In Loving Memory of "Mickie"
I first met Mickie when she came to me for balance challenges. Her diligent work both in class and on her own helped her to regain her strength and balance. Over the next few years I would see her in and out of class working to keep up her strength. Her passing is sudden for me since I saw her just a few weeks ago walking on the treadmill as she did on a regular basis. This is yet another reminder (not that I needed one) of how quickly life can transition without warning. Thank you Mickie for the time we spent together, I will think of you and smile each time I walk by the treadmill.
In Loving Memory of "Al"
I met Al in 2008 during the first Smiling Heart Qigong class I taught in his assisted living community. He was a regular participant and even encouraged some of the less active residents to join us. Often he would come to class right after his workout at the gym and would use my class to "relax", which sometimes included snoring. Al was always ready with a smile, firm handshake and kind words. Al was light hearted and I very much enjoyed spending time with him each week. We would banter back and forth and make the class laugh out loud. Al, I will miss your energy in our class. Be well on your journey dear friend.
In Loving Memory of "Miss Laverne"
I began working with Laverne and, her husband of 62 years, "Doc" in March of 2010. They were so very kind to me and clearly lived for each other. Because Laverne had been fighting lung cancer, we worked a lot on breathing techniques and gentle movements to help with circulation and the healing process. Laverne was always willing to try whatever I wanted to share and we had some great times working together. Earlier this year her cancer came back and in early July, she decided it was time to move on. Doc is certainly missing his life partner, as all who knew her are, but we take comfort in the fact that she is no longer in pain. Thank you Laverne for sharing your light with me.
In Loving Memory of "Glenna"
Glenna and I started working together in September of 2008. She was part of a trio who NEVER missed a class. We had such fun sharing time together, laughing, moving, breathing and always enjoying each other's company. Miss Shirley was the first to move on when she moved to another community, leaving miss Nancy and Glenna to be inseparable buddies; Frick and Frack as I called them. Glenna was never far behind when I was pushing Nancy to class in her wheelchair with Nancy often asking, where's Glenna? I so enjoyed Glenna's loving smile, end of class hugs with the words she always spoke to be - "This was great fun, are you coming back again tomorrow?" Well yes Miss Glenna, I will be back again next week and we will leave a seat open just for you. I will miss you sweet lady.
In Loving Memory of "Shirley Z"
March 1926 - October 2011
Shirley and I started working together in September of 2008 as part of the Glenna (mentioned above) and Miss Nancy trio. They supported each other so beautifully that I called them the Three Musketeers. Shirley had an infectious laugh and wicked sense of humor. (literally ;-)) She told me wonderful stories of her colorful past and her life with her loving husband, Milton. I was so sorry to see her leave for another facility but I did get over to visit her and she seemed happy at her new place. Shirley showed me that transitions do not have to be difficult if you bring the right attitude. Thank you for the many gifts you shared with us in class miss Shirley, we will all miss you. Please give our love to Glenna.
In Loving Memory of "Susan L"
August 1955 - December 2011
Although Susan and I only worked together for a short time, I was truly impressed by her sheer determination and courage. Cancer had been a part of her life for quite some time, yet she continued to live life on purpose. Susan would drive down from McKinney to meet with our private Qigong Group and as we trained together I could see that she knew something much deeper than I. She understood the meaning of sacrifice and held a deeper appreciation for the life she had been given. One can not truly know what they would do when faced with death until they are standing on its door step. I can only hope that I am able to face my time with as much courage as Susan. God speed dear lady, you will certainly be missed.
In Loving Memory of "Miss Adelaide"
Quiet, gentle and always smiling, Miss Adelaide was a frequent and welcome presence in our Smiling Heart Qigong class.We shared many laughs and hugs together and she was always willing to do whatever I asked as we worked together to improve her health. Last time we saw each other she was in great spirits but because life is a gift with an expiration date, she was gone before I had a chance to say goodbye. I will miss your smiling, sometimes flirty, presence in our class Adelaide but I know you are better now and are making the spirits around you warmer with your loving heart. Be well my dear.
In Loving Memory of "Lady Verne"
Dear Lady Verne. Gentle, funny, playful, kind and the warmest of smiles. Your presence in my Smiling Heart Qigong class always gave warmth to my heart. I knew that as soon as our eyes met we would share a smile, which gave me wonderful reason to look over at you often. Your stepping out so quickly helps me to realize, yet again, how precious every moment we spend together is. Last week we were having fun and cutting up, this week, I learn you had just moved on the night before my weekly visit. I am so grateful for the time we shared these past few years and especially for the smiles we shared last week for they now must last me a lifetime. Be well dear Lady Vern, I will be smiling for you.
In Loving Memory of Arnold Bouma
Sometimes people just stand out and Arnold certainly did. His tall frame, bright eyes, warm smile and firm handshake always greeted me upon my arrival for our weekly class together. His wife Lieneke, just as bright and such a beautiful soul was always right there with him. Sometimes dragging him to class, away from his garden or other "Arnold Project of the Day". Watching them interact each week, the love they share so deeply and openly, I can easily see how they made such a beautiful life together. As Arnold's illness began to take him away ever so slowly, he never lost that ability to smile and participate in class to the level that he could. He was enthusiastic, playful and simply full of life. A true joy to be around. Arnold, the gifts I take from our time together are many: Never lose the joy of life, love deeply and openly, work hard and from your heart, for that will make the most lasting impression on the people you leave behind. Thank you so much Arnold for sharing your beautiful spirit with me, you have my word that I will pay it forward.