It's been a terrible week. Arriving at the emergency room with stomach pains, and the assumption that she'd be diagnosed with an ulcer...an infection...something of the sort...my best friend was, instead, diagnosed with something more sinister.
And as we get the boxing gloves out and get ready for the battle we are all preparing to make, I've had a lot of time to think.
Josh and I both found it funny that this week was the first time that we've ever heard Stella's Hebrew name. Hebrew names are used for official documents (like wedding contracts, etc) and for prayers when you are sick. Since she never gets sick and we've had no reason to check over their Ketubahs (marriage contracts), it's one topic that hadn't yet come up in our long relationship.
And we both found the name unusual when we first heard it - Tzuriya Kochevet bat Sara. We were sure that there was an interesting story behind the name, and made a mental note to ask Stella and Jordan (Yarden to the rest of the world) about it.
And, as usual, her husband beat us to it, explaining in a typically move-you-to-tears-while-you-laugh-your-heart-out blog how Stella chose her name.
In part of his blog, he explained that:
"At the Orthodox conversion, they asked her for her Hebrew name and she mentioned that she was already Tzuriya. One of the Rabbis suggested that she add a name to signify the second conversion. She was on the spot and couldn’t just come up with an appropriate moniker for life. So someone suggested she just use a form of the Hebrew word for “star” which is what “Stella” means anyway. So she chose “Kochevet.”
So when she finished with the Rabbis and told me her new name was Tzuriya Kochevet, I pointed out that her new name really meant ‘G-d is my rock star.”
And then, yesterday, when I was thinking about Stella, her Hebrew name, and Jordan's explanation, it came to me how I feel about Stella. While she is Jordan's rock star, Stella is my rock...and my star.
Let me explain.
For the 14 years that I've known Stella, she has always been my rock. Our friendship has spanned two continents, has watched the birth of 8 children, and has endured every Aliyah-related preparation-frustration-and-success you can imagine. And Stella is always there, as my rock, no matter what I go through. She stops what she's doing in half a second to join me on a walk, to meet me at the park or to sit around and talk; and her ear and her heart are always open and ready to help.
At the same time, she is my star. A star is a beautiful, twinkling light of inspiration that you look up to and that you use for guidance. I am entirely, utterly, and preposterously human, getting frustrated with my kids, gossiping about others at times, getting annoyed by this or that. And as we've walked together thousands of kilometers over the years, Stella has listened to my rants, my raves, my gossip and my frustrations without ever joining in. She's simply unbelievable. No matter what juicy piece of gossip I bring on the trail, or what frustration I spew on a given day, she listens with an open ear and a smile, but she rarely engages in such activities.
She is my shining star, reminding me of all of the good potential that I have, and showing me what purity of heart and purpose look like.
Yes, she's definitely a rock star to Jordan, and to so many people who know her.
But to me?
Stella is my rock...and my star.
Whether or not you know Stella, please keep Tzuriya Kochevet bat Sara in your thoughts and prayers.