Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Pimping Renee

Hello and hip hip hurrah! You made it and I think you look fantastic. Thanks so much for coming, let me take your coats, and please help yourself to a glass of champagne, or if you’re like me (a total dud) have a nice cup of tea. I can’t believe you came on such a cold day. Go; introduce yourself to the family and one another before the games begin.

One year ago today was when I started this little life-line of mine.

I had been reading blogs and thinking that it was something I needed to do. Colette slept over so I asked her if she knew how to set one up. She didn’t but thought that it would be easy enough and so it was.

Every time I have been asked why I joined my metastatic group, I always replied that I read that people who join groups live twice as long as those who don’t. Even though I have many reasons for starting this blog, one would be that you are able to give air to feelings that are being choked. I believe that if the feelings don’t get air, the cancer may be the second thing that kills you.

I have always intended this blog to be a place to record my thoughts, fears, hopes, and feelings. This is and always will be a place for me; a place for me to be true to my own heart. This heart is mine and I am laying it out here for me and for my children.

When I speak about my thoughts, fears, hopes, and feelings; I don’t want anyone to try to fix them or save me because that is not possible. But what I do want is to be seen and heard and to have my truth acknowledged and honoured. My problems, like many of you, are soul deep and my soul alone knows what I need to do about them.

Andrew Sullivan states that blogging is ‘writing out loud…it combines the confessional genre with the log form and exposes the author in a manner no author has even been exposed before. This is writing with emotion not just under but always breaking through the surface. It renders a writer and a reader not just connected but linked in a visceral, personal way. The only term that really describes this is friendship.’

I now get it Dad. I really have made friends because of either my blog or theirs.

The poet Theodore Roethke wrote ‘Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.’ I want to move among mysteries and I want to be moved by mysteries. At 52 years old, I am only now learning that people have a hard time saying what they mean. I have always been an open book and assumed everyone else was too.

In the beginning of my post when I welcomed you to my party I mentioned that we would play a few games. Why don’t you all gather round and we can play one now. For me it is an old game but I thought maybe some of you would want to play along.

It is the game of getting to know me and me getting to know you. In this game no one has to be perfect, and as a matter of fact (if you are), you may have to take a time-out.

I will call this game ‘Exposed to the Wind or if you prefer Possible Ridicule.’ There are a few rules I use when playing but I hope you will bring your own to the table because nothing is more interesting at a party than a diverse group of players’ rules.

Be ready to be viewed naked; to seeing and feeling things that you might rather avoid. There are many aspects of myself that I would rather not witness, but by doing so I only up the ante.

Now if you are up to playing, we will start off very easy; tell one of the other guests (no modesty allowed) what you think is the best thing about you. See wasn’t that easy?

Now that there are only crumbs left where the food use to be and the dormouse is stuck in the sugar bowl again and the night is getting colder and you all must leave, I just wanted to thank you all.

Thank you to family, old friends and new friends.

Thanks to all of you for overwhelming me and my family with so much good that you have helped us to not be overwhelmed with the reality of the situation that we find ourselves in everyday.

*Blog header picture is by Kelly Vivanco
*Post picture is by Franck L


jgy said...

The best thing about me is that I am vulnerable and open to the mysteries.

Whew. Now, if there is any cheesecake left on the table, could you pass it . Crumbs ok, especially if its the graham cracker crust!

(wink and love, and thanks for the chance to play,

studio lolo said...

I gasped when I saw the new header! It's magnificent as was the other one. really great images, both.
The tea-party art is stunning as well.
Now...I wish I could keep referring back to your post as I write this but it's not set up that way. Let me try to remember what you asked...what do I think is the best thing about me?
The first thing that probably comes to mind for many is our best "physical" attribute which for me would be my eyes because they're the only part of me that haven't gotten FAT. That's why I only show my eyes on my blog.
But I'd have to say the best part of me is that I'm genuine. What you see is what you get. NO bullshit, all heart. I'd like to go on about how magical I am as an animal healer...but you only asked one thing of us so far. And that was HUGE for me to say something positive about myself, so there you go Renee. That's what I've got!
jeez, I shouldn't check blogs late at night. I'm too vulnerable.

