Sən Rise

By Renée Dugué-Strother*

Renée & René Dugué, Mother, Son, and Father, Terence “Sporty T” Vine, deceased. c. 2010-18

Giver of light

Sən Rise

Giver of life

Sən Rise

The source we need 

Sən Rise

To feed our seed

Sən Rise

Illuminator of the soul

Sən Rise

Without you here the world is cold

Sən Rise

To the world magnificent

Sən Rise

To the world, you are a gift

Sən Rise

All life needs you

Sən Rise

You are the truth

Sən Rise

Without you Sən this world would not be

There would be nothing to see

Everyday open your eyes

Everyday Sən rise

Twenty-two orbits ago today

You sent you to shine the way

The light, the match, you were the spark

The flame, the fire, light in the dark

Sən rise, Sən shine, Sən dance, Sən sing

Sən lead, Sən follow, Sən take, Sən bring

Sən laugh, Sən cry, Sən love, Sən feel

Sən beam, Sən grown, Sən burn, Sən heal

Twenty-two times you’ve circled you

On your journey for the truth

Stay the course and you will see

You possess the light you seek

~Renée Dugué-Strother

Author: Mrs. Renée Dugué-Strother is a Healer, Artist, Writer, Humanitarian, Co-Founder, and Executive Director of Reborn And Rising, a nonprofit based in Houston, TX, USA.

She shared with PAV that her son inspired this piece, and it was included in a letter written to him while in Buea, Cameroon on her organization’s first mission trip. She revealed that her son, also named René, is currently incarcerated in Houston, Texas, USA and that her departure date from Africa was strategically chosen to at least be in the same city as she and her family wished him a Happy Birthday on February 6, and celebrated Our Creator’s grace and mercy in allowing him to see another year, even if behind bars. 

Mrs. Renée reminded PAV of the mission and vision of Reborn And Rising, born out of the pain experienced when her son’s father was murdered. He was only ten years old, and they have struggled desperately to move forward without his Dad. While there were organizations that offered grief counseling throughout the grieving period, there were none that had any programs in place to address the combination of issues Lil René faced, with regard to the loss of a parent due to homicide, specifically providing the unique psychological needs of a “Black” boy in America growing up without his father and extended programs in place to ensure developed and sustained healing. Reborn And Rising acknowledges all of these as absolutely critical to treat the acute trauma experienced and to foster a sustained recovery. This one of a kind nonprofit offers a holistic approach to healing and recovery through mentorship by people who look like the youth we support and will work with them to establish a meaningful connection and share how they survived what these children are struggling to grasp, let alone having to overcome. Crucial to Reborn And Rising’s program is providing psychological treatment by professionals experienced in African psychology methodology as developed by Dr. Wade Nobles and support by a “Village” who embrace traditional African wisdom traditions.

“We know too well that nothing can erase the pain of losing a parent this way or any other. Our desire is to empower youth to find strength in their shared experiences and rise above the pain to choose life.”

~Renée Dugué-Strother

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