Sunday, March 11, 2012

Renee

It's been two years since Renee died. I met her on the blogs and along with dozens and hundreds of other people, I am touched and transformed through knowing her. I don't say that lightly.

Renee started blogging for her family. She did this because she had stage IV cancer and she knew her blog would be a legacy. What she didn't know, or maybe she did, was how many people she would teach how to love. I don't say that lightly either.

Her blog is www.circlingmyhead.blogspot.com. Some rainy Saturday afternoon you might head there and 'meet' her yourself. You will find her fighting cancer ('those fucking bats') but so much more. You will find a family that for some incomprehensible reason was struck by cancer and loss and multiple deaths, to a point of impossibility even....and yet, you will find Renee, fully alive, teaching you about gods and goddesses and art and ohmygod courage.

Renee called me one day out of the blue. I was reeling from a horribly failed relationship and I was vulnerable. Renee knew the story, she knew, and she was screening some unsavory comments on her blog aimed in my direction. She never took sides: she just took stands but she didn't mince words or honesty either. She loved o swear. And, she convinced people, many many people, many people she had never met in person, that they were loved and special. I don't for the life of me know HOW she did that, so consistently, but I do know there are at least a hundred people she befriended here on the blogs that would testify that what I say is true.

I gave Renee a poem for her birthday. I wanted it to honor her, in her pajamas in Winnipeg, reaching out to people like me all over the world. I will never forget her. I will look for her right away when I find myself at the days beyond days. I think of her husband and her children and her grandchildren and I know that their loss is a million times greater than mine could ever be.

But, so too is their legacy. This woman Renee Khan could love like you just wouldn't believe.

Oh body!

How did you manage
To step aside,
To transport me to a different universe
Where divine intention
Heals my cells and quells my fears?
.
It's soaring sisterhood
across keyboard miles
leveling my fate,
carrying me past uncertainties
I don’t deserve but manage to don
With designer strength and magic words.
.
In my old pajamas
My bones so deep,
Still they find me, allign me,
Send me words and pictures
And mile-wide hearts,
These friends who travel
Beyond the plains, to reach me here.
.
Oh body!
When did I become so lovely
That in this place
I find community?
And how did I shed my form and frame,
To be recast the leading lady of honest words,
Love washing over me
Like summer rain?
.
When did I become this beautiful?
So wild with grace,
So perfectly shaped and shapen:
I have become myself,
Full and true and open wide,
Comment boxes signed xoxo,
Alphabet orgasms punctuated
with blazing art.
.
Oh body!
I’m walking here!
Don’t bother slowing down.
I am the oak Renee,
My branches wide from Japan to California--
They bend and stretch and reach,
Offering rest and reminder
That the world is rich
Simply and fully
Because of who I am.



On Renee’s 53rd Birthday,

by kj with love

43 comments:

  1. "The leading lady of honest words"...that phrase really sums this lady up for me.
    Beautiful poem, beautiful woman.
    Thank you.

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    1. kay, those of us who had the chance to know renee are forever lucky ducks

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  2. Its crazy to think its been two years already.Your poem is beautiful with her "branches wide from Japan to California".I will always be thankful for sweet Renee...I told her about my constant fear of things,she pushed,in the loving way she did,gently encouraging me to keep moving...and I am trying to do that.Thank you for reminding me today.XOXO,Cat

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    1. ah cat, i can easily imagine how supported and cared for you felt from renee. i felt it too.

      i miss her, cat. even after two years and never having 'met' in person, she is an inspirational part of my life

      xoxoxoxo to you too friend

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  3. I never met Renee but you have convinced me to take the time. We all have a gift for this life. I think you discovered Renees and now you are sharing it.

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  4. That was lovely. Thanks, KJ. I needed that today.

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  5. Dearest kj, this is beautiful It's so hard to believe it's been two years already. I still think of our Renee often, and I miss her. But I met you through her, my Twinkly Twin, and for that I am very, very grateful.
    Love you,
    xoxoxo

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    1. dearest twinkly twin, i am very grateful too. i like to think that renee made sure we had bridges to one another. i wonder if she knew how far reaching her xoxo had had love would carry us all.

      ps i am so happy to see you painting and creating again.

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  6. Haunting, beautiful tribute sweet friend. I honestly believe a life lived loved and loving, is the most gracious legacy one can leave behind. (Hugs)Indigo

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    1. thank you and welcome here, indigo. you must be a very wise woman....


      kj

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  7. Ì didn´t know Renee. But I am sure she was special and made a positive change in many lives.
    beautiful tribute KJ!
    I am happy she is still in everyone's heart.
    ♥M

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  8. "And, she convinced people, many many people, many people she had never met in person, that they were loved and special. I don't for the life of me know HOW she did that"

    The fact that you make that statment Kj shows what kind of person you are Kj. You do the same thing yourself, and I am sure I am not the only one that feels that way. You have offered comfort and kindness to complete strangers, I know this because you had no idea who I was when first you said nice, gentle and kind things to me, and I have a strong feeling that I am not unique in that regaurd.

    This is a beautiful tribute to your friend Kj, thank you for sharing it with us....

