Sunday, 12 July 2009

Regarding Jacquie















Jacquie was 1 ½ years old when I was born. Jacquie had two older brothers and had four older sisters; she was the 5th girl born and the 7th child in a family that would be comprised of 13 children. Jacquie was the middle child in our family having six older and six younger siblings.

Jacquie is the only other member of my family that was born in The Pas, Manitoba. I happen to be the other. Our Dad was working on the trains at the time and the local priest, Father Rene Major, was the person who suggested both of our first names; Jacqueline and Renee.

Many of my earliest memories of Jacquie are of her hanging out with Camille. The two of them were inseparable.

I have so many memories of Jacquie from my childhood. I remember Jacquie as being serious and athletic. Jacquie was the top female athlete at our school and there is nothing Jacquie could not play well. I don’t remember a sports team that she wasn’t the captain of. And you know Jacquie always took it in stride and as a matter of fact. I remember cheerleading and Jacquie would ask ‘Why do you want to do that?’ And I was like ‘Why wouldn’t I?’ And she would say ‘Well you can play on the team instead.’ And I would be like ‘Why would I want to do that?’

Jacquie is the one person in the family that everyone is crazy about. Whether you are her sister, brother, mother, father, niece or nephew or even great niece like Josephine they are all crazy about her.

Jacquie is the only person I know that I would say that when she sees God, he will say ‘Well done!’ She is also the one person that when I see God and he is interrogating me hard, I am going to ask that Jacquie come and negotiate for me; as she is tenacious and never gives up. I am sure with her negotiations she can get God to slip me in the backdoor of Heaven.

Jacquie and I had so much fun when we were in high school and I have so many memories from our teen years.

I remember when I was in Grade 8 telling the teacher that Jacquie was having some problems and that I would have to be excused from the class at some point during the day to go to her classroom to make sure she was okay, and it would have to happen for about a month, I could bring the teacher a note if she needed. She said it would not be a problem. So everyday I would climb the stairs at school and go to Jacquie’s class, knock on the door and tell the teacher I needed to see Jacquie. Now Jacquie hated attention being drawn to her and would get up from her desk and come to the door, shut the door, and stand in the hall with me while I said ‘Our Father who art in Heaven’ and we would kill ourselves laughing (in a silent church-type way) and then she would go back in her class with a red face and everyday it would be repeated except by the second week just when I would knock the kids would say in unison ‘Jacquie, Renee is here.’ har har har.

I remember when we went to Banff and I was probably 16 and Jacquie 17 ½ and we both had boyfriends. We were staying there for a few days and Colette and I met the cutest French boys from Quebec. They could barely speak English which was even cuter.

Anyway some of the boys liked Jacquie and wanted to see if they could meet her. I got Jacquie to come for a walk with me and Colette and we ended up at a big open fire pit. Jacquie was so straight laced she would barely talk to the boys. I’m like going to kiss one and she is disgusted because we have boyfriends and I’m like so what? Anyway, I for one know she wishes she had kissed them now.

Jacquie was a beautiful child with auburn hair, lots of freckles, and blue eyes. I would say that Jacquie and Mickey are the most beautiful looking women in the family.

I’m laughing because I’m thinking of another school incident where Jacquie was in Grade 11 and they were trying out those open classrooms and so the Grade 9’s were in there too and Jacquie would pretend to her teacher that I did not know how to speak and so Jacquie would interpret for me. I would go to her side of the class and make hand signals and Jacquie would have to tell the teacher what I was saying. Jacquie would look at my hands so seriously and then look up to the teacher and say that ‘Renee needs a quarter for milk or Renee needs to borrow a pencil.’ One time I did it and Jacquie said that we both had to be excused so we left the school so Jacquie could go home and watch some soap opera wedding.

