Friday, May 21, 2010

From Jackie

“Jackie I love you and the connection was there for us right from the
beginning. Right from the start we recognized each other and I am happy
that we did.”

Love Renee xoxo
I first discovered Renee through Art. I was blog hopping and her banner came up in an image search .
I arrived on a post however that talked about her cancer. I remember reading through the posts and I felt compelled to leave a comment. I had an Aunt who had passed away from breast cancer and I recognized Renee’s struggle. I wasn’t expecting the Impact that Renee would have on me . Renee could touch you in such a deep raw way. Her words had impact that often left me silent. In my first comment on her blog I wrote that “I wish that my Aunt and I had talked less about cancer” to which Renee responded that she had never heard that before. I explained that I felt that Cancer robbed my aunt and I from our precancer conversations.
You see, after cancer your conversations are changed forever . You are always looking beyond the surface . You become a sleuth. You listen, you watch.You are in search of the unspoken. I was always amazed at the strength my aunt had and that same strength was there in Renee. Renee gave a voice to cancer . She gave a voice to her sisters in cancer. I cried along as each one was “Welcomed Home."
In one post Renee talked about her need to tell her story so that she wasn’t forgotten .Anyone who knew Renee must have been amazed that she could even consider this. You could not forget
Renee saw in each of us our vulnerabilities and she reached out and touched that part of you . She watered it with loving comments and encouraged you to grow. Like a mother who tells each of you in secret that you are her favorite child and after she is gone you realize that she loved you all equally.She had the ability to make you feel special.
From Renee I learned that what we say matters and how we interact with others makes a difference. A kind comment on someone’s blog is important. I realized the deep impact Renee had on me when her voice went silent. It was a silence that left a heavy void deep within. I knew
the silence meant that she would soon say “Goodbye."
I also knew that I was lucky to have known her and that I would carry a piece of her with me always. She is present in me. I hear her voice encouraging me when I struggle with my art and I encourage my “sisters “in art just as Renee encouraged me. Renee was a beautiful piece of Art and with the most vibrant shade of love she painted the words “Renee was here."
I love you Renee…xoxo


Monday, May 10, 2010

From Julie

(original link:

"For what is it to die, but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun…." --Kahlil Gibran

Regular readers of my blog will recognize her name: my friend Renee Khan, who fought Inflammatory Breast Cancer for 4 years, has passed away. Her family posted her obituary (and her last words) on her blog, Circling My Head. I can't express how much I love this woman, a woman whom I never met in person, but who touched my heart and thousands more with her humor and compassion. I miss her and can only imagine how much her family misses her.

One thing Renee was excellent at was making you feel like the most interesting writer and friend on the planet. She read and commented here faithfully, remembering all sorts of details about the kids, even sending them books...Mr. Happy for Isaac and Little Miss Stubborn for Emi. But get this: she didn't just do this for me. She was this active a friend to hundreds of people. Here is just a tiny sampling of the daily notes she wrote to me:

You must know that I think you are exactly perfect. You are my total cup of tea. Love Renee xoxox

Dear friend, yes to being better when people are alone or afraid. Especially you, who are so full of life and such a pleasure to know. Love Renee xoxo

Julie this is what happens when you know who you are. You don't let people change your children. xoxoxo

Julie, you don't know how much I wish you lived next door to me. I don't see why your best friend couldn't be a 53 year old woman who is totally crazy about you and your family and thinks you are the funniest person in the world. Love Renee xoxo

I will obey her commands :) and will be looking for pieces of her around me. Come find me, Renee! If you found me through the maze of the Internet, your spirit can find me waiting for you in California. I love you.