Sunday, 28 March 2010

Regarding Renee

In February, 2010, Renee asked me to write her a birthday blog. I feel very honoured to have the privilege.

Renee was the 8th child born on March 28th 1956 in The Pas, Manitoba to a family of 13, the 6th daughter of what will eventually be 9. She is named by, and after Father René Major, a Catholic Priest at the church her family attended (Renée: r(e)-nee\ is pronounced ren-NAY. It is of French origin, meaning “reborn”).

Renee and I were the only two children in our family born in the Pas Manitoba.We are 1 1/2 years apart and have been best friends our entire life.

We each had three amazing children, similar in age, who attended the same school. We lived very close to each other, our kids were the best of friends, and therefore we were practically inseparable. I don't have the words to describe how much i loved her and how much she meant to me. Our relationship was very real. It was based on love, trust, the truth, and a willingness to do absolutely anything for each other.

Renee, last summer i was so honoured, proud, and appreciative to be your sister. When I was unable to be with, and take care of Sheldon, you stepped up and went above and beyond, despite the fact you were so sick yourself. Sheldon loved having you in the hospital every single day, and I love you beyond belief for being a 2nd mom to my kids. I want you to know I will do everything in my power to be there for your kids, especially during this difficult time.
Renee had an uncanny ability to make people feel special and important. She once wrote something i will never forget:

" Darling Jacquie, you will never be lost without me, because all of these years you have been leading the way. I always just pretended it was me. I would never be gone a moment without you. You know you are the best driver, so where you go, we will follow.

"Renee was my darling sister, my dearest friend, and my children’s confidante. She wrote something about me that is too beautiful not to share....

"I am closest to my sister Jacquie. We nurture these bonds by doing lots of things together and talking almost every day."

Jacquie just like you did for me, whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, you won’t have to ask me and you won’t have to thank me. And I will always be sick of being sick, but never ever will I be sick of being there for you."
Renée loved her dearest husband, her children, her grandchildren, family and friends, Christmas, reading books, drinking tea, watching blizzards, smelling flowers, writing her blog, listening to music, catching fairies, and taking pictures....this list could go on forever as Renee's personality was larger than life.

Prior to xmas 08, Renee and her family went to Toronto on a trip, and while she was gone I found an incredible deal on something we both really wanted; a digital camera.

When she came back I told her about my good fortune in finding this camera, and that I bought one for myself....Renee shouted at me ...."you better have picked one up for me, and i am not kidding" which i replied .............there was a limit of one, sorry Renee...."you could have left the store and came right back in and bought me one" "Jacquie, i can't believe you. You know how badly i wanted one."

She was very disappointed, and as a result she would not let up about me not getting one for her.

"I can't believe you didn't pick one up for me, you knew i wanted one"....this went on for at least 30 minutes, at which point i had to tell her the truth, that i bought her one, hoping to surprise her at Christmas....

She dove over to me and said ..."You know i don't like getting gifts"....har har..."OMG, i am so excited"
It was freezing outside, about -50 if I remember correctly, but it doesn’t deter Renee from asking, "Can you go home and get it ?" of course, we all know I did....

Renee loved that camera, and she took pictures of everything. In fact i can remember her getting a little out of hand at times. One day i felt like she had taken a hundred pictures of me, so i finally told her....

Renee, would you stop taking so many fuc*ing pictures of me!....snap....

Renee, I’m going to kill you!!....snap....

Enough already!!!!....snap....

And then we both bust a gut laughing....


Renee was very passionate about her blog, and clearly she had quite an effect on her followers:

one of the comments on Renee's blog truly captured her amazing ability....

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


Renee loved a good story .... but loved to tell a good tale and here is a recent example of how she described a magical Halloween night:

"The light shined bright the other night though. There was a Beast, Belle (dressed as Cinderella), a Witch and her Mama, and a Grandma/A.J. all on a crisp Halloween evening laughing and going door to door. I drove up and lunged towards them like Quasimodo because I can barely move my leg and pounced on Grandma/A.J. in the wheelchair and asked if she had fun and she did. I could see it."

Beast (Ben) pushed Grandma/A.J. (Jacquie) while Mama (Angelique) went up to the houses with Belle (Kayla) and a Witch (Josephine). Amongst all of this magic there were many creatures running from door to door, there were even boxes walking around.

"But best of all it was a good night where a mother and her other brave son were able to go for a lovely evening stroll."


We are all devastated to lose our Renee, and i often think of the advice she gave:

"Almost four years is a long time to be sick. A long time to be told that you will be dead in six months and then when you are able to live past those six months, know that you are on borrowed time and the bomb WILL drop and when it does you better be ready.

Renee was a true fighter, she beat the odds, but although she was with us far more than 6 months, it was still not even close to long enough.

Renee once wrote in her blog: “They’ll come back to sit when they’re suffering.” Most of us know these places along the path where pain and suffering reside, where the heart aches beyond measure. These places where we need to sit because we are bowed by grief."

Well unfortunately that is where we are for Renee did not make it to her 54th birthday.....

Renee was very wise and has helped all of us along the road. Her last piece of advice to me was something to me and another sister Camille:

"Don't question things, or you will never get any visits. If you do not believe, and are not open to receive the visits, they will not come"

Renee, it has been a pleasure to have had you for my little sister. I will love you and miss you all the days of my life. We will celebrate you always and you will never be someone else's memory....

Cheers Renee
"Together Strong"



Camille said...

Oh my god Jacquie. This is absolutely beautiful. I can hardly see to type. You have truly honoured Renee. She will love it. Instead of having 1 piece of birthday cake please have 2 small pieces------ 1 for you & 1 for me. (Small pieces Diabetic) Har Har I love the regarding Renee. Love You too

kj said...

oh god, jacquie. what you have written here....

renee would be so proud. i think she is beaming right now. in the midst of your treatment and your own great loss, you have written with the pen of an angel. it runs in the family.

so you've helped me to cry this morning, helped me immeasurably to celebrate renee's birthday. thank you, jacquie. you are never far from my thoughts. your courage is unbelievable, and you have earned your angel wings as surely as your beloved sister and my beloved friend has.

sharing renee's words here brings a gasp and grin and and great solace. thank you, dearest jacquie, i hope you will write again.

with love always,

lesthook said...