Most of my memories with Jacquie involved either fun at school or fighting with her over her boyfriend. I would always say he was a creep and she would always want to kill me for saying it. One time when my parents were away on holidays and Suzie was watching us, Colette and I were fighting with Jacquie, Camille and Suzie. Jacquie was coming at me because I said her boyfriend was a loser (amongst other things) and I picked up my parents coffee table and threw it on her. Well holy shit, Colette screams at me to run and we both hightail it the fuck out of there while Jacquie, Suzie, and Camille chase us. Har har har, what fun. Good times.

Nadalene gave Jacquie the name A.J. (Auntie Jacquie) and so that is what they all call her, except Nathan on many occasions just says ‘Auntie Jack.’ Since we have had kids we have become the very best of sisters and our children have attended the same school and sometimes been in the same classrooms as they are the same age and they too have become the best of friends. Josephine is always wanting to go to A.J.’s pool.

When I was diagnosed with cancer Jacquie was completely devastated. She seemed more devastated then me.

To tell you what a saint Jacquie is, she quit her job to take care of me for the first two years that I was going through chemo. She took care of me everyday so that my husband and children could keep working and doing what they needed to do. Jacquie is the most selfless person I have ever known. I seriously don’t understand that kind of love. I am grateful however.

Jacquie is serious and has the memory of an elephant. When Shelly can’t remember what her kids did when they were little she will call Jacquie and Jacquie will tell her what they weighed and when they walked.

I am Jacquie’s favourite sister and she would freely admit it.

Describing Jacquie I would say that she is very attractive. Jacquie has the nicest hair of all of us and beautiful blue eyes. Jacquie is compassionate, strong, loyal, selfless, kind and considerate. Jacquie has always had pets and animals love her. I am happy that Jacquie is my sister.

‘Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.’ ~~ Susan Scarf Merrell ~~

I love my sister and she means the world to me. Jacquie thank you for the privilege.

Happy 55th Birthday Jacquie. Love Renee, Wahid, Angelique, Nadalene, Nathan, and Josephine.

*artwork by Kelly Vivanco

68 comments:

jacquie said...

12:05 am and the phone rang....it was my only daughter ..jennifer..wishing me a happy birthday...
well i could not go back to sleep...
it started to feel like christmas morning and i could not wait for my post from renee....
i signed on at 12:12am and thought....
(12:12 on the 12th ... wow) that means something as i always pay attention to details...then i thought.. wouldn't it be something if ang had her baby at that time and what an awesome gift that would be ... and if you know anything about me you know i watch every birth story on tv that i can ....including animal births ...
i'm sure i was a midwife in another life...or should be a doula in this lifetime..
anyway i was right to be excited renee.
it brought back so many memories ...
i laughed and i cried ......and i also remember being so pissed off at you comming to my room everyday to pray...and then laughed some more...
how lucky am i to have you be such an important part of my life...
it was beautiful and a great way to start my birthday...
with fond memories ...love and joy..
thank-you renee ..
and as you know your family to me is an extention of my own....
12:55 and i am off to have myself a tea party...(.am i sounding like the mad hadder.. as i am having a tea party for one ?)
i am looking forward to sharing my birthday with my oldest grand-daughter kayla ..whose birthday is july 15th but her party is today.....
love you to the moon and back
jacquie

Ribbon said...

Renee on this day I envy you and your sibling love.

happy bthdy AJ

best wishes
Ribbon x

Sara Williams said...

What a beautiful post, left me with goosebumps all over. Your sister sounds truly good.

Happy Birthday J!
Penblwyn Haupus i ti!

leks said...

Happy birthday Jacquie! And you precious,congratulations and have a wonderful day.Im thinking of you my angel of hope,thank you for being my friend.Love Sandra

Chrisy said...

What a beautiful....an verrry entertaining post! What fun you all had...and bet that Jacquie just loved this post! Love to you honey...

soulbrush said...

'I am Jacquie’s favourite sister and she would freely admit it.'
and isn't she so lucky to have you. happy birthday j from j in london.

Woman in a Window said...

