Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Left to Blossom"

"Left to Blossom"
A Mother’s Tribute to her Daughter
"Left to Blossom" is also the title of a film Renee co-produced
while studying at Capilano College

Renee (Born Again) Amaryah (God has Promised) Lalani (Heavenly Flower), was born on March 18, 1984.She was promoted to glory 3 weeks before her 24th birthday.

Renee, we will always remember you, sometimes with tears, but also with lots of smiles, for all the beauty and joy you brought into our lives.

Renee packed as much as possible into her short time on this earth. Renee loved going to camp. She would go to as many camps as possible in one summer: Beaver Creek Bible Camp, horsemanship camp, and music camp.

Renee, I’m so thankful that you loved Jesus, our God and Savior with all your heart, soul and mind, serving Him in whatever capacity you could, working at camp, teaching Sunday School and being a youth leader. I am glad that you decided to do the DTS with YWAM and working on staff at I’m so very happy that you got to go Jordan and Greece with YWAM, and that you were obedient to God’s calling to join the WAVE USA.

But why Renee did not get to do all fifty states, we will never know. She was diagnosed with leukemia when the WAVE USA team got to Cleveland, Ohio at the end of June, 2005. Renee only made it to twenty six states. After treatment at she was in remission for 2 years.

I’m glad that you could study film production at Capilano and you got to work in the industry for a few months. You would have loved to continue, and some day start your own business, to produce all those films you dreamed about, but the devastating leukemia came back.
It was very special that I could be there for Renee in New York during treatments for six months in ’05 and then four months since the end of October ’07.
Renee, I’ll always cherish those ten months we had together, doing things together when you felt up to it, whether it was going to art museums, to the park, or going out to eat at some of the many wonderful restaurants, enjoying all that yummy ethnic food, or watching movies together and countless hours of TV. And I will also always cherish all those conversations you and I had.
It was a joy to cook for Renee, I got to make those delicious dishes she requested. Cooking our last Christmas dinner together will always be a very special memory.
Renee, I’m so happy that on my birthday, just two weeks before you were promoted to glory we could go out to a Persian restaurant, to enjoy the world’s oldest cuisine and that we could walk to Central Park together in the snow, one of the few snow days we had all winter in New York.
And thank you so much, Renee, for talking your dad into getting an iPod for me and thank you so very much for uploading all those songs by your favorite artists for me. Listening to those songs now, helps me to understand even better your passions, beliefs and desires.
And Renee, thanks a million for the CD you made for me before Christmas with some of your favorite worship music.

We played that CD over and over on Renee’s last day while we were waiting for her sisters to arrive. But Renee could not hang on long enough, because their flight was delayed. I’m so glad that Renee’s brother was there, because he had not seen Renee since she went back to New York.

I’m so sorry, Renee, that I could not do more for you. I feel like I let you down. I felt so helpless, so sorry you relapsed and had to go back to New York, and sorry that you had leukemia in the first place, sorry that you were born with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. Sorry that you got the lung infection. Sorry that you had to get more chemo.
Renee, I’m so sorry that we had to say good-bye to you so soon. The tears are about us, about our pain in losing a precious daughter, a loving sister, a wonderful friend, cousin, granddaughter and niece.

To know that Renee impacted so many people in her short time on this earth brings me comfort.
And to know God who is the God of all comfort is so precious. We experienced the power of prayer in so many ways.
We may never know the answer to our many whys and what-ifs, but we need to trust in God’s love, as Renee did. As a result of her suffering, Renee came to the conclusion that it was not so much about the answers, as it was about the questions.
We trusted God and hoped that this upcoming transplant was going to be successful, and that Renee would be able to continue with her mission of serving God "To mobilize the church into missions, and to see truth proclaimed through the arts".
For reasons we do not understand this was not to be. Renee was spared further suffering and is now in the place where we all want to be, a place with no more tears and no more pain.
I know Renee does not want to be remembered as the girl with cancer, but as a woman with a passion for justice and peace, a heart for the less fortunate, proclaiming a message of hope.
One of the countries Renee visited for the outreach part of the DTS, was Cambodia. In this place where she saw so much pain, she was inspired to get the Cambodian word for hope tattooed on her ankle. Renee’s life was a good example of what it means to serve the truth of the gospel.
I’m praying that many will step forward to carry on the work that Renee wanted to do for God.

Renee, I know you could have done a much better job of writing this, but I did the best I could. If you had edited it, you would probably have cut out at least one third of it. So now this is your mama saying, "See you later, Renee. I love so very much. We all love you and will all miss you terribly much.
Give Kris and Jason lots of hugs from me and of course Jesus too. I’ll be with you again some day."

"Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King." I am looking forward to that day when the King will return, "when those who have died will rise from their graves and then together with them, we who remain on earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with Him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words."
We want to give a special thanks to everybody who had a part in the memorial services we had for Renee. The first one was at the chapel at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre where Renee was treated as a baby and for the leukemia. We had two services in Manitoba. March 1, at Eastview Community Church and in Riverton on March 2 with internment at the Mennville EMC Church cemetery.

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