A beautiful tribute to someone wonderful. She will always be in your hearts.

Catherine said...

This is so beautiful, thank you for sharing something so personal with us.

Diva Kreszl said...

thank you for sharing this amzing tribute to Renee, it is such a heartfely post! as as a blogger friend and reader I cannot tell you how much it means to have Renee's spirit continue on here in blogland. We miss her terribly as her posts were always full of wisdom, laughter and most importantly love. I know that our loss can never compare to what you are feeling dear one but know that her love for you was felt by all of us here through her many posts about you. I continue to hold all her dear friends and family in my prayers for Renee's passing has left a deep hole for so many.

Flor Larios Art said...

Hi Jacquie,

Thank you so much for this beautiful post dedicated to Renee on her birthday. I miss her so much...and was so happy to come to her blog and find something new.
Plese keep her blog alive.
Thanks again,
Flor Larios

RNSANE said...

I didn't even know Renee had died till I read your beautiful birthday post and tribute to your sister...don't know how I missed this terribly sad news....I went back and read Renee's obituary and my heart is, indeed, heavy. Here is the post I wrote there:

I have just now become aware of Renee's death after after reading her sister's birthday blog. I am so very sad to hear this news and the tears cannot stop falling. Renee felt like part of all of our families - as did all of you - because of her wonderful blog. What an incredible woman and family you are and I consider myself truly blessed to have shared in it for a little while. I cannot even begin to imagine the deep pain you all must feel at this time. My love and empathy, prayers and hopes go out to all of you. What a brave and beautiful woman you had for the matriarch of your family. It is tragic that she had to leave this earth at such a young age and that she had to suffer so greatly. I wish you much love and strenth in the time ahead. Thank you for sharing the wonderful woman with us.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful woman, your sister, Renee, with all of us. We love her, and your entire family.

Deborah said...

**clapping of many hands** Well done, Jacquie, well done. Your family is such an inspiration to me, for all I see is pure love. I have no words, only this warmth in my soul, a very knowing of what we believe to be true...She lives, in another time, in eternity, and then our souls shall meet. Sending all of my love to you upon the wings of a desert sparrow. Oh, and a kiss on your right cheek, just under the eye. **blows kisses** Deb

Angela Recada said...

Thank you for posting this, darling Jacquie. I think about you often. How are you?

Happy Birthday, dearest Renee. We miss you here on Earth, but I know the angels and all who passed before us are rejoicing in your company.

Love and hugs,

Mim said...

This is so beautiful Jacqui and I'm so glad to be reading it. I miss Renee every day but can't imagine what it is like for you and the rest of her wonderful family. Renee had a gift of making each and every one feel special in her life, like they were the only focus for her for that few minutes. Which was probably true. Yet she was so human, so funny, so true.
I hope you are doing well, and love to the whole family from one of her blogging family

taylor said...

Love to you both!

"Happy Birthday, Angel wings; explosive things!"


Sarah said...

Hello Jacqui,
I loved reading your beautiful writing about Renee. This line particularly struck me as it is exactly how she made me feel.
"She had the uncanny ability to make people feel special and important." I do so miss her.
You have my greatest sympathy for your loss.
Sarah xx

zoe said...

what a beautiful post, jacquie, and for such a beautiful person. i am so sorry for your loss. our thoughts are with you and your family. big healing hugs!

the wild magnolia said...

I was honored to read this very moving tribute. Written with refreshing honesty and deep love.

Who could ask for more.

Jackie said...

Tears , tears and more tears...
Jaquie,I am so happy to hear you talk of Renee in your beautiful voice. I felt like I knew you through her.
Happy Birthday Renee! I loved that you wrote her birthday post Jaquie.
The Camera story made me giggle through the pain. If I feel her emptiness I can only imagine how all of you feel.Together Strong.
Hugs for you all .

Jos said...

Oh Jacquie, I can see that Renee's not the only remarkable woman in your family by a long chalk. What a joy to read this posting today. What an honour to hold Renee in my heart. For always.

I can't tell you what a wonderful job you've made of this birthday blog posting. It is the nearest thing to perfection. Renee'd love it.

Grief is so hard. So hard. You are all very much in my thoughts and prayers. xx Jos

Marion said...

Oh, Jacquie, what a beautiful tribute to our precious Renee on her birthday! I know she would have loved it. It must be really hard to lose your favorite sister. I can't imagine your pain. I pray for you and your family daily...I only knew Renee about a year, but I miss her horribly...

I wrote on my blog, but I can't recall if I mentioned it here, but the night after Renee died, I had a dream and she was in the dream laughing. I mean just laughing her ass off. I woke myself up giggling in my sleep, then laughing out loud, feeling so happy myself. I've never woke up laughing in my life! I was so comforted and tickled pink, knowing that Renee was happy, even joyful and that she let me know that.

Take care, Jacquie, and know that we all hold you up in our prayers. Love & Blessings!! xoxo ~Marion

Karin Bartimole said...

Dearest Jacquie, thank you so much for celebrating Renee's birthday with us in this way. You share the gift for words and story that Renee had, and you bring her back to life for me here. I continue to be awed by the power of her love, which seems to only be gathering strength, spreading it's wings farther, carrying us all higher. with deepest affection, love, Karin

Debra Kay said...

Love remains, love is eternal. I don't know many things, this I know for sure.