Can I tell you how your stories touch me? How I laugh out loud? How your har har becomes something real revealing your twisted humour?
I read you here and feel, I see you Renee. I see you and you are beautiful. And so is Jacquie.

Happy Birthday Jacquie. How lucky you all are for your family and your history and your future.

Manon Doyle said...

It's 6:30AM and I've already laughed and cried while reading your post! Stories of you and Jacquie are hilarious. What a special bond you have and the love that you share is so apparent.
Happy birthday to Jacquie!!

Sarah said...

Happy birthday to Jacqui! I can just picture you two at school up to your tricks! It sounds like you had nice gullible teachers-my favourite kind, they make children's lives so much more fun! I love the part of your story about God saying 'well done'!
Sarah xx

Lisa said...

A really beautiful and moving birthday tribute. I cried and I don't even know you guys. :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie! How it is an honour to know you and Renee. I miss seeing you both on a regular basis. These stories that you right are so funny. Jacquie truly is an angel and a delight!
Tracie xo

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Beautiful. This is another wonderful tribute to one of your family members. Happy birthday Jacquie! ...and greetings from Texas! :-) Lizzy

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie!!You and your sisters all sound like such colourful characters and your childhood such an adventure. Love the stunt you pulled at school when you got Jacquie out of class each day - made me laugh out loud!

Julie said...

*sniff* So beautiful!!! I always wanted a sister I was that close to. The more I read about your family, the more I understand how big families are supposed to be the best. All those people to love and make trouble with! :)

Ces said...

Happy birthdasy to Jacquie. She is indeed special, the 5th girl and the seventh child, just like me! Har! Har! Har!

Have fun celebrating with your sister who has you for her favourtite.

Alas, I am terribly worried about you. Come out already and just show your beautiful face for a minute. Hope is well with my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday AJ

You truly are the only person I know that has a key to heaven. Saint AJ my mom likes to joke!

You were the only one who walked with us from the start of this journey.

One of my fondest memories was the first time I had a visit from Auntie Flo - you came over with the best PMS SURVIVAL KIT that included feminine products, magazines, lip gloss, chocolate and a card that said welcome to the womens club.

Your life legacy is one that many can't live up to - your road to heaven was paved with actions not only good intentions.

All the love one heart can hold.

Nadie

Marion said...

What wonderful memories you have of your favorite sister! I laughed out loud reading the school stories. You two were a quite clever and imaginative duo!! Blessings, Peace & Joy to you and your selfless sister, sweet Renee!

yoborobo said...

Oh my goodness, Renee - you two were really something growing up. I absolutely adore your family. I can't tell you how many times today I am going to chuckle about the two of you and your meetings in the hall, or Jacquie pretending to read your hand signs! hahahah! She is an amazing sister, and it is so obvious the love between the two of you. Thank you for sharing this! God bless Jacquie! xoxox Pam

PS She should have kiss him. :)

Daria said...

That is so sweet and lovely. The stories are so cute.

Happy Birthday Jacquie

Deborah said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie! With a family of 13, it's always party time, yes? Renee, I so wish I knew these stories about your and your sisters and the throwing of coffee tables before my children became rowdy! Then I would have realized that they would not grow up to be axe murderers, for look how lovely you all turned out! All my love to all your family, Deb

lesthook said...

I always love the descriptions of your sisters. I come from a large family too and find my sisters to be special too!

Gina Lee Kim said...

What a beautiful heartfelt letter, Renee! So lovely and tenderly written...

I wanted to thank you as well for your comment on my blog. I am thanking everyone for their cheerful encouragement while I studied for my boards (which I passed, BTW). You're the best. Warmly,
gina kim, R.N. :)

Elizabeth said...

Wow. Another beautiful story -- homage -- to a sister. I would love to see photos of this family of yours, Renee. I see a book, actually, of pictures and memories and bits and pieces. So beautifully remembered and written.

