This is the first post of new blog and cause. It is a joyful creation during a time of loss. It comes at a high price, the most precious and worthy imaginable. That of my oldest sister, Reta Renée Schiber, who passed away this week at the age of 64. My name is Toni, I’m sitting in an SUV writing. I’m seated behind my little sister Tori, my husband Eric is driving. We are heading home, after attending memorial services for Renée in Illinois. We are somewhere in Texas, north of our Austin destination. We are tired, cranky, and generally a bit emotional.
I am devastated at the loss of my sister, Renée. As are so many people: family, friends, students, acquaintances, and peers. She was my sister, guru, mentor, teacher, and friend. I am immensely touched and so proud of Renée. She touched countless lives, many very deeply – which is something often said about those who have passed away. The depth and breath in the scope of such a statement in her case is exceptional. It encompassed her life naturally. Each day had potential. It defined her. It brought her joy, and some grief.
Renée was a high school English teacher. She had retired a year ago. The day following her death, I saw on Facebook that her former colleagues were proposing to set up and reward a scholarship in Renée Schiber’s name. AP English students will write an essay about topics that were important to my sister. She was a challenging teacher and a warrior for social justice. It encompasses Renée so well.
That which had been is no longer to be. The future will form from this moment on.
I dedicate this site to my sister Renée and her son, John Schiber. Her legacy and memory shall endure to inspire generations to come.