There are people you think will always be in your SLife. You might not get to talk to them much, despite the fact that they are your SL neighbor, but you feel better just seeing their name on your radar. Renee GossipGirl was one of those people for me. She came into my SLife probably around 2009 and we became friends. Eventually she moved onto a small parcel next to mine on Bluebonnet. Once in a while she'd wander over to say hi, or she'd pop up in my IMs. No matter what she had going on in her life, if I appeared to be having a bad day, she'd IM me just to let me know that I was cared about.
This evening I received word that my dear friend passed away on December 20th.
Renee had congenital muscular dystrophy. She'd been in a wheelchair for many years. She needed help breathing and eating. She had more reason than anyone else I know to truly be angry at life. And yet, Renee was not angry. In fact, I had never met anyone who had as much joy in them. It radiated through her every word. Even on the worst days, she'd get her treatments at the hospital or from her nurse and then shrug it off.
If I was complaining about someone, she'd ask me, "Who is it so I can run over them in my wheelchair?" She understood my sadness over my fertility issues because she loved children and wanted them for herself. She did things in SL that she couldn't do in RL - like have a wedding [which is how I first met her, when she invited me to her wedding] and have a baby. She was able to work in a store in SL for a time. She had a family in SL. She had a home. She was able to wear heels. She was able to dance.
Renee loved Second Life. She especially loved the holidays in Second Life. The last time we spoke was 2 days before she died and she sent me a notecard. She wanted to know what I wanted for Christmas.
"I can already hear the "you don't have to" song & dance but its my choice. I only have a small list but you are part of it as you are dear to my heart."
You, too, sweetheart. You, too.
This was her last home in Second Life. I'm going to leave it up for a while.