Camille said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie
We really were very close when we were young. When we were 5 & 6 years old I was in the upstairs closet cutting my own hair when I heard Jacquie coming. I opened the door and grabbed her in. She cut my hair and I cut hers. We had beautiful long hair. I did such a bad job of hers that Dad had to shave her head. Mine looked pretty good but I cried so hard Dad gave in and shaved mine too! Mom was pretty mad, she would give us heck then start laughing. It's been told so often in our family. Who'd have known we'd become so famous!! Mom says Jacquie is the real Angel in our family.She really is. She is always there whenever anyone needs her. lOVE You to pieces. Hope you have a great day.

Baino said...

God you must have a birthday every month and then some in your family. She sounds wonderful and to think you nearly decked her with a coffee table! Happy birthday Aunty Jack!

Jeanne said...

I LOVE this story about your perfect sister, and your perfect relationship -- which just happens to include throwing a coffee table at her!

laughingwolf said...

happy double nickle, aj :)

Marie S said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie!!

K said...

Happy Happy to sweet, tenancious, beautiful Jacquie! I love reading of your memories and what love you have for all of your siblings Renee! They are so blessed to have you as I know you feel so blessed to have them. I also loved reading Jacquie's comments back to you!! I am drinking up the time I am spending with my sis right now!! xoxoxoxox

Ingrid Mida said...

Renee, You are part of the most extraordinary family. How lucky you are to have Jacquie as your sister.

Draffin Bears said...

What a wonderful family you have Renee.
I loved reading about the antics you and your Sisters got up to!

Happy birthday Jacquie and I hope that the tea party went well.

Hugs
Carolyn

secret agent woman said...

A very happy 55th to your sister!

Sonia ;) said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie!!!!!!!

S xoxox

Bee Serendipitous said...

Renee...To have one sibling is a treat, but to have sooo many sisters/siblings that you love & adore and that love & adore you in return - is a BLESSING that God only gives to a special few...thanks for sharing your special blessing to all of us in blOZ land...have a honey of a night - sweet one...& happy b-day Jacquie (Auntie Jack - I too had an "Auntie" who I adored & love who raised me when I became orphaned at 7 yrs of age/she was 22 yrs old....not only was she my Auntie, she was my best friend, my mentor & my 2nd mom and to top it off I was born on her B-day 8/17-so we both shared our special days together...I'm sad to say but my "Auntie" is no longer with us, she is in heaven above having spectacular b-days with all the angels & family & friends that are with her - but most of all she is with our Lord God Himself...oh how I truly miss her..thank you for letting me remember special times with her too - God Bless Jo-ann Zelek Smith my "Auntie" J....and God Bless you too Auntie Jacquie)

kj said...

renee, i wish to god i were a publisher at random house, because these tributes and stories about your sisters and family deserve to be read far and wide.

i love how you all so easily say who is the favorite of who (easy for you to say since you come out on top!). your parents did something so totally right in your family. i bow to you really.

"Jacquie is the only person I know that I would say that when she sees God, he will say ‘Well done!’"

i always have a favorite line from your posts. this is my favorite about jacquie. and the scene about checking in with 'our father' is hysterical. i can just see you two. i get the sense jacquie was embarrassed to be pulled out of class but knew it was about caring.

and the sign language...jacquie has quite a way to move in the world. i think if i had been in class with her we would have been great friends.

happy birthday jacquie: that sister of yours, huh? she's something else, ish't she?

xo
kj

Renee said...

Nadalene:

Very well said sweet girl. Very well said indeed.

Love Mom xoxoxo

kj said...

renee, i just figured out something about you.

three years ago of of my best friends, willa, died. a hall was rented out and about 200 people came to pay tribute to her. her kids sang and played instruments, and anyone who wanted to stood up at a mike and said whatever they wanted about willa.

well, there must have been 15 or 20 people who said willa was their best friend and/or they were willa's best friend. that included me. i always thought i was just about her very best friend. i had no clue other people felt the same way.

this is what i've figured out about you. you manage to be that kind of a friend to many people also. and you do it, like willa, in a way that makes every single friend feel cherished and important.

just thought i'd pass this along on a quiet sunday night. it's a big reason i love you.

xo

Rob-bear said...

