Tosca Reno

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Friday, March 25, 2011

For Braden

May 28, 1987 - March 24, 2011
Hello Readers and Fans,

As you know I recently wrote a Raise the Bar column in Oxygen magazine introducing you to Braden Kennedy, Robert's son and my step-son, who was brain injured in a car accident 13 years ago.  Last night Braden passed away after a heroic struggle.  His days and nights of suffering are over.  He leaves a gaping hole in our hearts it is true but he has filled us with so much not the least of which is his bravery.  Even during those long last hours he did not give up easily and endured what was handed him with grace.  Indeed he taught us bravery.

You may find it hard to believe from someone who has sustained such devastating physical limitations that he could be so inspirational but when our days were dark because of some now seemingly trivial details Braden taught us to laugh.  He never lost that talent.  If someone used a swear word he would laugh uncontrollably. When I was making soup he could in his earlier days still manage to eat it but not nearly as much as his favorite beverage, beer.  On a hot day Braden would easily slurp down a few spoonfuls.  When Jim Carey cracked a joke on any of his movies Braden always got it and laughed.  He loved a good joke especially when his nurses got in on them.  One time he had a nurse who would go into the shower with him stripped right down to her bra and panties!  We were horrified!  But he is a Kennedy boy after all.   Rachel, Kiersten, Chelsea and Kelsey, his sisters, knew how his mind worked and always gave him a Maxim and an American Curves for Christmas.  What joy! Braden also loved his dogs.  Bailey, his beautiful golden retriever, spent many an hour under Braden's bed where he kept a watchful eye on his master.  Bailey passed away last year if you recall.  Now Davidson and Maggie are taking over.  How do dogs know when tragedy is in the air?  They just do and both of these creatures are never far from us as we try to get through this day.  

Braden was my inspiration.  When I competed in my first triathlon and my first half marathon I carried him in my heart and ran, swam and biked for him and for those who could not do for themselves.  What we would have given for Braden to do these things himself.  Therefore we put ourselves to so many challenges.  Bob and I both never question how hard or how long a task may be.  We just DO!  Our daughters are the same. A lesson in courage we all learned from Braden.

I have always included you in my life and I want you now to be there as well as we all try to go on.  This day is unbearable.  It is our turn to suffer now that Braden is gone.  Robert, Rachel, Kiersten, Chelsea, Kelsey and I ask for your prayers and thank you for being such an important and uplifting part of our lives.

Thank you,
Tosca

69 comments:

  1. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Wishing you peace at this difficult time.

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  2. aahh sweets,
    my thoughts and prayers are with you and youe entire family.
    oxoxoox,
    Jessi

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  3. Dear Tosca,

    Losing a child is unfathomable to me. My heart breaks for you and yet I know that you will conquer the pain and learn to rejoice all the more in living. You and the rest of your family will be in my prayers.
    Warmly,
    Mellisa McJunkin

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  4. Heart strings are pulled so hard they feel they might snap. God bless you and yours and may you spend many hours together recalling these great moments you had here with Braden.

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  5. Hang on to those happy memories. They get you through the darkest of hours. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  6. I am so sorry and my prayers go out to you and your family! What a beautiful tribute. Don't know what to think about that nurse though.. ;) Being a nursing instructor myself, we don't teach them to do that! I'm so glad you have your family there to support each other and your loving dogs too. :) They are truly amazing! Praying for you. Now Braden is your special angel and I'm sure his memory will continue to inspire you!

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  7. Sorry for your family's loss, you will still carrying him in your hearts with the lessons he taught you

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  8. Your story about Braden was one of the most inspirational I've ever read. Thank you for sharing with us even in your time of loss. I'm so sorry. The loss of a child is beyond devastating. My prayers are with your entire family. Praise God that Braden is whole and free again!

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  9. I am so sorry, Tosca. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this incredibly difficult time. It sounds like Braden touched many, many lives.

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  10. My heart aches for all of you. Your family is in my prayers.

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  11. I would like to express my sincere sympathies for your loss. Nothing is more painful than the loss of a loved one, I hope that time will heal your hearts with his memory firmly inside.
    God Bless.

