2015 has brought so many changes to our family. It started in January when Brian was hospitalized for three weeks with a life-threatening staph infection. Thanks be to God, he recovered and continues to take antibiotics to make sure the infection stays away. Spring came with not a whole lot of changes except for my 50th birthday. Then, as summer came, my Grandpa Aziz became very ill and ended up passing away in July. August found us sending off Cari & Mary to their first year at Christendom College and Thomas More College- both on the east coast. Joshua then headed back for his final year of his masters in philosophy study at Mt. Angel. In September, David flew to Rome, Italy for a semester of study. By the 18th of that month, Brian and I were empty nesters. Even with those changes, more things were still to come. At the end of the month, I started feeling a bit dizzy and just not very well. I thought it was perhaps just because I had been so busy then all the sudden the kids were gone, but it didn't go away. As I wrote in earlier posts, I was finally diagnosed with Meniere's Disease in October. During this time, I stayed at home mostly sitting on a recliner and just not feeling well enough to do much of anything. The time finally came to make a decision to resign from my position as head instructor at Salem Fencing Club. I've decided to share with you the letter I wrote to the fencers and families. I have no idea where we go from here, but I do know the Lord has blessed and guided us continuously throughout this year and will do so as we move into 2016.
Dear SFC fencers and families,
I sit here at my desk, hoping you are all having a wonderful beginning of December. As most of you are aware, I have had a period of illness over recent months and unfortunately, we are now aware this illness has very little possibility of improvement as there is no medical cure at this time. For those of you who donʼt know, my physician diagnosed me with Meniereʼs Disease October 28th. This is an illness which affects my balance and hearing along with migraines, tinnitus, memory loss and fatigue. I will be continuing my care with an ENT and most likely going to a vestibular neurologist in the next few months.
With this being said, I am sorry to inform you that I am needing to step down as the head instructor here at the salle. After much praying and talking with my family, we feel it will be the best thing for SFC. Please know this has been a very hard decision for me. I have seen many of our fencers grow from musketeers to high schoolers. I have had the privilege of traveling with and coaching some of you at tournaments in the Pacific Northwest, California, Reno and even Virginia. Iʼve watched many of our fencers go from beginners to getting their USFA rating. It has been an amazing ride.
I have enjoyed my 10 years with the club and learned more than I ever could have imagined, not just about fencing and coaching, but what it means to be part of some- thing very special. I am hoping to still be able to come and visit as my illness allows me. I would like to be able to come to tournaments and cheer you on as well as stop by once in a while to see how all of you are doing.
Our clubʼs motto has always been “Honor, Chivalry & Respect”. This has stood for not only our beliefs but our actions as well. I am so proud of all of the fencers that have come through our doors over the last ten years. My personal goal as well as the goal of the salle has always been to not only help people learn to love fencing and all it entails, but to help them be the very best men and women they could be. It is my sincerest hope that Salem Fencing Club continues to pursue this goal in the future.
Please know my thoughts are with all of you during these holidays. I am grateful for all of you~ the rest of the staff, the board members, the fencers, the fencing families and everyone who has helped make SFC what it is today.
With much love and gratitude,