Zom said...

Okay, I love games.

The best thing about me is that my crown chakra is open and this enables me to channel wisdom. (Of course it is not in my control the what or the when.)

Wow, it is really kinda hard to declare that. I feel a bit exposed already.
It wasn't really an easy beginning Renee.

liz said...

For me there are barely words to follow yours today,
only, thank you. It is beyond a priviledge.
i will play along with your party game...the best thing about me is that i love and i love and i love and i never stop. i can barely contain how much love i feel.

hope you always feel it. xo

Dave King said...

A fascinating post and a fascinating blog.

flossy-p said...

uh-hem. Can someone else start? Or should I go first?

Saying something good about yourself is not as easy as it sounds.

I think I'm compassionate. There I said it :)


lakeviewer said...

This is delightful read first thing in the morning for me. Answering your question: the best thing about me is...uh...uh...How can you ask a Catholic girl that question? If I say anything, I will be committing the worst sin, the sin of pride. What a conundrum. O.k. Here it goes: the best thing about me is that I'm appreciative of this moment, being able to reach others, being able to learn from others.

natalie said...

congratulations on your blog auntie renee - i have loved reading it, and love your heart even more. cheers to you! love,
natalie renee

Renee said...

Liz, you have so many best things. I will agree with you that how you love and love and love really is a best thing.

You also are one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Love Mrs. Khan

Kathy L said...

After the comments you left for me on my blog, I now think I understand a little. Your blog is filled with love, hope, compassion, and joy. It is beautiful. I love all the art used to reflect thoughts and feelings. You are a blessing.

The best thing about me: I like to say that I am open minded.


Carolyn said...

Hello Renee, Oh I love that new photo on your banner. Thank you for the glass of champagne, it was delish!
I'm glad that we have the opportunity to blog about our thoughts, fears, hopes, feelings and art! I LOVE to read and see other blogs and I really enjoy sharing on my blog. I'm definitely not a writer. I can better express myself through my paintings.
OK, game on..
Umm telling someone else the best thing about me. That is harder than you think. It's very easy to find something nice to say about someone else. I draw a blank when I think about this question. Hmm, the only thing that comes to mind is:
The best thing about me is my family, my 3 children and husband!

jacquie said...

love the new blog head
and the tea party.... thanks for the invitation to play.
the best thing about me is that ...
i am a true friend ...which to me means
i will give you all of me, my love, compassion and committment to nurture that relationship.there's no happy medium with me it is all or nothing.

and by the way the dud who is having tea is also known to enjoy caesar's with lots of rim salt...which i will be having for both of us soon.

Deanna said...

Happy Anniversary Renee! I love games...but this one is really hard for me...??? I wonder why? OK...I think the best thing about me is that I'm stronger than I sometimes give myself credit for. I'm proud of that.

Thanks...I needed to make myself feel good today.

Love ya baby!!


glorv1 said...

Oh I just love your new blog head. She is a wonderful painting, and hats off to the painter.
Okay I want to play and that's me standing towards the back. Ahem.
Uh lets see, the best thing about me is that if I get angry, I quickly get over it and move on. Other than that, I have compassion, I'm honest, faithful, intelligent, beautiful....Oh where did that come from..hahahaha. Take care Renee and have a great Tuesday.

Julie said...

Happy Anniversary! Can you please pass the champagne bottle around again? :)

Hrrmmm, the best thing about me is that I can (eventually) laugh at anything and make anyone laugh.

Noreen said...

Thank you so much for the invitation. I am honoured to be included to the party!

I was shocked when the blog opened up to a "new you!" I love it, however, I miss what was familiar.

