Tuesday, March 18, 2008

For Four, now three...

Three weeks shy of her 24th birthday Renee passed away. But those who loved got to enjoy her beauty for 23 years and 49 weeks and how can we complain about that when I suppose that is exactly what God intended.

It's been an interesting three weeks because it's been marked with such happiness and so much sadness at the same time. I have completed my schooling as I have written about, but I have also lost a best friend and life is changing at this rapid pace I just cannot keep up with.

Those who know me, know that I am one of four cousins, who have always had a bond closer then one can imagine. At times it feels like the bond that twins must share. We don't always have to be together to know what is going on and who is experiencing what. Karyn, Monique, Renee and I have been best friends from childhood, yet it always surprises me how incredible different we are. I think we've all influenced each other's lives in so many ways, but what we have in common has dwindled somewhat over the years and yet the bond has remained stronger then ever. It's had to grow stronger as we have moved further apart.

Renee was born with SCIDs, which meant she did not have an immune system. She had a bone marrow transplant as a baby in New York and lived very healthily for 21 years until she was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2005, shortly before my wedding. She returned to NYC for treatment, and was able to be a bridesmaid for me which was such a blessing. She returned to Winnipeg at Christmas that year. That fall Monique and her moved out to Vancouver, and that is where she lived until she got the dreaded words that her leukemia was back in October of 2007. She of course then had to go back to NYC for treatment and they planned a bone marrow transplant (her second), which never took place.

Us out dancing in NYC (2008)

Monique and I were able to go to NYC in January to visit her which was blast. She was doing outpatient treatments, so we were free to do so much. We went shopping, to Central Park, Broadway and to several great restaurants!

Fast forward to the end of February, one of our friends was there with her during her reading week and on Thursday of that week Renee was still in great spirits and Friday morning our friend left. Renee was on another round of chemo and after our friend left Friday Renee was admitted
because her counts were out. By Saturday her demeanor had changed, Monday she was having lots of pain and breathing problems, Tuesday she went into organ failure and passed away later that night. It went that fast!

We never really thought that she wouldn't get better but knew because of the extreme risk of the BMT that there was that small chance that when we saw her in January it may be our last time. During this whole bout with the cancer the four of us have never been together. Karyn works in Jordan, Monique and Renee were living in Vancouver, and then Renee moved to NYC.

My anger has come in those who refuse to respect who she was, and who have sensationalized her. I feel to be so wrong to do something now that she would have HATED while she was alive.
My sadness has come in having to explain who Renee was to my friends that will never get to meet her! Overall, the tears have not come. They are locked in my head. Somewhere, only to be found when this actually becomes real. Maybe it will when I visit her grave on Friday.

This may sum it up-

I have been so used
saying good-bye
and waiting for hello
But this time
hello won't come

and good-bye is not enough

Far away, yet here
I am
for something
for tears, for grief
for relief
She is gone,
but yet I don't feel it

after all she will have
to say
hello again,
if only in heaven

Dancing we are dancing
For you, for Him

The one that we love
You will always be
The Little One,

my friend, my cousin
LIFE even in death
You have been true, you have been you.

The memories we have together could fill a book (not that we're going to write one...). There was so many good times. Other then saying good bye I don't remember any bad memories. Renee was just so much fun to be around, even when she totally disagreed with what we were doing, like going to a Gelati shop she didn't agree with... She was such a funny girl, we always knew her opinion even if she didn't tell us. She was the Little One, the youngest, the baby and even though I'm still in disbelief that she can really be gone, I miss her every day. Four has become three but will always still be four. But I know, I KNOW that she's dancing up a storm in heaven, with whoever will dance with her. She won't dance like the others, she will still dance to her own music. That was Renee.


Anonymous said...

U know I have so much to say! But I won't leave it all on here:) We have had to sayso many goodbyes over the last 7 years, but none of them even came close to this! But we will hold strong! One last thing... dont u wish we were still as hot as we were in that pic?!?!? Oh my!!!! How embarassing:) hahaha Luv u

tammi said...

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful friend. I'm so sorry for your loss, Krista.

Melissa said...

This is so beautiful
Its so hard to say goodbye, but you will see each other again:)

Jobina said...

You four are so cute in that picture!!! I'm glad she had so many healthy years so that she could just enjoy life and spread her wings. She's missed, that's for sure.

Andrea said...

You did a great job writing that tribute, Krista. I can't imagine losing a best friend. But I'm glad you can 'see' her in heaven dancing up a storm, waiting until she sees you again.

Anonymous said...

love you... hugs