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh, Jacquie. I could not read this in one sitting. I had to come back and take it in in pieces, almost hyperventilating each time. You made me cry, then laugh, then cry again. You are so right. She was larger than life, and she made everyone feel so special. We were. We were all blessed to have her welcome us into her heart. How I envy you for being her sister.

We all miss her deeply, but none more than her family. Every day there is a reminder of something missing when you see or hear something and you want to share with her. Holidays are tinged with sadness. But the most difficult and somber day of all is the birthday. At least that is how it was with my late husband. So I send you all my love and strength. You have two remarkable souls who live forever within you.

Renee, I'm sure, is absolutely beaming at her birthday post. She must be, because the sun seems to be shining a little more brightly today.


Anonymous said...

Jacquie, how lovely to hear from you and writing about your love and time with your beloved sister. I laughed so much about Renee taking so many photo's. Felt like she was here with us. I am so pleased you had such love together and how much you shared for one another.
Happy Birthday Renee angel!

Sending so much love dearest Jacquie!



Sonia ;) said...

Jacquie...That was phenominal. You did her blog, her, and memory true justice. Thank you, I know that was hard. I hope the visit comes to you.... xoxoxoxxoox

yoborobo said...

Dearest Jacquie, I am so glad you wrote Renee's birthday blog. Thank you for doing this. I feel like I had a little visit with the two of you. :) You two were, and are, so very close. When I would read Renee's words about you, it was as if you were her other half. I know you must miss her like crazy.

I adore the story about the camera - it made me laugh out loud. What a larger than life person, and how wonderful she was to all of us. My love to you, dear Jacquie, and to your family. Cheers, Renee. I love you. xoxo Pam

fairbluemoon said...

Happy Birthday Dear Girl!!!

I sure am missing you! We all are!



clairedulalune said...

This was a beautiful birthday post. I laughed and I cried reading this. I conjured up the scence with the camera, what a wonderful memory to bestow. Thank you for sharing it. Happy birthday dear Renee, thinking of you today!xxxx

Yoli said...

You sound like Renee yourself. I got such a joy out of reading this post. Please keep posting in this her blog, she would have wanted you to and we her faithful readers that have grown to love her and miss her dearly, would greatfly appreciate it.

Renee sending you love wherever you are!

Anonymous said...


Thank you for always being present.

Present with Pudd while living your whole lives together, present by raising your families together and loving each others children as though they were your own, present by allowing Pudd to express her deepest emotions and secrets that she did with nobody else, present with every moment of joy we all shared, present in my heart and intense pain.

I love you.


Anonymous said...

Jacquie, Renee wrote about you in her blog posts from time to time...and fondly, I might add. Thank you for keeping her alive for all of us to enjoy.

She has touched many lives. Myself, in particular; I consider her to be my guardian Angel. Until now, I never knew my Angel's name.

May you and your family continue to see the blessings in life. Renee has done that for me.

If she speaks to you in your dreams, please tell her I said hi.

Gloria said...

What a beautiful tribute to your loving sister. She would be so proud. Thak you so much for sharing this. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RENEE!

Caio Fernandes said...

happy birthday in heaven Renee ! there are thousands of people loving you here !!!

Manon Doyle said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I have tears reading it. You had an amazing love and friendship with your sister and we were all privileged to read about it. You are such a wonderful family.
We all miss Renee so much. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about how she has inspired so many of us. I miss her ability to make me laugh and her feisty personality. She lives on in all!
Together strong!!

Lisa said...

I could tell these words belong to Renee's precious Jacquie before you got to the introduction. She knew you well and expressed her love for you in words that have made us feel we know you, too. Thank you for the beautiful words. I thought the magic of being drawn into your family had ended with Renee's death but here I am in tears of joy and sorrow at "Circling My Head" once again. ♥

deb said...

How incredibly soulful and touching.

I will wish Renee Happy Birthday, once again, and may all the beautiful memories sustain you forever.

Anonymous said...

...never forget you Renee, love Kristina

...thank you Jaquie, love Kristina

one little acorn said...

Thanks for this beautiful post Jacquie. You must miss her so so much. I lost my brother in December 2008 and I miss him every day.
I have been thinking of Renee on her birthday and thinking of you all too. It's a tough day to be without her physically beside you, but you are surrounded by her love and your fun and loving memories. And no doubt she is watching out for you all.
Love to you and your family and Renee too.

studio lolo said...

Dear Jacquie,

This is an amazing, beautiful and heartfelt post. I've been thinking about her a lot, and especially today on her birthday.

I love that you made me laugh out loud with the camera story! She was such a pain in the ass sometimes but so adorable that only she could get away with it.

I think I still can't believe she's gone because I feel her all around me.

Today I went searching for seed packets that I had packed away and when I found them in a box I gasped because they are called "Renee's Garden." I'm telling you, she's everywhere and I'm glad.

I hope you and your family are holding up okay. I know what a hole she has left in her house and in your hearts.

Thank you for doing this post.
I still have to write my piece for her 'Book of Love."
I need to be still as I compose it because I don't want to miss one little nuance of her. My sweet raven sister. Damn, I miss her.

Sending love and blessings to every single one of you. Thank you for sharing her with all of us.
She continues to be such a strong force in my life and I imagine she always will.


Happy birthday dear Renee, wherever you are ;) ♥

Doris Sturm said...

I'm still in shock, only I have no right to be. I only knew Renee for a little while and not very well. All I knew is that she was dying, yet she sounded so upbeat and alive that I was hoping it was a fluke, only it wasn't.
She has left an impression on me and I can only vaguely imagine how much she is missed by her family.
Rest in peace, Dear Renee!

Sarah said...

Jacquie...that was beautiful hon!! She had an amazing gift you are right..she could reach out and touch your heart exactly where it needed to be touched. She inspired, coached, encouraged and loved so very many of us.
She touched my life in such a huge way..I cannot tell you how amazingly blessed I am to have had her as my friend!
I to celebrated her birthday today on my blog..with an award that was inspired by her!
Hon..I hope you area well and that I might be able to stay in touch with you. I feel like I know you all so weel!! Hugs and love, Sarah

Vicki Holdwick said...