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful sister!

kenflett said...

Renee, what a beautiful family you have, and what a beautiful childhood you all must have had together. , your lucky.

sinnlighet said...

Happy birthday 'dear sister'.

Renee, let me tell you... your blog is 'a spark of life' and I love to read everthing!! You are a very good good writer!

I'm so sincerely grateful to read your comments on my blog!!!

Your swedish blogfriend.... you know Agneta.

Debrina said...

Lovely post! I haven't been on by for a while, so what a pleasure to find you are still going so strong and your writing continues to inspire. I do love the "I find" posting. I look at my wee boy everyday and feel such love for him it sometimes feels overwhelming! And so, there He is (or She depending on your beliefs)sums it up really.
Thank you Renee, you truly make this world a brighter place.

Caroline said...

Another lovely sister! She shares a birthday with my daughter too!
Love Caroline

Eva Prunella Grandiflora said...

Dear Renee, I have just landed on your blog and I am truly moved from all the stregth and the positive thoughts you have...
I will keep on following you and I share with you the wonder of having sisters and brothers (in my case) who take care of us!

I know I am late but i want to say "happy birthday to Jacquie too!

take care

xxx

Yvonne Anderson said...

Oh Renee,

What a wonderful sister to have!

Happy Birthday to the brilliant Jacquie and what a beautiful gift giving Renee heaps of wonderful memories to write back to you and the world about...

A Cuban In London said...

Happy Birthday to you, Jacquie!

And favourite sister? Hmmm... what would Freud make of that statement :-)?

Greetings from London.

Jeannine said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie!!!

"Compassionate, strong, loyal, selfless, kind and considerate", Renee picked words to describe you that are so true. You are the one that is always there if anyone needs anything no questions asked. You have a heart that is as huge as the sky. I know you are the one that when there is an emergency or a crisis you are there doing something to care for others. You are an angel on earth that is for sure. I love you dearly and respect you as a person. I know sharing your birthday with Kayla must have been wonderful for you. I hope you didn't see any grasshoppers.

Love You
Jeannine

rochambeau said...

I like Jacquie,
Happy Birthday to you, if you are reading this now!!
That Jacquie quit her job to love our Renee makes me teary eyed.
Yes indeed, God will say "Job well done"!!
Renee~ Methinks you are everyone's favorite sister.... that each will freely admit!!!

Lots of love to you both on this important day~


xox
Constance

ps
The Priest did good with your names~

mermaid said...

Your memories are so poignant and recounted with fond memories. Happy Birthday Jacquie.

Tina said...

Renee, in answering your question in reply to my question about sharing a name, I am thinking somewhere on the www I saw the name Steele connected with you. If not, please forgive my silliness. Thank you for your lovely words to me this morning. I thought of you since seeing your blog and shared a bit about you to be husband yesterday. May this day bring something beautiful for you. Love back to you.

sinnlighet said...

You have to wait my friend;)

Agneta

Jaqi said...

What a wonderful post, and how lucky you are to have such a wonderful sister. Jacquie sounds like an angel to me, im sure of it.
As you have been such an inspiration to me I have left a little something on my blog for you, Jaqi x

kathy hare said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie!! xxx (a little late!)

Ces said...

OooohhhhhweeeeEEEE!

You are back in full form. It is so refreshing. All of you including that dirty mind and gutter talk.

Rod between the legs. Obviously you are no fisherman! No decent fisherman would stick the rod between his or her legs. It gets stuck on the side of the hip or if you are a fly fisherman just on your wrist BUT nevertless, I love you and you made me laugh and you know who else who laughed at your comment. Now everyone following you is distracted and they just keep talking about the rod!

Thanks for the lovely note. I am so happy for you!

Love Love!

Javajune said...