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  12. Tosca - my thoughts and prayers are with you and Bob, and girls at this very difficult time. I'm so glad you shared his story with all of us - and I'm glad he was able to be such an inspiration. (((HUGS)))
    Ann

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  13. So sorry to hear this. It doesn't seem fair. Thoughts and prayer with you and your family:( Just knowing he is at peace with out physical limitations is awesome! It hurts our heart but he is where none of us can even fathom.

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  14. Dear Tosca, Robert, Rachel, Kiersten, Chelsea and Kelsey, my thoughts go out to you all on this onbearable day. A candle is lit on my desk on a daily basis for those who are in need of some extra strength - right now it is dedicated to all of you and your brave son.
    With warm regard and lots of love, Cindi

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  15. I am sorry for your loss. I thank you for being brave enough to share his story with the world. It saddens my heart when the young suffer because they are such special people.
    Your family is in my thoughts this day.

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  16. Tosca and family: I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that your many happy memories of Braden provide you with some measure of comfort in your grief. You are such an inspiration to so many; it is now our turn to lift you up and carry you through your dark time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  17. Tears fill my eyes...I am so sad for your loss. Living life to its fullest no matter what your situation is truly the meaning to us being on this earth, and it sounds like Braden did just that! I feel more courageous just reading this post, so thank you for sharing. We are all thinking of you and your family xx LOVE xx

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  18. Dear Tosca, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thought and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    ~ L.

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  19. Praying you find comfort in memories of the joyful times you shared together....

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  20. Incredibly sorry to hear of your loss Tosca. Please know that I will hold you, Robert and your entire family up in prayer during this difficult time.

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  21. My thoughts are with you and your sweet family. I know loss is never simple or easy, but I pray you are comforted and encouraged by sweet memories over the coming weeks and months. Your faithful readers and ladies of iron grieve along with you.

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  22. Oh Honey,,,you have our prayers.I pray God will give you the same strength that he gave Braden to endure this time in your lives.God Bless all of you,and may he be with you during this time of most precious loss.
    In Jesus name I pray,
    Amen

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  23. So sorry to hear the sad news Tosca and family. Rest in peace Braden.

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  24. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  25. My heart goes out to you and Robert. RIP Braden.

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  26. My deepest condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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  27. My condolences to you and your family. May you find peace together during this difficult time.

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  28. My sincere and deepest thoughts and prayers go out to your entire family at this time of loss. May you take all the wonderful and inspirational memories you have of Braden and wrap them around you in comfort at this time. Your honesty and openness is admired and appreciated.

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  29. My heart aches for you & Robert. As a parent of 3 boys, I cannot imagine losing one. Praying for your strength. You have been a pillar in my life for over a year now and I hope to pay it forward to you in my prayers. Hugs.

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  30. To Tosca and the entire Kennedy family--I am so sorry for your unbearable loss. I cannot imagine what horrible pain losing a child would cause and I am incredibly sorry for what you are going through right now. Prayers, love and thoughts from Jentri & Evan. May your sweet son rest in peace.

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  31. I'm so sorry to hear of this.
    His strength carries on in you and your family Tosca. It is evident in the powerful words you wrote about him. My heart was breaking as I read. As always, you share so much of yourself and I remember when I read your story about him in Oxygen, I wrote to you. Today I write again to forward my strength and my prayers across the Ontario miles between us. Embrace your grief and carry him in your heart as you move forward in leaps and bounds in your own life. (hug)
    Molly229

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  32. So sorry to hear. Thoughts and Prayers..

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  33. We are fortunate to have been given a glimpse in to your life with Braden from your column in Oxygen but therefore this is o much sadder to read.
    My thoughts are with you and your family. RIP Braden.

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  34. thank you for introducing this incredible young man to us. i am so sorry to hear of your loss. you and your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve the loss of this special young man.

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  35. I am so so sorry to hear of your loss. I am thinking of you and your family and you all are lifted up in my prayers during this time.

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  36. So sorry for your loss Tosca and Robert. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  37. I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  38. I'm so sorry for you loss Tosca! I will keep your family in my prayers ::hugs::

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  39. Thank you for sharing such a personal, devastating time with your fans. Your whole family is an inspiration. I will run my half marathon this weekend in Braden's honor.

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  40. So sorry for the family's loss! Will certainly have you guys in my prayers!

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  41. I'm so sorry to near of your loss. My prayers go out to you and your family.