What a lovely tribute to your dear sister.

We, the readers of her blog, miss her terribly and send you healing energy in this difficult time.

Hold her tightly in your heart.


I Purr-Furr to Craft said...

I started to read, as i always do, my blogs in the morning, usually i rush through excited to see what is happening, but this one is different, i had to re start, read it slowly, savor the words, take it all in. I did not know Renee, but i do have Specials in my life too. To me, You sound like you two were like peas in a pod,I always give thanks to those i love, and i now thank YOU.

soulbrush said...

jacqui it is truly wonderful to 'hear' your voice in this post, and to read these wonderful words. you too have been so ill and have struggled so much losing your beloved sheldon, your mom and now renee. my sympathies and love go out to you at this time and i shall remember renee forever. 'keep on keeping on'. that is really all one can do.

~* Peach Street Folk Art *~ said...

Oh Jacquie, I have come to love you through Renee and have cheered for your triumphs and cried over your losses. Thank you for sharing yourself with us and for sharing more about our dear Renee. I come here every day hoping for just a little something, knowing it's selfish but wanting it still. I always wanted a sister and through the years, I find I could really have used one especially at those stopping places, the ones that bend you over with grief. I love the story of Jacquie and Renee. Thanks for letting me tag along!


Diana Evans said...

oh what a wonderful read Jacquie....I loved everything about your sister...she will never ever be forgotten and has changed the way I think forever....she is a Guardian Angel to many of us...and I know God has some great things in plan for her....and through the way she has inspired many of us....

She always made me feel special and important and I still read some of her earlier comments on my blog and always shed a tear....sadness ...because I miss her so....and a bit of happiness because I hold onto these messages like little gifts...

I know that she is with Sheldon and they are both smiling at the wonderful way you and your family are honoring her true spirit...

Bless you all....


I still pop by and listen to her makes me happy and makes me remember her....and still feel that special connection....

B.J. von Schneyder Art said...

Dear Jacquie

You wrote Renee always loved a good story. Thank you for sharing the story of the camera with us, it was wonderul to read, she would have loved this.

Happy Birthday, Renee.

Beaming love to all the family

xoxo Bettina

~Babs said...

Beautiful tribute post, Jacquie.
Having three sisters myself, I can only imagine the pain of losing one of them.Each of us selfishly wants to leave first, so as not to have to bear the loss.
I know every waking hour she is utmost on your mind, and always in your heart.
I pray for the "peace that passeth all understanding" for you, and all of Renee's family.
Thank you for this post, and to the artist of these gorgeous new photos.
And Happy Birthday Dear Renee,,,,I know you feel great today, and that makes me smile a bunch.

LuLu Kellogg said...

Jacquie...what a beautiful and loving tribute to your wonderful sister. She will truly be missed by many. This Blog was always the first one I went to every morning while having coffee before I started my day. Her Blog truly has made me a humble person. Hands down.

God Bless you and your family,


LuLu Kellogg

Ces said...

Happy Birthday to your beloved sister Jacquie. I miss her.

Jenny S said...

Thank you for sharing such beautiful words during such a hard time. I am so sorry about Renee and hope that you can feel all our good thoughts surrounding you and your family.

secret agent woman said...

What a beautiful tribute, Jacquie, to a truly astounding woman. I miss her,. and so can't even imagine how much more intensely you must miss her. All my love to you and your family, and my deepest sympathy to your all for the losses of your sister and your son.

Aarthi said...

Happy Birthday Renee, our Angel.
I miss you so much. You were like a strong yet serene shelter..I miss you

Silke said...

Dearest Jacquie, My heart is breaking for you all and at the same time I celebrate with you this great soul you were so lucky to have had in your lives. I cannot even imagine how much you must miss your dearest sister! Sending you all my love and a big hug! Love, Silke

Yoli said...

"Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this “something” cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours. Memory. The census doesn’t count it. Nothing counts without it."

— Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Dear Jacquie, thank you so much for sharing Renee's birthday with us in blog-land. I loved reading Renee's blog and having her respond to my blog. I suppose it has been about 2 or 3 years that I have known Renee and it was not near long enough; however, I am grateful for every second of the time with her.
I know you all miss her physical presence dearly but she is forever in your hearts and mind. "Together strong" even now.
Thank you for a wonderful post. Happy birthday Renee! I'm glad I knew ye.

Marie S said...

Happy Birthday Renee!!
Jacquie this is wonderful. Thank you! I hope you are doing well.
Love and hugs.

Robin said...

Ah, darling Jacquie....I just posted yesterday - Renee - is on my mind so often these days....and you, too, as well as Wahid, Angelique and all the family.

Something just "made" me come for a Sunday visit to Renee's blog - on her birthday...and here was this loving testament to her from you.

It makes me feel good that all of you know what Renee meant (and still means) to her blogging family. We know what you all meant to her.

She was so amazing....and no one knows that more than you...

I keep you and your family always in my prayers.

Thank you for this beautiful, beautiful post.

Sending love and strength,


♥ Robin ♥ (from San Francisco)

Nancy said...

Oh, Renee!! I was just about to email you to wish you a Happy Birthday. My heart is broken. I never thought you'd die. I am so sorry I haven't kept in touch.


The Strawberry Mallard said...

Remembering that her birthday fell on Palm sunday this year. I was thinking to myself, how blessed are those to be with her.For her to be in Heaven now, on this day, is truly a tribute to how special she is.
Happy Birthday Renee. All the angels must be sounding their trumpets for you!
Hugs, Nancy

Shaista (Lupus in Flight) said...

