Saturday, August 7, 2010

Gratitude and gestures

Thank you all for the outpouring of support, love and compassion. So many of you have visited over the last few weeks and so many more wish they could have. Rene knows that everyone is with her, supporting and celebrating her life and accomplishments from all over the world. We are surrounding her with our prayers, love and strength which continues to bolster her spirits, but she is often quietly sleeping.

As she completes her journey here on earth i am reminded of the circle of life, and how connected we are from birth to beyond. Rene relies on gestures now, signals and communications with her hands, as her voice often escapes her, but her hands and grasp still communicate the great strenght we have seen from her for so many years. I am reminded by the similarities to our 9 month old's waving and flapping that we call "sign language", as she learns to ask for "more", or "all done". They may be simple, but these two words and gestures can be used for communication, combining both emotion and desire, and Rene still does this beautifully, teaching her little Addison even without her voice.

Thank you all for the continued support and enormous outpouring of love. We love you all and appreciate all that you have done, and know there are many of us that have met for the first time, but are immediately bonded by our love for the amazing woman we have had the privilege to know.

We love you Rene




  1. Dear Rene -
    I just came to know today about your condition. You will always be in my prayers. You have been more than a faculty member that I worked with at ND. You have been a good friend. I enjoyed our side-tracked conversations about Maryam and Cooper (though you never did email me a picture!).
    May God's blessings be with you always. You will always be loved by those around you.
    With prayers & love,
    Anees, Seher & Family

  2. Rene and family,
    Take strength in your love for one another which will live forever. As always, Rene is in my thoughts and my entire family is praying for her.

  3. kristen and Jay.
    My family loves you and is praying for your family. Its our honor to be your neighbors

  4. Hi Rene-

    I'm looking at some hilarious pictures of my kids and I wish I could figure out how to post a picture but I don't seem to be able to. Anyways, I have enjoyed knowing you so much. You are always so easy to talk to and a very warm, loving person. I loved exchanging holiday cards with you because I know how much you love kids.
    I remember you and Christopher at my wine tasting bridal shower and Christopher keeping me in stiches with his comments about the wines.
    Our parties won't be the same without you. You were one of the greatest charades players!! I'm so glad you came into my life through my mom and GS and I will remember you always. See ya on the other side.
    Alissa Fox Silverman

  5. Ms. Lepiane,

    I will always remember your kindness and sincerity. Whenever I walked by your office you would always says hello and I loved when we would talk about dachshunds . You helped to make my Notre Dame experience wonderful with all of the tireless work that you did to make every event amazing. Thank you so much for your positive spirit.

    -Beth Williams

  6. Hi Ms. Lepiane

    I think it's safe to say that both alumni and current students alike view the Notre Dame community as some type of a family no matter what happened. At least I did. And it is breaking my heart to know that I have to say goodbye to a part of my family. We never worked together closely on ASB or anything like that but you were always there for a nice conversation while i was on my way to the community service office for the next TASC related event. You were truly a big part of my growth as a leader as well. And while it may not seem like we had such a close relationship, like all of the ND faculty you had a big impact on me because you were the type of person i wanted to become: A pleasant, kind hearted, spirited leader whom everyone loved. And boy does everyone love you, the evidence is right here on this blog. You are an amazing person and I will always keep your memory in my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family always. Thank you so much for everything.

    Priya Patel (class of 09)

  7. Dearest Rene -

    Tonight we celebrated you and Christopher. We opened up a great bottle of wine and made smores around a campfire. We told funny stories of our times together motorcycle riding, making fun of my dad and more - we laughed and cried and laughed. We are sending you a both huge hugs!!

    Best - Jill Stelfox