I lost a dear friend this weekend.
Renee was truly one of the sweetest, most caring people I've ever known...she was like a second mom to me, even though she was only a handful of years older than I am. We worked together at my school for the past five years, and I can't fathom that she's gone. Happy Hour at Harry's on Friday afternoons has been a tradition over all of the years I've known her, and both she and Tina leave a huge void that none of us will be able to fill. Renee has fully supported me and my efforts to achieve pregnancy ever since the very beginning--she and her mom even crocheted a beautiful newborn set (sweater, blanket, booties, cap) out of pale aqua baby yarn for me even before I got pregnant. If it fits her, this set will be part of my baby girl's going-home outfit when we leave the hospital in March. (I'm already looking forward to sending her mom a picture of my little one in all her finery this spring.)
Renee was Tina's best friend, and she took it very hard when we lost Tina last February to pancreatic cancer. Renee has always been a more-than-moderate drinker, and she definitely started drinking even more after Tina passed away. Unfortunately her liver really paid the price. She had been out for quite a while this fall, in the hospital fighting cirrhosis of the liver which apparently also led to the recent failing of her kidneys as well. I and everyone else knew she wasn't doing well, but I had no idea it had gotten this critical. In fact, our friend Bobbe had just received a card from her last Tuesday, thanking her for gift cards she had sent her.
I hate the fact that I never got to say goodbye, or to thank her properly for all of her encouragement and support over these last five years. She was NOT supposed to leave us so soon--she was supposed to get to meet and hold and cuddle my baby girl. I can still feel her hugs, when she would hug me and kiss me on the cheek and say, "I love you, baby!" Renee, I'll always love you and miss you, and I am really hoping (I'm quite sure you will) that you and Tina will have a grand ol' time in heaven together... please keep watch over my little girl. She would have loved to know you.