Jacquie, you sound so much like Renee - it is so wonderful of you to share this birthday letter with us - and so poignant that Renee asked you to do so only a month ago.
It is clearly not just Renee who was so generous of spirit. Every member of her family seems to have an incredible wealth of generosity, to continue to share with us the joy of Renee. Thankyou.

Annie said...

Jacquie, this is so beautiful. Beyond words. And you are right, she will never be just a memory. She lives and she will visit.
Sending giant hugs and much love.

Rob-bear said...

I'm sorry, Jacquie, to learn this way of Renee's death. I've been "out of the loop" with my own health challenges.

What you've written is so beautiful, a fitting tribute to a wonderful woman.

Blessings to all of you from "next door" (meaning Saskatchewan).

karen gerstenberger said...

Jacquie, I only knew Renee through her blog and mine, but I am truly bereaved by her passing. I celebrate her life with you, but miss her daily here and miss her visits to my blog, where her loving and insightful comments were ALWAYS an encouragement. She made me feel that we were the best of friends, as I am sure she did for so many of her blogging buddies. Thank you for this beautiful birthday posting. I hope you will write more for us, as we have grown to love you and the rest of the family through Renee's eyes and heart.
God bless each and every one of you. With deepest sympathy and sincerest love,

Sophia said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt post, Jacquie. Wow. Tears are streaming here. I was just telling another blogger friend how I miss Renee SO MUCH, as she had become such a great blog confidant to me...with all that I have been going through with my own family and health. I SO miss her!

Bobbi said...

Hi, A very beautiful and touching tribute and honor to your sister, friend and friend to so many! You have touched my heart the same as your wonderful sister, Renee touched mine!
Happy Birthday Renee...

Sue said...

Jacquie, I read this earlier and had to come back to reread it as what you wrote touched me so deeply.

Your thoughts and some of Renee's own words ....what a wonderful tribute to your sister and our friend.

Thank you so much and blessings to you.

Happy Birthday Renee....are you scarfing down lots of Angelfood cake? Love.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe how one person my Aunt, has made such an impact on all our lives.. Not only her family but people all over the world. It is simply amazing no matter what i did wrong or what i did right .. Aunty Renee during are many tea visits that i was so lucky to be apart that she was right on my side. It really didnt matter what she was doing at the time as soon as i came to her door she would drop everything for me and i would make tea and we would laugh.

She would always tell me how i was her favorite. For the longest time i knew i wasnt just her favorite but she had many favorites. But inside it felt really good to just hear it and to be with her and share each other's stories. I am so truly blessed to have spent time with her.

Auny Jackie this is a wonderful blog that you have wrote. I can just remember after grampa died and i went to go visit him and i was in tears and you and aunty renee both were going to drop everything just to come and be with me... That truly meant the world and i wish i wasnt so selfish and hid my feelings and instead just waited for you both.

This is a great testament of how my family really is.. it doesnt matter what is happening they will always help each other no matter what. The love that they give cant even be measured and it is so great to be a part of.

I can see aunty renee in my aunts, in my mom and it makes me feel that i have a piece of her still. What a wonderful person she is and i know that she is up in heaven looking down on everyone with her awesome smile and her warm heart. xoxo miss ya and happy birthday!!
Love Ya
from your favorite Nephew!

TheBlakkDuchess said...

Happy Birthday Renee! Hope they served you good cake & what not. ^-^

Jacquie, you are a most wonderful sister! Renee was truly lucky and blessed in having an awesome sister & a best friend all rolled up in one wonderful package! Take care, and know our joy & love go out to you & your family always. ^-^

Chrisy said...

Darling Jacquie, I've been thinking about you over the last few weeks wondering how you're coping. You've been through so much. For us, the bloggers, it has been very difficult losing Sweet Renee. Not a day goes by that I don't miss her visits...her loving comments. But oh how difficult it must be for you. Bless you darlin girl. She will be with you always.

ps The word verification for my comment is 'wings' yes it is...really and truly....

Amalia K said...

Renee The Golden. She barely touched the tips of my wings and I feel like I've been flying with her for so many years. Only because her spirit lives on in so many of us. God bless you. oxxoxx

Arija said...

I remember well Renee's tribute to you Jacqui and the battle cry of "together strong". The love you shared shone like a beacon out of that post.

I for one miss your little sister so very much. Through all her trials so close to the end, she even sent me a Christmas card through the post. It goes without saying that I treasure it immensely.

May Renee's love shine uponyou all and fill your hearts with happy remembering of her very special life.

Blessings, Arija

Anonymous said...

Oh Jacquie, what a beautiful tribute to your sister. I was so happy to see this blog today. She loved you so much and your love for her shines through your words. Love you too, Jacquie, Barb

Robyn said...

Hi Jacquie...
I smile when I think of you 'cause of all the lovely things Renee had to say about you.
I bet she misses you.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to share this.
You are beautiful like your sister Renee...

I miss her and am very grateful that we got to meet in spirit.

I admire all the love you guys share.
You're living angels.

love to you and all the gang

xxx Ribbon

Marion said...

This is so loving, Jacquie. Beautifully done.

I barely knew Renee before she died. I wish I had had the chance to know her better. I hope your family has had a chance to breathe a little better...a death in a family always makes the chest feel as if a one ton truck has been placed on it.

Happy Birthday, Renee!

A Cuban In London said...

Many thanks, Jacqui. A beautiful tribute to your dear sister. She would have been proud.

Donna, The Decorated House said...

Thank you Jacquie. So much. I hope that all our love for Renee brings you joy that soothes your soul right now. A little blog in a big world, that touch so many because of a giving heart. So truly amazing.

Baino said...

Wonderful Jacquie and I hope your own struggles are easing. She was a wonderful person and still influences so many that she had never met. Beautiful tribute and so nice to see Circling my Head pop up in my reader this morning. She still gives me strength.

dragonflydreamer said...

