In Loving Memory of Karen Sue Eller
January 2, 1944 - July 24, 2007
Karen Sue Eller was one of our inaugural students at the Garland Senior Center's Tai Chi for Arthritis class, which started on November 1st, 2005. Immediately she established herself as the class cut up. Her wit, genuine smile and personal warmth made everyone feel welcome including Fayne and myself as the newest instructors at the center. Over the past 19 months, Karen has seldom missed a class and has worked hard to progress in her training. After she became ill, her determination to use Tai Chi and Qigong to help beat this terrible disease was even greater. The doctor's and nurses she met along her journey were amazed at how she was able to manage her pain, relax her body, clear her mind and be a physically strong as she went though procedure after procedure. When asked how she did it... "TAI CHI! YOU SHOULD TRY IT!" was all she had to say... Karen would proclaim to anyone that would listen how Tai Chi and Qigong training had helped her maintain her strength, focus and vitality longer than anyone expected. It helped her manage the pain, relax when necessary and smile at every opportunity. "Ivan" may have won the battle, but Karen has certainly won our hearts. It has been a genuine pleasure getting to know you "Miss Karen", we love you and will miss your smile in class.
Sifu Chris and Fayne Bouguyon
In Loving Memory of Ruth Kirsh (Grandma Ruthie)
January 28, 1910 - October 12, 2007
Fayne's beloved "Grandma Ruthie" is a very special soul to me. I did not know my own grandmother's very well (having left France when I was only 5 years old) so Ruthie's genuine, loving nature helped me feel welcome into their family. The first time we met I was in South Florida on a business trip and decided to visit Ruthie and Papa Joe to introduce the man that would soon marry their beloved granddaughter. They insisted I stay with them instead of in a hotel and I was treated like a little prince, in want of nothing. Boy was it hard to leave... This simple gesture of hospitality and love set in motion a relationship that I cherish deeply. Ruthie may have been my "Grandma - in - Law" but she was a very important part of my life. Thank you Ruthie for the love, generosity and kindness your so graciously shared with me.
In Loving Memory of Miss Ursula
1921 - 2007
Miss Ursula was one of my students at a private facility for people with mental challenges. Her willingness to share a genuine smile and wonderful sense of humor was infectious to the entire class. Her passing took all of us by surprise, none of us were ready. We shared a Tai Chi class and our weekly smiles and hugs, the next day a stroke put her in the hospital, her recovery was progressing slowly when I checked on her status the following Thursday, then, without warning, she went to sleep and never woke up. I am so grateful that the last memory I have is of the smiles and hugs we shared after our Tai Chi class. Thank you "Miss Ursula" for sharing of your gentle, kind spirit with me.