Happy birthday Jacquie. Oh Renee I envy your sisterly love. You made me laugh and cry. What a beautiful story your life is. Your sisters are so lucky to have you!
xo-junie

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie!
Thank you Renee for sharing so many beautiful and funny memories with all of us♥♥Darla

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie! I guess you are now a senior citizen! It's a great club. You can get all sorts od deals in restaurants. My kid sister Teresa was 55 in April. I feel so old with you folks just kids. Have a great day.
Love, Barb

Cara said...

i love your blog. visit mine please at www.instantlyruby.blogspot.com. Maybe if you like you can post about it or link it, i would love that!!!!

Shelly said...

I always loved sharing my birthday month with Jacquie, she really is the most fantastic big sister, I know I can always go to her. She is a lot of fun and I can see why people are drawn to her, if ever I have been out anywhere with her - I always see people talking to her – and she actually looks like she is enjoying it – as a matter of fact you and I were laughing at her as she was being all nice to all the people around us at the casino and I said to you “if Jacquie is going to hang out with us she has to learn not to be so nice” ha ha - she is a lot more social than me or you.

I remember when my girlfriend came in from the country with her two little kids and I asked Jacquie if I could bring them over for a swim – without a hesitation she was “Yes, for sure, we should have a lunch, blah blah, stay all day if you like …” I wouldn’t even dare calling you to see if I could bring them over because I know I would hear a big fat “no way!” ha ha!

Jacquie is beautiful, smart, loyal, sincere and game for anything – I wish I was more like her in many ways….we are definitely lucky to have her as ours – I love you Jacquie, happy birthday … 55 hugs + 55 kisses!

karengberger said...

What a beautiful gift this is...& what a blessing, to have you as a sister!

Anonymous said...

AJ:

Instinctively there you go; you are the most sought after sister, you have along with the kindness given to others you have a sense of humour that is like no one other person. You make me laugh, you make me cry (and I mean cry), okay everyone here you go, she threw me in a closet and called me names, told me that I was really going to get it when she got her hands on me and that I’d never forget what I was going to learn, well now you have it! Jacquie was a BULLY to me and Renee…lol

Jacquie you are wonder, you have raised three beautiful children who have turned out to be respectful and kind people and who care for others. You have a great husband who is so much fun, yes when I call, you two can cheer up my entire universe in just one good belly laugh! And you have beautiful grandchildren.

Love you the most!
Colette

yoon see said...

Happy Birthday Jacquie, another heartfelt sharing....I always love to listen to your story Renee!

Ces said...

Ahh my darling, there are no bags to hold either. These days we have guided fishing outings. The capatain does everything All I do is cast the rod and wait and then reel it in. It's a long way from the early fishing days when we had to bait our own line. Tsup! Baby. I love you Grandma Times Two!

Karin Bartimole said...

and so it was, you got your birthday gift Jacquie - after the 12 o'clock noon hour rather than midnight - was Dominic's birth at 12:12 pm?! I think that is so wild that was what you were thinking just after midnight - very cool, and a wonderful birthday present getting this beautiful new great nephew. Birthday blessings to you, another wondrous sister to Renee, so a favorite person on this magical mystery tour!!
xoxo Karin

Clarity said...

This is so moving and beautiful, the point at which you described selflessness, she is beautiful and you are both blessed to have eachother.

Thank you Renee for sharing this.

jacquie said...

thank-you nadie ...i love you to the moon and back...aj

thanks to everyone for the warm birthday wishes....jacquie

Lori ann said...

I love these Regarding posts more than anything. I love you Renee.

Happy Birthday Jacquie!

kendalee said...

Sister love - nothing like it. This made me happy and sad all at the same time Renee. Happy for a million reasons - for you and for me, both of whom are lucky enough to have experienced this special kind of love. Sad because I miss my sister, who is now 10000 kms away. But the happy outweighs the sad. Thank you for sharing this and (belated) Happy Birthday to Jacquie

Mim said...

lovely post Renee -