I have been offline for a time and I am so sad to read of your dear sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother and friend's passing. I just can't stop crying. She touched me so deeply. An amazing woman who was suffering with cancer and thought so much of others. This birthday blog is such a beautiful tribute to your sister and so kind of you to share it with us. I continue to pray for your family. Renee made us all feel as though we knew you all. You are a truly amazing family and I feel so grateful to have the privelige of coming to know Renee and those she loved through this blog. xo Susi xo

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

Jacquie.......that is so beautiful!
Never has anyone that I'd never met in person had such an effect on my life. Ever! I miss her and felt such love for her.

Love to you as well and your families!

Barbara said...

Jacquie, What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman, your sister and friend. How fortunate you both were to have each other and her love for you always shone through on her blog. I can't believe she's gone, still. And I miss her even though I knew such a relatively small piece of her. I know how much she would have loved your words about her. Bless you and your whole family. Happy Birthday, Renee!

Poetic Artist said...

This is wonderful. You would make her proud and I am sure she is looking down and smiling down at you. Thank you for this and for sharing.

jacquie said...

thank-you nadi, your mom was always my pleasure

you own a piece of my heart and always will

love you always

jacquie said...

stacy, that was so nice what you wrote, and you definitely were one of her favorite nephews, and you are also one of my favorite nephews as you auntie jacquie

Debbie said...

This just took my breath - it was so beautiful. What an impact Renee had on so many of us. I loved the stories.

Deborah said...

Thank You for Giving to The Lord
Music & Lyrics by Ray Boltz

I dreamed I went to Heaven, you were there with me.
We walked upon the streets of gold beside the Crystal Sea.
We heard the angels singing, then someone called your name.
You turned and saw this young man,
and he was smiling as he came.
He said, "Friend you may not know me now," and then he said, "But wait -
You used to teach my Sunday School, when I was only eight.
And every week you would say a prayer before the class would start.
And one day when you said that prayer,
I asked Jesus in my heart."

Thank you for giving to the Lord,
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord,
I am so glad you gave.

Then another man stood before you, he said "Remember the time,
A missionary came to your church, His pictures made you cry.
You didn't have much money but you gave it anyway.
Jesus took that gift you gave
And that's why I'm in Heaven today"
One by one they came, far as your eyes could see.
Each life somehow touched by your generosity.
Little things that you had done, sacrifices that you made,
They were unnoticed on this earth
In Heaven now proclaimed.

And I know up in Heaven you're not supposed to cry
But I am almost sure there were tears in your eyes
As Jesus took your hand and you stood before the Lord
He said "My child look around you,Great is your reward."

Thank you for giving to the Lord,
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord,
I am so glad you gave.

I had wanted to post this for Renee when she passed, but I could not remember the song. This morning I woke up singing it.

Renee, I am a life that was changed

CarolineH said...

So wonderfully written Jacquie. Renee is so proud of you, I'm sure. I'll always hold her and you and the family in my heart. Unforgettable comes to mind when I think of you all. She truly was an amazing strong woman! I loved her with all my heart and always will. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Jacquie. xoxxo
Caroline H

Gloria said...

Just stopped by to finish reading some of your birthday posts and listen to your playlist. I'm listening to Malagena. It's beautiful. It's supposed to rain today. The sun was out all morning and now it heading toward 1pm shortly and feels and looks like rain. Thinking of you. Love, gloria

Ces said...

Hello! Hello! Hello!

First off, I miss Renee. I do not like that I do but then when you learn to truly love someone, they become a part of you and when they are gone, there is a hole, a lack that no time heals and fills. It does not get replaced.

Last year around the same time I disappeared from my blog as I was kidnapped by a certain Bata Batuta. OMG Renee was in her element. HAHAHAH! OMG I am crying and laughing at the same time now writing this. I remember it very well because I was tired from a project and call and have not slept for days. Renee cursed like a gypsy woman asking Bata Batuta to release me and called him MF. Har har har!!!

Anyway, I would like to thank you Angelique for the lovely comment you left on my blog. Renee did inspire me not just to draw but to live with zest and enthusiasm. She was a part of my morning and when I did not visit her in the morning because I was busy she left a comment on my blog that would say “Where the “f…” are you? HAHAHA!

If it was somebody else I would have been pissed. But it was Renee and so I stopped in the middle of a busy day and tell her I am here and will be back.

It was a great honor to work with Bella in designing the coveted Renee Award. Very few people inspire such a meaningful award, but then your mother was already legend.

What I love the most about your mother is the fact that she did not scatter eggshells around herself. She talked to me like a sister so I could only react like a sister. She was a most confident woman, secured, an independent thinker and true.

When my mother died I wanted to be filled with this spiritual aura that would tell me she was there. As much as I wanted to believe, I did not see her nor feel her. I did not hear her. All I felt was the pain of losing my mother. I cried for two months, I still cry after so many years but it is with a different longing and mostly it is in remembrance for her life and love and they are comforting tears. I realized the being that my mother is gone but the spirit that she is now dwells in my heart. She is my eternal guide and teacher.

Angelique, someday you will feel in a similar fashion. Your mother will be there, she will be there. Someday you will wake up do whatever it is you are doing and then stop and think, feel or remember. For a moment and many moments your mother will assume a new existence, within you. You will know then, that she never left.

Take care my dearest Angelique. I love your mother so much. She, along with Bella sparked, still spark, my right arm to draw millions of miles of lines and squiggles. I am honored to have been invited to share her gypsy wagon with Bella; that was fun. Then she was battling the bats. She made everyone feel special but we all know that what mattered most to her was her family. Renee is the epitome of Mother and Friend.

God bless you all!

Izzy said...

Jacquie, I hope you don't mind, but I wrote about Renee on my blog. I admired your sister and will miss her dearly.

Jaliya said...

Jacquie ... you and your beloved sister share one spirit, that's for sure xoxoxoxo

I read through the tears and think of the song "Wind Beneath My Wings" ...