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  42. I am so sorry to hear this. My thoughts and prayer's go out to you.

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  43. I will say a prayer for you and your family Tosca.

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  44. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  45. Thank you for sharing part of Braden's character with us. He sounds like a beautiful person. My thoughts are with your family and everyone that he touched. Angela Gladu

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  46. Tosca, as one who has had several loved ones pass on before me. I am somewhat aware of the pain that defies words! Please accept my condolences and YES I will pray for you, your husband and family during this time! Love and His comfort on you all!

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  47. my dear tosca -- I am so very sorry for your loss -- I am reading this with tears streaming down my cheeks and I want to hug my children -- my heart just aches

    I had the opportunity to meet your girls at the booth at the Arnold last month -- stunningly beautiful and gracious - I am just sorry I missed your smiling face -- you and robert serve as such an inspiration to me

    My guest is that Jack Lalanne needed another angel in heaven!

    all my love,
    Forbes Riley

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  48. I'm sorry for your loss, Tosca. Your entire family will be in my prayers.

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  49. Tosca,
    The loss of a child is a pain that one can never imagine. I found comfort in knowing that I am now never alone.
    Recently, I had a number of medical tests and had to go by my self. I found comfort and strength knowing my Jerrick was with me.
    My prayers to you, Bob and your girls!
    Vicki

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  50. Oh sweetie, I pray you are given the strength to come through this sad time even stronger than before. Julie

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  51. Prayers for your family. Thanks for all you do. I pray you find peace through this storm.

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  52. Tosca, I am so sorry to hear of your family's loss. What a beautiful legacy Braden has left, serving as such an inspiration in his all too brief life. Lifting you in prayer during this difficult time.

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  53. I know there are no words that can ease the pain or sorrow that you are feeling. May you and your family find peace and comfort during this difficult time.

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  54. Thank you for sharing about Braden in the magazine and for some insight into his personality here as well. Very sorry for your family's loss.

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  55. Tosca, I am so saddened and nearly crying myself for this devastating loss... I don't know what to say, but may love surround Braden in eternity now, may love surround, you, Bob and your entire family as you suffer through this loss.

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  56. Sending wishes for peace for your family . . .

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  57. So sorry for the loss of Braden. I know he was a joy to your family. Prayers are with you in this difficult time.

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  58. Dear Tosca, Bob and Family, I read about Braden this morning in the Toronto Star and joined this blog so that I could extend my heartfelt sympathies. As a fan of yours,mother, grandmother and a supporter of children with special needs I understand how the little things that make us grateful for the gifts that come from unexpected places make our lifes worth living. The stories of Bradens gifts to you all touched my heart and I am sure will stay with you always as you find ways to celebrate his life. Love and strength to your family at this difficult time. XO

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  59. I was so sorry to read of Braden's passing in the Toronto Star today. To lose a child is tragic, but hopefully his legacy of bravery and humour will help you to carry on. My thoughts will be with you during the difficult days ahead.

    Frances

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  60. I am truly sorry for your loss. May God bless you and keep you.

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  61. Really sorry for your loss - all your fans here in Australia send their love across the ocean to you at this time xoxo

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  62. I'm so sorry to near of your loss. My prayers go out to you and your family.

    Lenka

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  63. I am moved to tears of joy and sadness for Braden. He is a guy after my own heart, slurping beer and all....and what guy doesn't love a good Maxim now and again? :)

    Your family was truly blessed to have someone so special in their lives, not everyone gets to experience a true hero among them in their lifetime.

    My prayers are with the entire family, may your hearts rest assured that Braden is with his sacred keeper, who thanks you for taking such great care of him while he was here on earth.

    xoxoxoxoxo
    Roxie-Girl

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  64. Thoughts and prayers for you, your family and close friends. Braedan was an inspiration to many and will continue to be through many thoughts and loving memories. I believe he will always be with you. An angel now of mercy and grace, he rests, but is always with you all. Blessings,

    Kathryn

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  65. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

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  66. My family is praying for your family.

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  67. I can only image the pain in your heart. You and your family will be in my prayers. May you feel peace, comfort and the promise of joy!

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  68. My deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to you, Tosca, Robert, Rachel, Kiersten, Chelsea, and Kelsey.

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  69. Im so sorry to hear the news. Tosca you and your beautiful family are in my thoughts.

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