I am so glad that you are still breathing. For selfish reasons of course. You have been an incredible source of inspiration on my journey with mets.

Love, Noreen

Sarah said...

A joy as always Renee!!! I love the new picture!! Tea please - lol! Did someone offer cheesecake....mmmmmm?
Lets see..... best thing about me....vulnerable...k...the best thing about me is I'm an empath - everything else goes from there.

pRiyA said...

Oh goodness, i never thought this party game would be this difficult to articulate.
the header picture is stunning.
i had to stop twice before i completed reading your post.
ok, the best thing about me is the fact that i can draw as i do.
(i never, ever thought that was what i was going to say until right now).

Anonymous said...

What a surprise this morning! I love the new header. Thanks for inviting me to the tea party. I'll have tea thanks.
Ah, the game... This is hard for me but here goes. The best thing about me is I'm a good friend.

Melissa said...

The best thing about me is that despite self doubt -and on occasion, desperate fear-, in times when it's needed, I always find the strength to cope and manage. So far. . .
Renee, thank you for your blog!

Shelly said...

What an awesome and wonderful job you have done - one year already! I love the new pic just as I have loved the old one ... "What is the best thing about me?" I asked Pete, trying to cheat (I clearly know what the worst thing about me is) a little and get some input, to which he replied "huh?" "I saw that 3D movie last night" "What is the best thing about me?" I went and asked Matt to which he replied "what!?" "Oh gees I don't know" "I guess that you are my mom" ... if only I could get ahold of Natalie, she would come up with something good ... If I have to come up with this on my own, I guess the best thing about me is that I care.

It has been a great read - not always easy, but a great read - I love you and look forward to the next years and the next and the next ... xoxo

Renee said...

Jacquie I have seen you in action and you are a true friend. But more than that; you are a true sister.

Love Renee

Kelly Kilmer said...

The best thing about me is that I'm human and I know I make mistakes but I'm quick to apologize and ask for forgiveness. I'm quick to give forgiveness. The best thing about me is that I'm human and I hate to see others hurt or in pain and that I love and cry easily. The best thing about me is that I smile and greet strangers on the street even if they do not smile back. The best thing about me is that I'm just me. All 5'7" of weird redheaded me.

Renee, *thank you* for your posts.

Linda Sue said...

Renee- what are you doing up so late?
The best thing about me is attracting people into my life like you. You are on my mind a good part of my waking hours- heart strings! I took you with me on my walk yesterday- I will explain probably on my blog if I can. Immediacy of now, here, the way the earth smells in winter. When we are in the middle of it all, it seems as though it may last forever, or that it should, then something happens to remind us- this life is just another bead on the chain of endless beads, it can be a beautiful crystal or one carve of stone or porous and weak, some bigger than others, some very tiny. whatever, they are all fabulous. I do believe that these beads are entire lifetimes we choose to experience and I do think that my chain is close to yours. Thanks for the tea party. Adore you.

Heather said...

Happy blogaversary! And so happy to hear that your painting arrived! Glad you love it, I need to get to work and make more!

Sarah said...

Silly girl - ask too much when you offer so much!!! Never!! Wonderful posts - facinating how hard it was to answer such a simple question. I'm guessing what the worst thing would come so much easier.

Daria said...


Beautiful pictures ... as always.

The best thing about me is that I am responsible.


Jeannine said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I am in for the champagne and some cheesecake. I think that is a perfect way to celebrate.

I am at the party and I guess I have to play the game but it is not easy.

I think the best thing about me is that I accept people for who they are and always try to find something good in everyone and situations. I guess that's why people often refer to me as Polly Anna.

OK so now maybe I will have two glasses of champagne and a second piece of cheesecake please.

This was fun!!
Love You Always XOXOXO

Dawn said...

