It is with great sadness that I have made myself find the time to sit at my desk and write this about a good friend that as I type has been given only days to live. I do not have the luxury of constantly re-writing it as I hope she gets to have it read to her before her time comes to an end on this planet or in the form she now holds.
I suppose life is the same, we get one shot at it and hopefully we make a difference or at least have a life worth remembering and at the very least we hope to be remembered by family and friends once we have gone. Carla please know I, the other Senshido Team members and your family and friends will always remember you and will keep you alive in our minds and hearts. Know that I will always be there for your family Trig and the your beautiful children and when asked about you I will share and remind them of all the fun times and laughs we shared. Obviously a lot of people on the Blog may not have had the opportunity to meet Carla and I’d like to share a few memories……….
I remember the first time I saw Carla, we had just finished teaching a Shredder seminar at the Tokei dojo in London when amongst the 65plus sweaty men faces appeared this gorgeous looking, long legged blonde with a smile on her face. She seemed to be looking for someone and stupidly I thought she had seen the seminar and was so impressed she now wanted to talk to one of the instructors about taking classes. Turns out to my surprise that she already was in training, her partner was Trig one of our UK team members.
As usual after seminars a group of us tend to go out to a restaurant for some food, a good chat and usually some great laughs. On this occasion I happened to sit opposite Trig and next to Carla, her easy going nature made her very approachable and immediately we were chatting as if we had known each other for years. In fact the same can be said for Trig when I met him the year earlier, he managed to attend our seminar last minute but as soon as we met on the day we instantly clicked and I’m glad that I have been able to call Carla and Trig good friends from our first meeting. Their likeable nature was possibly one reason why they were so perfect for each other.
The next time we all met up I got the chance to meet Carla and Trigs two little children. Gorgeous looking little kids, they obviously took after their mother ! I remember Kyle telling jokes as we all stood round laughing and then Rich chasing him round the group of us as kids do, entertaining themselves. That same evening we all went to the London Eye and took a ride on it. As our carriage reached the top there was a flyby and two aeroplanes dropped poppys all over the River Thames and in the process covered our carriage. I still have the photo taken at the end of these rides and it is possibly one of the few I have of us all together. That night I spent the best £8.00 of my life by purchasing a copy, little did I know it then.
The following time was at a tattoo studio in London. Turns out seven of the Senshido team all decided to get inked and we all met at the studio and proceeded to discuss what we wanted to get done only to be told by the artists they couldn’t fit all of us in at the same time! The Canadians won and they got inked while the rest of us tried to entertain ourselves in true Senshido fashion by discussing piercings in the more private area with the shop assistants and wincing at the size of some of them on display.
Something that is so typical of Carla was when she called me to get directions to my house. I started to do the usual, turn left here, turn right there, when you get to there you have gone too far, etc type directions only to get an ear bashing how she can read a bloody map!!!!!!!
Or the time she made me in the middle of a busy cafe do an impression of the first time we brought Rich over to the UK, walked him round the tourist sites all day then put him on an underground train and watched the heat and motion of the carriage make him fall asleep while he fought to stay awake! Lol.
Unfortunately the last time I got to speak to Carla was only last year – August 2008. I was about to board a plane to Las Vegas and I couldn’t get her off the phone as whenever we met up or spoke we always caught up and ended up laughing out loud. This is how I will always remember her, she brought joy and happiness to mine and others lives by just being…… CARLA! My only regret is that we had made plans to meet up again and unfortunately she got ill not long after my return.
When Rich and I stayed in Suffolk and taught seminars with Trig, Carla would be the only woman on the mats training alongside the guys. I had the…..what shall I say, Pleasure? Opportunity? Misfortune!! To drill with Carla and that woman could shred!!! Oh man, forget her old man this woman can take care of herself!!
I know Carla had decided to go into the police force so she could help battered and abused women. I’m not sure if she had managed to start her training, but I know the women of the UK would certainly have been a lot safer with female officers like Carla patrolling and looking out for them.
The new Senshido dvd series will now be dedicated to Carla and her memory and I am privileged and honored to be taking part in the filming of these later in the year.
So anyone that believes in God, know that when Carla stands by his/her side God will be in safe hands as this Angel is one tough women you would want on your side in any battle.
Unfortunately we can’t win every battle and although Carla has put up a terrific fight she was up against it this time and it is one battle she won’t win. She should be happy that she brought two beautiful children into the world and has helped and touched so many people that her memory will live on. There is probably so much more that can be said about Carla, but I think it is at times like this that instead of making lists of what we hope to do in life like learn to fly a helicopter, learn a language, go traveling, gain a black belt in a martial art, learn to salsa, do a parachute jump, get married, start a family and then leaving it on your desk, in your draw or carrying it around in your pocket or wallet until it is creased, torn and faded take Nikes advice and………JUST DO IT!
Live your life and when it is nearing your end, hopefully you can look back and see that you are wealthy by the things you have done and achieved and the people whos lives you have touched rather than the materialistic stuff we all have to leave behind. Just like my friend Carla has done.
Missing you already Carla, but will never forget you, thank you for enriching my life with your charm, wit and sense of humour.
From the heart,