Renée and I share a birthday, March 28. I will forever celebrate *both* of us that day!

I hope you'll continue blogging, Jacquie -- you have a storytelling gift!

I love the new header illustration too.

Here's to your family's ever-loving generous spirit ...

Noreen said...

A very touching tribute to a most wonderful person. I miss her dearly.

Nancy said...

To Renee's Family, Dear Friends, and Loved Ones:

Because I was so shocked, and still am, to discover that dear Renee has died, I was selfish in my grief. Though I'd prefer to write this in a formal letter, I want to make sure I don't forget.

First of all, please accept my deepest condolences. I know this has been written time and time again, but Renee was such a special woman, and a kindred spirit. The first time I "met" her was when she admitted to "heisting" the wonderful artwork posted on her blog. Though everyone was sympathetic to her cause, I wasn't. And, through humour, we quickly connected. Over the months we communicated, and though Renee was suffering and in pain, she was always generous and caring. I witnessed this so many times when I read her notes to others who were also suffering in their own way.

I wish to God that I had the chance to speak with her in person, and now the opportunity has passed. And, I grieve. And, I can just imagine how much her family misses her.

My heart goes out to all of you in
your time of sorrow.

Kindest Regards,


Mary Ellen said...

Jacquie, thanks for continuing this lovely blog - you keep Renee with us with your words.

suziart said...

That was so loving and touched me deeply. You all are so lucky to have the love and bonds that you shared. And the memories and love will forever be in your hearts and minds.
Thank you for sharing.

Kelly Lish said...

Hi Renees family...I hope you will get this message. I was just wondering how you all were doing. I wanted to say hi and tell you that I still think of your wonderful Renee so many times. I hope you all are doing well. I'm sending my love to you all.
Love, Kelly

julie Haymaker thompson said...

I am so moved. I have one sister, we lost my brother when he was 21. I still miss him, and it has been 30 years. My sister is my rock, my inspritaion, my touch stone ... she is the love of my life . That may sound weird but it is true. So I just assume others feel the same way about there sisters and so my heart bleeds for you loss .Oh how I hurt for you !! Your loss must truley be unbearable .

Lori ann said...

dear jacquie,
i am sorry i am late in wishing renee a happy birthday, but i am thinking she would be telling me i should not worry about it. she would make me feel better.

you are a darling sister to write this and post it for everyone. i am so touched by your familys compassion for all of us here in the blogging world, it was the same with renee, always thinking of everyone else.

jacquie, i was the one that made the slippers for renee at christmas, she told me you liked them. i was wondering if i could make you a pair too? i feel like i have to, no, i want to thank you for your thoughtfulness, your amazing and incredible thoughtfulness. happy birthday renee, love always, love to you jacquie and all the family.

Debra said...

Jacquie, How blessed we all were to have met your sister. She was a true treasure and I foe one, will miss her more than words can express.

Dawn said...

Sisters, Sisters there were never 2 more devoted sisters, your love and respect for each other is inspiring.

I think Renee would have been so proud of what you wrote for her.
It was evident she loved her family and oh so evident how many people on blogland loved her, fake people don't get that level of support - real people do and Renee was so real you just had to read her blog to know that was true.

I have a picture of Renee in my art room and I talk to it quite a lot, hard to know I won't get e mails of her any more, but I will never forget her

Take care of yourself Jacquie, love to the family xxx

Becky said...

Jacquie, I love your post for Renee's birthday. I simply didn't know what to write because all of the words have been written and beautifully so...
I made a Playlist of Renee's songs and am listening to it as I sit here working on my current art project. I miss her so...and can only imagine how you, her loving sister, feel. Thanks so much for sharing her spirit; your stories are so lovely. I am happy to have these pieces of Renee's life history, and want to say thank you to you and Angelique for sharing. I find myself going back to read the comments she left on my blog, and I smile. Her love was so prevalent in all ways and I am blessed to have felt it, if even for a short time...

Eleonora said...

Beautiful Jaquie, thank you. Thank you for this beautiful tribute.

I miss Renee so much.

Pattee said...

Jacquie you would make your sister so very proud. I'm sure she is smiling and saying "Thanks Sis"

While I reading this beautiful Birthday tribute to your beautiful sister, I thought of you. The battles you are facing the losses you have had. What a strong beautiful woman you are. I hope you know that you will always be a part of the Traveling Gypsy Caravan...

I can't of course read this Birthday tribute without crying and wishing Renee was back with us pain free... But I know she is at peace hanging with your mum and dad and your special son Sheldon. They must be looking down smiling and sharing the warmth.

I hope that you will keep up with Renee's Blog but I know that you have your own things to deal with... When ever you get the chance tho I'm eager to read what you write~
Give my love to Renee's family
Love Pattee

Barry said...

A beautiful tribute to a special woman and to a special bond between two sisters.

I'm sure glad you got her that camera!

cinner said...

Jacquie, what a wonderful tribute, I feel like I know you through Renees posts. She loved you so much. There is nothing like a sister. May we always remember her. I know in a short time she touched my life. I believe in angels because of Renee.Warm wishes to you.

Annesphamily said...

This is so beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss but what wonderful memories of this remarkable woman you will hold dear, for the rest of your life!

Tammie Lee said...

my heart is touched, soft and joyous. What a grand life you two sisters found in one another. So much love shared with all in your lives. Thank you for all you share here, for honoring your sister in such a loving and celebratory way. So sad and so full of love. Thank you.

Robin said...

Dear Renee, yes, I am writing to you, dear one. Today is Good Friday and I know you will be close by while I am at the service.
I think of you often - still burning my "Renee" candle - and I now have included a few others to pray for while it burns. (But it will always be YOUR candle.) I love you and I miss you.