I am so glad I came to your blog - I come back to see what new thoughts you have shared today, you are inspirational to me and I admire your honesty so much...
To answer your question [hic] oops excuse me, champagne always does that to me [smile] and I really should not gobble down the cheesecake, but wait I must get on and answer your question, so no more prevarication
The best thing about me is that I am a survivor who cares. With all the crap I have had over the years I amaze myself that I can still smile at a new day. One day, maybe sooner because of you I will find the courage to express in words what has hurt me in the past. You fill me with hope that I will find that courage THANK YOU
I class you as a new friend, Thank you for allowing me to visit xxxx

Bella Sinclair said...

Hello! What a treat it is to discover you and your amazing blog. I was alarmed to learn of your health, but I'm so happy to see you are in good spirits and well loved. I shall definitely be back for more. Thank you for your recent visit, too.

The best thing about me? Yikes, is it ok to reveal that on our "first date"? ;) Hmmmm. I always try to be helpful, even though I frequently end up feeling like a doormat.

Hugs to you.

YayaOrchid said...

Renee, love your new blog look. Love the banner. I see now it's only one little birdie whispering in your ear ;) And congrats on your blog anniversary!

This sounds like a fun game. Ok, I'll play. Best thing about me....I think it's that I do not like to laugh at someone else's expense. I don't like mean-ness. Sorry, I couldn't think of anything else. Now could you pass me the teapot again? And a scone please? Thank you, I think I will take that slice of cake home with me.

Ida Clare said...

Hello Rene, swell party. Thanks for inviting someone who just showed up out of the blue.

The very best thing about me is my ability to listen.

The best thing I learned about myself is that I am not my history.

It was a lovely party and even though you don't know me, I feel honored to know you and your willingness to share your journey with a stranger.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Your new banner is beautiful and I love the game.
I guess I'm last at the table and it is so difficult to think what is the best thing about myself. I don't usually think in those terms, but if I must. I think the best thing about me is that I am resilient. I have been divorced twice and after the second I didn't think I even wanted to try again to love someone, but I did and it has been the best relationship yet. It took me longer to bounce back in my 50s, but I did manage to do so. So resilience and adapting may be my best quality.

Julie Bou├ęsso said...

I have to agree w/some of you here - it’s not an easy question. I don’t recall ever really asking myself that question before, but even though I am many things & can handle all sorts of situations (past & present) that I could be proud of, I think the one thing that carries me through it all, however, is my believe in HOPE. Hope tomorrow is going to be better than today, Hope that there is going to be another day, Hope that I will get the chance to fulfill my dreams, HOPE that I will learn & live my true meaning on earth, HOPE to live freely, laugh often, love passionately!  Thanks for allowing me to play & for visiting my blog recently. All the best!

Tessa said...

Oooh, am I too late for the party? (Been so busy trying to finish a commission - they make me very nervous, so always take longer than the ones I do just for me!)

Happy, happy blogoversary, Renee! It is a delight and an absolute pleasure to 'know' you.

Best thing about me? Long legs? (Means I can see over other people's heads). Oh yikes...seriously? Liberality, perhaps?

Debra said...

The best thing about yourself? Hmm without offending my fellow Catholic ((above comment), I do not think it is necessarily a sin to acknowledge your attributes. I think I am a "kind" person, I think I can safely say I am a "creative" person, and I try to be a "compassionate" person. Yes, I have faults, but we are not discussing that here today. I am not perfect and I am okay with that.

LaWatha said...

That is a tough question... the best thing about me. But I want to play... so... I think the best thing about me is... hmmm... this really is hard! OK- maybe the best thing about me is I love to please. I always want to make everyone happy. And that could also be one of the worst things about me.

Emerald Arts said...

Hmmmm the best thing about me is my optimism. My mum says that I have an excess of happy and my sister of melancholy.

angelique said...

One year already! Where does the time go? I think the best thing about me is that I am not judgemental. Everyone has a reason and a season.

Morna said...

This is a blog you might like to visit -
it belongs to a woman named Deena, who was diagnosed Stage 4 in Oct 2007.
My very best wishes to you. :)