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France in mourning

28 Jun

It is tough for me to explain, the juxtaposition of circumstance in which we (Brian, Esther, and I) have just lived.  For upon finishing up the memorial/burial services for our beloved, Cole, we had to continue on, “being strong”, to fulfill a commitment made prior to our loss.  This commitment just happened to be in France.

It was very strange to have such heartache within us, while engaging in new adventures with new relations…very kind and loving people.  At best, we remained “distracted” from our pain.  But every so often (daily in fact), our loss was inescapable.

For instance…

While touring the streets of Toulouse a man with a limp and a cane walked by.  I was instantly flooded with sympathy for my son, and hurt for the hardship he faced after his braintumor surgery.  My heart ached so horribly in that moment as I faced his bravery and HIS physical challenges, as seen empathetically through his eyes by way of the disabled man doing his best to navigate his physical impairment.

In another moment, while visiting Spain, I (metaphorically) stepped into the shoes of my siblings and felt the pain of their loss…the loss of their beloved nephew.  And in another town, I hurt for my mother who I knew was keeping my house (and pets) in order while we were away, yet was daily facing the undeniable reality of Cole’s empty room–her first grandchild, her angel.  And during the couple of times I was able to have a quiet walk on my own, I stepped into the shoes of the friend.  The impact of their struggle in learning how to be a friend to a fragile Cole (after his surgery), and the impact of his being gone that leaves its profound mark upon their young souls.

And of course there was (is) my own pain that is unavoidable and ever so ready in its reminder that I cannot “wake up” from this nightmare of a reality.  And then there is the pain of the sister, my beautiful Esther Rose, and the father, my ‘darlin,’ Brian.  If I could, for a moment, get away from my own mourning, theirs was present, visible, and in need of consoling.

It is a tough case, this loss.  For me, it hasn’t lessened my faith in G-d the almighty, but it has impacted my ‘faith’ in ways I cannot truly explain.  Just impacted, that is all…

After Cole’s surgery, though I ached (alongside him) for his physical, spiritual, and emotional struggles, I held on–so tightly–to the hope of his future, and I encouraged him often to see it for himself.  The scripture from Jeremiah 29, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”, I believed with all my being in relationship to my son.  I could almost taste, touch, smell, and see the prosperous future of Cole…his dreams of a wife and children fulfilled.  His gifts and strengths being of benefit to others for years to come.  His generous heart beating full strength ahead for years and years after the statistics of his type of cancer suggested.  His touch upon this earth not hindered in the least because of his physical impairments.  …I could see it all, and my faith was fully present within my hope.

So while I remain fully comitted to my faith in G-d, his word, his promises, and the hope we are offered in this life and the life beyond, I am just a bit impacted, so to say, from not only the loss of my son, but from the loss of hope I had been clinging to in relationship to Cole’s future.  …hard to explain.  Just as being in France, while in mourning, is difficult to describe.  But I feel a bit like a disappointment.  Like one of the stories in the bible, such as Job, that no-one wants to relate to.  That we all, at some point or another, would like to believe is more myth than reality.  I mean I had such hope…such positivity, such faith–and yet, here I am–we are, all of us, hurting from this story that none of us wishes were ours to tell.  I don’t want to be a modern day Job.  I just don’t.  I don’t even like his story of intense loss, complete faithfulness to our Heavenly father, and a bounty of new blessing bestowed upon him.  It just brings up too many questions of, “why?”

Oh dear, I am rambling…the result of horrific tales of travel (delays, crowded planes, flight cancellations, loss of luggage and sleep, etc.).  I apologize, though not enough to delete this post.  😉

Next up, Japan.  Brian and I leave on Monday.  But for today, though our luggage has yet to arrive, we are home–safe.  And I write while sitting in my son’s room–as close to him as I can be…for now.

Biarritz France

Musician and daughter (Brian and Esther), walking to the ‘gig’ in Biarritz, France

bbandrivkabiarritz1

France, in mourning. Brian and Rivka

All Dried Up

12 May

My last post was written in an attempt to convey the fact that I feel as if I am running on borrowed time.  Not the type of “borrowed time” that means short on life, but more the type of situation where there are so many things happening, nay converging, that when I get a moment I feel as if it’s borrowed from a future still pending.  In my own estimation, I fell short of success in conveying that concept…not only did I not take the proper initiative to dissect where I was coming from, but the thought itself is an abstract and abstracts are hard for me to process.  Hence the lazy output of my previous writing.  To be plain, my last post is downright boring.  A cop out at best.  I thank you for reading through it, and I especially thank those of you who, with loving hearts, were able to decipher through my blasé code and find the real Rivka in the mix.  You are my kindred spirits!

So I have some catching up to do…

First, the excitement of the day:  My husband, my daughter, and I are heading to France in June.  Brian (hubby) has been asked to play music at a festival in Biarritz, FR called, “Wheels and Waves.”  He is also being recruited to that country to have an art show at a gallery in the same town, galerie 13 avril de biarritz.  When he was asked to participate he said, “yes, but my wife must come along too.”  So Brian and I are having an all expenses paid trip to France, and we decided we needed our daughter to be party to the endeavor as she is fluent in the language and we are not.  Well simultaneous to the french connection came an offer from Japan.  Again, my beloved said, “I will go but not without my wife.”  So we return from France only to turn around and three days later take off for Japan.  Only this time, Esther will not be with us as she only knows how to eat Japanese, not speak it!

Which brings me to the second item of ‘new and exciting’ in the Bent (but not broken) world of Rivka B.  Upon our return from Japan, two days after our return to be exact, I will be starting a new job.  A full time job.  And though I am not quite yet at liberty to discuss the details of the position, or the employer, I am very much looking forward to this new opportunity, challenge, endeavor, direction.  I assure you, more to come on this subject later…like mid-summer, later!