Dear Angelique, Jacquie, Wahid and Family, I know this Easter Weekend will be hard.... every "Holiday" going forward will be rough as you pass through this first year without Renee. You are though, a REMARKABLE Family - full of Love, of Strength, of LIFE. You embody "Together Strong" and I know you will always remember that - even on the really sad days.

God Bless You All. God Bless Renee.

Love and Prayers,

♥ Robin ♥

Sydney said...

Jacquie -- I'm sure Renee is smiling down now at what a fantastic post you wrote. It is so wonderful to read about your relationship from your perspective as we have heard so much about you. Thank you for sharing your sis with us, and yourself, and for giving us a little bit more of Renee, who I miss so very much (and I know could not even come close to how much you do).

Love and blessings to you,

Jaqi said...

Oh Jacquie , My heart goes out to you, what a beautiful post. I know Renee would have been so proud to read what you have written.
I cant even imagine how you must be feeling but I do know that you have shown amazing courage writing this post and sharing your memories with us.
Im sure I speak for alot of people when I say I will always be grateful for Renee's friendship and I only knew her for a short time (aprox a year) however she left her mark and you must have some beautiful memories amongst your family as I know she was a truly amazing lady.
Heaven has taken an angel back home but I know she will be looking down on us all , still helping us with decisions we have to make for that was Renee, and nothing can change that.
Take Care Jacquie and Thank you for sharing your memories , its lovely to hear them. Its also nice to still visit this blog, and see another post, quite comforting in a way, so I thank you also for that. Renee is a huge miss and it helps to still be able to come and share in posts like this. Thank you xx

yoborobo said...

You are all in my thoughts this Easter weekend. Not a day goes by when I don't think of you all, and pray for strength for your family. Much love to you, and thank you for being in my life. xoxox Pam

kathy hare said...

Such beautiful words Jacquie.
Happy Birthday Renee...

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Easter Blessings to you and your family, Jacquie. Thank you for sharing the remembrance tribute to your loving sister Renee! You are right...she was bigger than life and she touched us all with her wit and charm and goodness and humor and strength.
Sending you joys for the day and for the coming months.

Plumrose Lane said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and touched my the closeness of your relationship.

kj said...

happy easter, my beloved moon sister.

is there chocolate in heaven?

are you flying without banging into anything?

do you know how much you are loved, how much you are missed?


nollyposh said...

<3 <3 <3

Caroline said...

My heart breaks to hear Renee is gone.
She will be with me forever.
Her words are beautiful and will continue her journey.
My sister has stage 4 cancer.
I pray that she too will survive longer than her diagnosis.
May God bless her soul, and may he strengthen those who she left behind.
Beautiful tribute to your sister!
All my love, and in my prayers.

Draffin Bears said...

Thank you Jacquie, for posting this wonderful tribute to your beautiful Sister. Renee will always be remembered, she was such a special Lady.
You have such a wonderful family and I can see you have the same beautiful spirit as your Sister.


Marie S said...

Happy Happy Sisterfriend day my pretty!!
I LOVE you and appreciate you so so much.
I hope you are keeping all squared away up there, har har!!!
Heaven will never be the same. Say hello to my MIL for me.
Have a great day!!
Giant hugs.

Lisa M Griffin said...

Beautiful, lovely tribute, thoughts and memories to share with us all. Thank you for sharing your sister with us, she was a talent and inspired artist.

~Carrie from Cottage Cozy~ said...

Renee was the first person to leave a comment om my then new blog. She was always so kind and nurturing. She encouraged my attempts at cooking and crafting....and always added a special piece of advice or a unique take on things.

I am so deeply saddened to hear of her death and am crying as I write this...but I know she is smiling on us all and my faith has deepened because of her.

When I posted one of my very first blog posts she was the first to leave me a comment, besides my family. I had written about my News Years resolution for 2008. Amongst my words I wrote, "This is the only resolution I must make...rely on God for EVERYTHING...not just parts of my life, not just the things I feel comfortable in letting go...but my entire life...give it all to Him."

Here is Renee's comment to me:

Renee said...

Carrie that is a brave and wonderful resolution.

I admire you.

Love Renee xoxo

She didn't even know me, yet she offered her heart to me.

Your mother, sister, daughter, wife, aunt and grandmother touched many people through her generosity of spirit. She will be remembered and loved by all!

My sincere blessings to your family,

Love, Carrie

~Carrie from Cottage Cozy~ said...

Renee was the first person to leave a comment om my then new blog. She was always so kind and nurturing. She encouraged my attempts at cooking and crafting....and always added a special piece of advice or a unique take on things.

I am so deeply saddened to hear of her death and am crying as I write this...but I know she is smiling on us all and my faith has deepened because of her.

When I posted one of my very first blog posts she was the first to leave me a comment, besides my family. I had written about my News Years resolution for 2008. Amongst my words I wrote, "This is the only resolution I must make...rely on God for EVERYTHING...not just parts of my life, not just the things I feel comfortable in letting go...but my entire life...give it all to Him."

Here is Renee's comment to me:

Renee said...

Carrie that is a brave and wonderful resolution.

I admire you.

Love Renee xoxo

She didn't even know me, yet she offered her heart to me.

Your mother, sister, daughter, wife, aunt and grandmother touched many people through her generosity of spirit. She will be remembered and loved by all!

My sincere blessings to your family,

Love, Carrie

Angie Muresan said...

Jacquie, I am still so heartbroken over Renee. I know she is in my heart and in a much better place, but, oh, I miss her so.

LaWatha said...

Thank you for sharing, Jacquie- You have done Renee proud- I see writing skills run in the family.

Love to you all,

BT said...

Jacquie, that is so moving and truly beautiful. A fitting tribute to your dear sister. I hope you are coping without her and that your health is improving. I miss Renee so much and never even met her. ~hugs~ to you.

rochambeau said...

Thank you Jacquie for the beautiful tribute to your beautiful Renee. I continue to pray for you dear Jacquie.