    Wander

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    1. you honor me with this comment, chris. thank you very much. actually it is my privilege to enjoy your writing and to tell you so. and, it was you first reached to me, remember?

      i gratefully accept all these wonderful things you have said about me. however, it should be known i am also capable of kicking ass on occasion :^)

      hee hee

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    2. Haha kick some ass Kj.

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  9. Replies
    1. what you did for renee and her family, julie. i'll bet they treasure your painting now and always
      xoxo

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  10. I am one of those people that Rene 'adopted'. :)) I don't know how she did it for so many people - because each and every friendship was real, and meant the world to her. I know we all did. It's simply amazing to think on. She was a true light, and I miss her. I have a card she sent me, and I see it every time I sit down to work. It reminds me to focus on what is important, and to toss aside the other crap. God bless Renee. :) xoxo

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    1. pam, i've read over your comment three times now. yes, she did that. each one of us felt loved and was able to tell renee and each other that we loved back. i have a card of hers too; how did she find the time? and through it all she was so sick.

      i've learned from renee and from my dog stella to gratefully accept.


      i met you through renee, pam. xoxo

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  11. Thank you darlin girl for this tribute. Renee touched our lives and we won't forget her and the little things she unconsciously taught us. You're carrying that on you know... Love...

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    1. chrisy, ah if i could carry even a tenth of our darling renee's love! but thanks for saying; it made me smile

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  12. First of all - lovely poem, so strong just like Renee.

    I never remember birthdays or anniversaries...I'm bad like that. So I didn't know that it's been two years (good god...two years?) since she died...BUT I thought of her many many times today - way more than usual. How odd...
    I'm with Pam on this - how did she "adopt" so many people and make them all feel special and real - she had quite a gift.

    I miss her....but have many new friends met thru Renee and I am SO grateful for them and for you dear friend.

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    1. I am convinced you have a sixth sense, mim.

      one thing renee did was enter dreams scenes with many of us. she was my moon sister, she had a cabin on a lake with someone, she flew the skies with another, she and lo were raven sisters etc. she knew how to find the most precious parts of people and she nurtured them. all this while she was dying! and losing her nephew, her mother, her sister.

      i'm shaking my head: unbelievable

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  13. Ah, Renee. Such a kindly soul. Hard to believe it has been two years.

    Thanks for the thoughts, kj.

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    1. you know rob-bear, i didn't realize until recently that you knew renee.

      i'm glad for you

      xoxo

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  14. I am the oak Renee,
    My branches wide from Japan to California--

    She did reach here. I started reading her blog, but it was near the end. Wish I had known her better, but I continue to know her through the people she has touched and continues to move! Lovely tribute KJ.

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    1. annie, gee, i wish we could have bantered at the same time on renee;s blog. :^) i'm glad you got to know even the end part of her amazing life and stories.

      i owe renee a lot. she did me more than one kind turn, that's for sure

      xoxo

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  15. oh your poem. fitting a beautiful person kj. she left a part of her heart with me too, is it already two years? sigh.
    so wild with grace. beautiful.

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  16. oh lori........

    is it through renee that i came to know you? i think that must be true, and tonight as i type this, i am so glad we met in this way. special....

    love
    kj

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  17. A beautiful tribute and lovely memories of your dear Friend.

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  18. Beautiful words from your heart.... I know Renee is smiling....

    Love,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  19. Oh my, is it two years already? Lovely poem for a lovely lady.x

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  20. OMIGOSH kj,
    I just adore your poem!
    The best of the best.

    Renee had her way of making each one of us feel special. Like we'd known her many many years.It was her gift, and she used it well.
    I will never forget:
    "thanks for the privilege"
    She has now been gone twice as long as I knew her.
    And I find that very weird, this time thing,,, that boogies so fast!
    Beautiful Renee tribute, kj,,,

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    1. Oh my gosh babs, what a point! Only one year and she changed each of us, left us understanding something most of us didn't know before

      So glad for you, babs xo

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  21. Your poem is stupendous and I am so glad you shared it. I know it must have dazzled Renee. I'm sorry I wasn't a part of her community of love and grace, but feel as if I knew her from all you have written about her in your blog. Am stunned it has been two years....

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    1. Thank you, Lydia. For some reason I sometimes think if the people who never found Renee before she died . Check out her blog sometime, Lydia. Start in the middle. I hope you might xoxo

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  22. I love Renee and she loves me and we showed each other that love simply by being ourselves, she was able to give eveyone who met her that gift because she was always herself, no games, not pretense, just her sweet, wonderful spirit. I think of Renee every day. I bet she loved that poem :-). xoxo

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    1. You've said this so well, annie

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  23. Wow. Your poem is incredible...thank you for writing it and reminding me it's been two years since Renee died. It is important to remember a wonderful, kind soul like Renee, who touched so many people, and you did it with your usual empathetic and creative flair. Thanks, kj! xx

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    1. Thinking thinking thinking of you, Marion. Now why would that be? Xoxoxoxo

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  24. She really was an amazing woman and I'm glad to have known her at least for a little while.

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    1. Cs, I remember I was glad when it was clear she'd won your heart :-)

      Xoxo

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