Pioneer Barbeque

Updated: Jul 23

Here’s the timeline: Throughout the summer of 2021, my 94 year old grandma was convinced that Jesus would return in September. She was walking around saying, “Beam me up Scottie!” Did you know the quote originated from Star Trek, not Nikki Minaj? As we gain experience of this world, we see there’s nothing new under the sun - it’s just packaged with new marketing.


One week in late July, my mother gave me her late father’s autobiography and expressed with such sweet remembrance, “If you read it, you can hear his voice.” What a tearjerker moment, I still get choked up - also reminds me of Kevin Costner's 1989 film Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”


That week I removed all the technology out of my bedroom. I was just exhausted waking up to all the Ding! Ding! DING’S! Because raise your hand if you get late night texts and immediately roll your eyes and then furrow them when you’re torn between blaming the texter or taking accountability for not turning your phone on silent? So one by one they go to new homes for the evening. The phone, the ipad, the computer, the alarm clock - you’ll still hear that loud obnoxious cricket from the other room - the television, the Beats charging, and what else….? All of it, just move it.


Dreams Alive! To my friend Ashley, thank you for gifting me that dream journal during our short stint as roommates two years ago! I keep it by my bed so when I wake up I can start to document what I SEE. I thought people my age don’t have dreams anymore? So on the eve of August 3rd, I finally picked up the spiral bound typed account of my grandfather and I read all of five pages then passed out. I experienced something weird that night, spiritual maybe? But I'm too self absorbed to be spiritual, the only thing spiritual is my Spiritual Gangster hat, which now I have found is off putting to people who really are spiritual. Spiritual: having the nature of spirit, opposed to material or physical things. Except my hat.


As I was coming to with the sunshine pouring into my room, the warm linen blankets cuddling me, I began to crack a smile and stretch my legs. “EVERYONE!” What the holy WHAT?!?! I popped out of bed, looked out the window, opened the door, “is there, like, someone here, HELLO?!?” Oh, the deep breaths just became instinct. Breath in, exhale out, breathe in through the nose, exhale out. My poster above my bed reads “Namastay in Bed” so imagine my inner Yogi calming me down and then ok, ok, I crawl back under the covers because I’m an adult.


Oh my word, the moments that followed. For the sake of time, I’m going to summarize the haphazard that ensued. Read Revelations for the first time because it felt right, can’t really explain that urge. The whole book, one sitting, NOT RECOMMENDED. Put clothes on, get in the car, my song comes on by Cain, "Lazarus" - okay, like, Lord dude, I need comfort!.


Driving fast to grandma’s I park the car and the moment I reach for the keys to turn off the ignition the music stops and the emergency broadcast alert system begins, “This is a test.” You’re telling me Lord! I steadfast to her apartment and her phone rings the second I open the door. In her true fashion she takes the call despite the fact I’m in tears and shaking. “No, it’s fine - go ahead I’m good.” She hangs up and says, “Your aunt will be here soon, she’s on her way.” She’s my COMFORT, then my eyes bulge, seriously?! The only other woman willing to try to understand this weird journey I’m embarking on. Well that was instantaneous. Thank you, Jesus Sir?


I don’t get answers I like from the two of them, naturally, because I’m a stubborn millennial and I want it my way. Like that song by Frank Sinatra, I want it My Way. Grandma just talked about falling in love with grandpa and what’s that got to do with it? Focus on me please. I leave somewhat calm and continue life I guess…

I headed out a few days later for a bachelorette party, the weird moments continued… talk about killing the moment - awkward. I removed myself from drugs and alcohol at that time - three weeks, the longest break I’ve taken since 2001 - yep that math doesn’t check out does it? Falling off the wagon and still super heightened I sent a bunch of cousins stupid drunk videos, posted on FB grandma’s demise, and peer pressured my family into a safe outdoor barbeque... just in case.


Cut to the Barbeque. We built it, and they came together on American Shabbat and we did just that. Praised the Lord with Love and Joy and saw each other for the first time in months, years even, years! I didn’t limit to one family, I invited both sides, the extended, the adopted, and the brand new! I love my family more than I could ever possibly describe. No mistake, we are Pioneers.


We spent the day hugging, chatting, pushing swings until the arms went numb, chasing babies, eating somewhat okay food (the food was yummy, whether it’s good for you… is another topic), listening to for King and Country, snapping photos, and sharing our lives. It was amazing! Grandma got to see her babies, cousins got to reunite, the elders admiring the next generation, and everyone was full. Mission complete. Shabbat was a success and then we rested until sundown, like it was meant to be.


I’ve provided photos attached to this blog so that you may get a hint of the Joy our family has been blessed with from praise to God, may it bring a smile to your face knowing that there’s enough love to go around! You SEE, I thought our late grandpa wanted “everyone” to show up for grandma and I somehow I tapped into being a medium? I don’t know, I thought that’s how it works like on television or like on Bones, you know? Instead, it was so much more, it was much, much more.


August 4, 2021 - I will always remember the gift that was Given by God… our tribe!


Written on 8/29/21 - Day of the BBQ




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