Third, but not last, as result of many, many (would it be too redundant to include about a thousand more “many’s?”), circumstances and prayers (“prayers” should be in caps for emphasis!), our Bent family is graduating from the ministry we were called to thirteen years ago.  Yep, 13 years ago my husband and I knew without a doubt we were called to start an outreach ministry called, the Hotrod Church for Sinners (hotrodchurch.com).  It has been, what I like to call, a catalyst ministry–a first step, if you will, toward a life of faith (we have also  been blessed with several people who utilize it for their additional steps of faith as well).  We have met in the same pizza/bar restaurant since its inception–free of charge.  And have reached out to the people in society who feel, for whatever reason, unrecognized by the traditional church.  The ministry has become so much more than that.  It has been an extension of our family.  It is funny, I was briefly looking through the photos taken at the hospital while my son was in ICU (from the brain tumor surgery) and I thought to myself, “what a diverse and colorful bunch of people we had supporting us, what a beautiful ‘family of friends’ we have been given–many as result of the Hotrod Church.”  Now I like to joke (often), that the sinner part of the title is held by ‘yours truly’, though that part of the name came about more as a nod to the fact that we all know we are sinners and therefore don’t need to be told.  At any rate, our last service in our little pizza restaurant will be Sunday, May 26.  We are secure in the ending of this chapter, and we are excited for the next set of adventures our Lord in Heaven has for us…watch out homelessness, Brian’s got you on his radar! 🙂

Lastly (for now), is the present condition of my (our) son Cole.  The good news, he is successfully living on his own.  In fact, I will be surprised if he ever decides to come back home.  This, in and of itself, is very positive, and I have to keep reminding myself of this truth.  You see it is very difficult for my maternal eye to not fixate upon the things that aren’t so great–because it is in my nature to want to “fix” these things.  Cole’s dependency upon narcotics and the cocktail of medications he receives, greatly disturbs my soul.  Every day, I wait with anticipation to hear from him…when I do, I am thankful to have another day of assurance that he is alive.  I have come to realize that this is my lot, the lot of being the mother.  I will never have the ability to see my son through any other eyes than the maternal vision which was handed me at the time of his birth.  I will always want the closest thing to perfection when evaluating his health and welfare.  I will always utilize my critical eye with his circumstance because I am hoping for the best, most fulfilling life for my son.  But what I have realized is that my maternal eye, and all that the concept encompasses, is not necessarily what he considers as “best.”  And to that epiphany, I am learning to yield.  So I am reminded, moment by moment, that he is making it…his way.  And for today, that is a good and healthy place for him to be.  It is his process, and I will take part as I am allowed, the challenge being not to take over! 😉

Well I will close within this theme.  After all, it is Mother’s Day in the U.S.A.  And though I had hoped to be given a quiver of 10, I have been blessed with my two natural born, who just by themselves make the quiver seem quite full!  Yet in addition to the two, I have been blessed with many nieces and nephews (some of them technically cousins), young ladies who consider me a parental role model, children of longtime friends who humor me with their approval, and a  few stragglers still grasping for any loving handout that comes their way…all of which bless my soul to play a part in their lives.  Moreover, who make me realize that if my quiver of ten had in fact been given me, I would lack the capacity of mind for the dozens more I have been given in their stead.

P.s. I am sharing a piece of Hotrod Church history with the following video clip, including the fact our son is playing the drums while he was on leave from his military assignment…obviously pre-surgery.

…peace out and peace be with you…

The Time Warp

7 May

I have had the song, “Time Warp” swirling around in my head all day long.  You know the song, from the movie, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”  So then of course I had to recap, via Google search, the actors who portrayed the fictional characters from the cult classic.  But really, all of the info I just now shared is irrelevant to the subject at hand.  Though my sharing it does give one insight into the nuttiness with which I constantly live…inside myself!

The real reason I have the song stuck in my head is that I feel as if I am living in a time warp.  I honestly cannot keep track of time.  It seems to fly by me without so much as leaving a note.  My son moved into his own apartment February 1st, it is only the beginning of May, yet it feels like he moved out only a few days ago.  Then at other times it seems longer.

My little brother married his fiance this past weekend.  The wedding plans have been on all of the family radar for the past 9 months, and just like that, it’s over.  We spent the entire weekend together down in San Diego, all of us crazies piled into the same hotel (minus my son), and yet the festivities flew by.

My mom came into town last Monday, visiting from Nicaragua where she now lives.  I can’t believe all that we were able to “do” while she was here, and yet today I could hardly remember what those activities were…my husband helped pin a few down.  She left us this afternoon, our time together is over (for now).

As I travel within this warped space in time, I find myself struggling to catch a breath.  My cousin comes into town this coming weekend for a visit.  My sister flies into town the weekend after.  I will travel north a few days after that.  My sister will then return in the beginning of June to cover for us as we head out of the country visiting two continents for a month on business.  Yes, I did write one month.  And upon our return from that excursion I will begin a new full time job.  How is all of this even possible?, I find myself asking.  And how do I ensure I do not miss one wink of the experiences within all of the travel opportunities/familial visits?

I don’t have the answer to my question…not today anyway, for I am still reeling over the fact the wedding has passed.  Which is probably why The Time Warp is playing over and over again in my mind.  Especially the line which repeats, “let’s do the time warp again.”

It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right, put your hand’s on your hips…

P.s. What ever happened to Peter Hinwood aka Rocky Horror?!P.s.s I’ve opted to not post the link to the video of the song…purposefully! 😉

 

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