart and we were blessed with two wonderful children--a boy named Torrell and a girl named Kiana. Those were the good years, filled with joy and laughter. That is, until tragedy came.
In 2001, our thirteen-year-old son Torrell was playing basketball at school and suddenly went into cardiac arrest. He collapsed on the gym floor and died moments later. The autopsy concluded a rare heart condition.
His death spiraled our family into deep depression. I soon fell into a very dark place and wondered how I could ever experience joy again. In the midst of pain, I started to write down my thoughts, feelings, and experiences my wife and daughter were going through. Writing was therapy for me and those experiences formed a manuscript--my first book entitled "When Flowers Fade" that was chosen for review and designated "one of the best of the best manuscripts" received by the publisher.
It took tragedy to discover my gift for writing and I subsequently wrote several inspirational books. But I also discovered my love for inspiring others. I truly believe there is something deeply satisfying in encouraging and uplifting others.
I know what its like to feel depressed and without hope. But I also know what its like to be inspired and encouraged. I started speaking to become that person who delivers the good news, who points out the positives and who convinces others that life is worth living.
I enjoy taking the various challenges in my life and turning them into inspirational leadership principles. I look forward to sharing some of those principles with your audience. I invite you to book inspiration for your next engagement.
Charles L Holley