Friday, October 29, 2010

In honor of Coffee and Chemo

I've read RivkA's blog almost from the beginning. She never failed to inspire with her humor, her honesty, her parenting skills, her love of Israel, her love of her husband and children, and her courage.

As a cancer survivor, I very much related to her battle. As the months and years passed I, and so many others, became increasingly inspired by RivkA. Through her brutal treatment she was determined to live her life. She continued to work, to play, to do the things she loved. She went camping with her kids only two months ago, driving them up North and spending two days in a tent with them.

I can't say that I knew RivkA personally. We met at the Blogger's conventions, where I was charmed by her humor and we had some great conversations. We commented on each other's blogs and occasionally e-mailed each other with more personal questions or observations. And yet, I considered her to be a friend.

Some of my friends think this whole blogging relationship is just plain weird. They wonder why I talk to "strangers". They don't quite understand why I am so saddened by a death of someone who, in their mind, I barely knew. It's hard to explain to you non-bloggers. I don't quite understand it myself. But after blogging for some time, we find that the lines of our real and blogging lives somehow blur. RivkA wrote so honestly about her disease and her struggle that I feel like I did know her. I will miss her--I checked her blog daily, even before the last week. She posted almost everyday.

I wish I had the words to comfort RivkA's family. I wonder if they understand that besides all the friends they actually know, there are so many more that loved RivkA, that were inspired by her and share in the pain of her loss.

RivkA, your legacy lives in your words. You will stay on my blogroll for a long time to come and I will remember you always.

May your family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion.

15 comments:

Leora said...

"why I am so saddened by a death of someone who, in their mind, I barely knew" - I feel like I knew her. I thought the misheberach for her last week, instead of saying her name out loud... in our Sephardi shul, we have a prayer for the deceased. I'll be thinking or saying her name when they do the prayer for deceased women.

I related to her illness because it brought back my time with my mother, who died of cancer. I confess I had a hard time reading her blog. It was too painful for me.

Shabbat Shalom, Baila.

Bee said...

"why I am so saddened by a death of someone who, in their mind, I barely knew" - RivkA was so honest and open we knew her well and I know that if any of us visited Israel we would have met up with our friend and got to know her in the physical sense. But we didn't need to actually meet up - we had a friendship with her that was firmly rooted and to know her (even in this way) was to love her. She was and still is the woman we all strive to be. We have all known someone close who has been subjected to this awful illness and RivkA's courage was awesome and inspiring to us all. She is now free from pain and Hashem is caring for her.

HaMakom venachem etchem b’toch she’ar avelei Tzion v’Yerushalayim.

Leah Goodman said...

AS someone who had the privilege of spending two days with her, I can honestly say that she was even more incredible than her blog...

She will be missed by all of us, around the world.

rutimizrachi said...

Thank you, Baila, for writing this. The Blogosphere, and "the real world," are poorer now. Remarkably, her writing (whether on her blog or in our email archives) keeps her present, in some respect. I guess like the writing of all writers does.

Please accept a virtual hug from another one of your semi-real cyber-friends.

Let's have that cup of coffee soon, eh? Better yet -- in honor of RivkA -- let's a bunch of us get together and go to a movie. We could laugh and be rowdy. No talking during the movie, and pizza afterwards.

Gila Rose said...

Beautifully written, Baila.

ilanadavita said...

I am also saddened by her death and yet I never even met her, just read her blog about twice a month catching up on the posts I had missed.
Somehow the fight against cancer will never be the same thanks to RivkA.

Mrs. S. said...

Beautiful post.

May this coming week be one of besurot tovot, yeshu’ot, and nechamot.

leah said...

I was privileged to know RivkA personally and feel very sad at her passing.

How symbolic that she passed away on a Friday of Chaye Sara, when we read about Rivka Imenu.

Jack said...

It really is a terrible shame- ever so sorry for her family.

A Living Nadneyda said...

I was priveleged to know RivkA in "real life," and yet she herself was so real, she brought the full authenticity of her life -- her personality, her passion -- to her blog, in real time, every time.

How strange, sad and unwelcome to be writing and speaking of her in the past tense; she was so fully alive.

Batya said...

Of course our blog relationships are real. Think of how people relate to celebrities and political figures as if they know them personally. We really knew RivkA and she knew us. And we know each other.

miriyummy said...

I was a latecomer to RivkA's blog and to the blogging world in general, but in the few short months that I had my Coffee and Chemo with my morning coffee I felt that I grew to know RivkA's, and to admire her courage. I don't think I should have felt anything since I wasn't a fan for too long, but yet, on Friday, when the news came, I cried. I haven't written anything on my blog, because I really don't know what to say, but the words you wrote express what I feel. Beautiful words, beautiful post.

Minnesota Mamaleh said...

thank you for writing this beautiful tribute. it's perfect in every way.

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

I so agree with you, Baila. Here is my post today where I quoted you and your relationship with Rivka, which is similar to mine:

http://nancymccarroll.blogspot.com/2010/11/rivka-amazing-generous-loving-faithful.html

Nancy

Anonymous said...

Hey Baila....I'm so sad..I followed her blog also...Her honesty about everything she went through was unbelievable. I understand your loss. Carolyn
PS...so nice seeing you last week!!!