Sunday, April 29, 2012
Remembering Louise White
Louise White was a very diminutive person with a stratospheric personality.
I first met Louise in 1992 when I was looking for a store that sold good quality vitamin supplements in Sydney NS. A man I knew at that time told me of a woman who had just opened a new health food store on a quiet side street and so I went to meet this woman and do some shopping.
I walked through the door and was greeted by a tiny little woman with dark brown eyes and hair. Her greeting of “Hi!” in a lilting, almost sung manner was one I’d become very familiar with in the next twenty years. I spent some time looking over her stock, and then made my purchase and left. I returned many times to buy vitamins and also began picking up on the “snack” foods she sold as well; trail mixes, energy bars, healthy alternatives to the high-sugared varieties which are sold in grocery and convenience stores. I brought friends who also became regular customers.
As with any relationship, the more I shopped there, the better I got to know Louise and her two equally tiny employees,one of whom was her daughter. I began to realize these three ladies were no mere vendors of vitamins and other healthy trade goods. They were committed to making and keeping people healthy! In less than a year I had met several people whose Mantra seemed to be “Louise White made me well again.” And so began a healing process for many people, myself included.
Because of the personalities involved, this little store, called “Nana’s Natural Foods” became very popular. I found it necessary to set aside a good hour or more for shopping there because of the sheer volume of people who came and went. Invariably, there would be someone there who I knew when I arrived, and before I left, there would be other friends coming and going. If there was a specific health issue, from upset stomach to sore muscles, Louise had a remedy. The income from the store allowed her to travel to the U.S. to study other methods of healing from such well known people as Hanna Kroeger among others. Upon graduating from University, her son came home and operated the store so Louise could advance her knowledge.
As time passed, Louise was away more frequently, but resuming her place in the store’s activities upon returning. She seemed indefatigable; teaching nutrition classes, herbal remedies, often reminding her students of the connection between body, mind and spirit. Her wealth of knowledge grew as she learned and then began teaching Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Hanna Kroeger’s techniques and more. To many of us, it seemed Louise was learning just what we needed to know just before we needed it! She seemed to be two steps ahead all the time! When other retailers began selling nutritious, healthy products, Louise switched her focus completely to counselling and healing.
Always a devout Christian and Catholic, Louise peppered everything she did with Prayer and Meditation. As her business grew, so did her faith, and with that, journeys to other places to study. Returning to Sydney, Louise would share her new knowledge and experiences with her growing list of friends, students, and colleagues. When her husband took a job in California, she saw it not as a problem, but as an opportunity. She would visit him frequently and take workshops or attend seminars in such locations as Boulder Colorado or Sedona Arizona. She was able to attend lectures by her favourite speakers and always… ALL WAYS, she would share the experience with us.
In the early years of the new millennium, Louise and one of her friends both noticed a profusion of “runs” designed to raise money to find cures for diseases; cancer, MS, diabetes, etc, and both independently had an idea to host a run for awareness… Awareness that these diseases and illnesses could be avoided altogether through healthy eating and lifestyle. In 2004 the Run For Awareness was born. Through a series of classes focused on organic, vegan diet, exercise and healthy Spiritual attitude, they brought knowledge to the public. Most evenings, the classes were sold beyond capacity! Throughout it all, Louise was like the energiser bunny, and if she wasn’t setting up the venue, she was out collecting donations, making decorations, recruiting professional chefs to conduct cooking classes, or hosting meetings to delegate to the growing army of volunteers, all the while running a business of Healing others, teaching Reiki, Hanna Kroeger, and the many other activities her life entailed. In the limited time she was at home, she enjoyed her family which now included her three grandchildren.
I had studied Reiki in 1999, receiving Level 1, and had felt at that time as if that may be as far as I would go with it. Circumstances led to me deciding in 2006 to move on to Level 2. My first choice for a teacher was Louise. Her love and compassion were most evident in her eyes when the time came for my attunement. I was both overjoyed and humbled when I stood and received a silent embrace by this Powerful yet miniscule woman. She encouraged me to move on to Master level within a year. I still get very emotional when I remember that weekend.
Sometime shortly after I received my Master Reiki level from Louise, she mentioned a lump in her breast. She was so offhand in mentioning it that I didn’t give it much thought. It was not until last year that someone else told me that the cancer had advanced to the point where it was problematic. In her usual style however, Louise never complained, always said life was great and always gave of herself to others. On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, Louise finally reached the end of what she could give, and finally gave herself to her God and joined her parents and brother.
There were hundreds of people at the wake and funeral. Louise's closest friends and students formed a sort of honour guard in the church vestibule, and at her son’s house after the service, fond memories were recounted by all in attendance. Her family rose above their grief to tell us how proud they were of her accomplishments, confident her legacy would live on strongly through her students and the students of her students. All who were helped in some way by Louise have much to be grateful for, and the many of us who know each other today because we met through Louise comprise a network of Healers, educators, and facilitators unimaginable to anyone who hasn’t experienced Louise’s loving work. Louise was my Teacher and Mentor, but most of all, she was my Friend.
She will be missed by countless hundreds. We love you Louise!