Just a few of the babies Rebekah "caught." (Photo taken at her funeral. Fosston, MN 8/7/2021)
I never met her in person but she saved my friend's life. After thirty-six hours of labor, Marie (110 pounds sopping wet) gave birth to Anthony (10 pounds)...and the bleeding wouldn't stop.
Thankfully, midwife Rebekah Knapp was there and knew exactly what to do. It may be an old wive's remedy but after drinking half a cup of lemon juice, Marie was in the clear and Anthony as healthy as a horse.
After attending to the births of over 1,000 babies, God called Rebekah Knapp of Fertile, MN home in a tragic car accident on Tuesday night. (Scroll down for video and slideshow!)
The community of Northern Minnesota is in shock.
Thousands are grieving.
I never met her, except through Facebook, but news of Rebekah's death has shocked me too. She was my age. Lived not too far from me. She did God's work every day of her life and yet He chose to call her home "early" as you and I see Time.
I have a saying: "When in distress, eat, clean or write."
I cleaned all morning. We just ate lunch. There's nothing left to do now but write my flippin' giblets out and hope it helps.
Click to watch Rebekah's Funeral
Death: You never think about it and yet you're always thinking about it. It's always in the back of your mind, at least, if you're me.
Maybe that's because, like so many of you, I was steeped in Eternity from birth. At home, at church, at Baptist school, Eternity was talked about and preached about. It's always yawning before me.
Then I met Michael online and in his very first email he told me his PAP lung disease was terminal. He was already two years past his doctors' dire "you'll be dead by..." date.
Well, my dad had been fighting cancer since 2002 so illness wasn't anything new to me.
When we married, it was with the full expectation that I'd be a young(ish) widow. In that scenario, you have one and only one choice: cope with humor. Many a doctor or nurse have been shocked at our gallows humor. Jokes like, "Well, Michael's past his sell-by-date anyways" as if he's a dozen eggs.
Talking about it seriously brings instant sobs. The only way to cope is either strict silence or gallows humor. There's no in-between.
What makes it even stranger is the number of times he should've been dead. I lost track around 35 times or so.
Somehow as a little boy he survived his father's savage beatings/whippings, survived being left under a tree for an hour (by his father) after a pound of black powder exploded in his face (Michael still has black power in his eyelids), survived being denied prompt medical care (by his father) for appendicitis, survived waking up to find a teenage "friend" had a loaded shotgun pressed to his temple (it blew out the side of the house) and a myriad of dangers while on walkabout as a young man. Then there was the time Michael unknowingly swam with 'gators Down South. And we're just scratching the surface.
It wasn't his time to be eaten by 'gators. It wasn't his time to die at his father's or friend's hands. It wasn't his time to die from a heart blockage in 2018. It wasn't his time to die from PAP. This is pure "God stuff" because, frankly, it doesn't make any sense. Michael himself can't figure out why he's still alive (but, Honey, AMERICA: The Blogwould NOT have happened without him!)
Click to watch tribute to Rebekah Knapp from mothers she helped
They say Time heals all wounds and that's kinda true.
Although designed for a perfect Eden, God also designed us humans to withstand the most horrific abuse and Time is one of His best healing balms.
Being so resilient is a mixed blessing. In one way, it makes us strong. Able to survive and thrive horrific abuse, tragedies and grief.
On the other hand, that's bad as it also gives us the strength to remain with abusers (when we shouldn't) and leaves us scarred, shuddering for decades from PTSD, the legacy of living through events no one should ever experience.
Only recently has enough time passed for Michael to be able to talk about his daughter, Caitlin. For a long time he couldn't talk about her without his chest constricting. It surely didn't help that the birthday card from his "mother" included a hope that he was "done with that last ordeal"...as if anyone is ever "done" grieving the death of their beloved child.
Somehow, Rebekah's passing from vehicular death brought it all back for me.
Time, that Great Healer, will soften the pain of all of their deaths, sanding off the rough edges of grief as the sea polishes stones but it never really goes away.
To watch Rebekah at work catching a baby, go to this URL: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ubykg?fbclid=IwAR2xjtCj296Y-rGjSfz2QVJowXrguoeMGhHDTI1pYui5TvIsbgOW3XcWBKg
The legendary classical pianist, Vladimir Horowitz, once told his equally legendary Steinway Piano Technician, Franz Mohr (amazing Christian man now in his 90s!), "I always read the obituaries first because my name is not there. I'm so happy, so happy."
One day, all of our names will be there.
I fear we are the generation that will see more and more of our peers' names in the obituary column due to, well, you know. Unlike our grandparents' generation who grieved the slow, steady loss of their peers in their seventies and eighties, I fear we'll be reading their names much sooner than that. This is the Great Culling.
On second thought, Rebekah was blessed. She's the lucky one to be free of this ridiculous Vale of Tears. Just imagine all the things she's escaped: C-19, the jab, the NWO, Fake Biden, taxes, fear, fatigue, arthhritis, cancer, diabetes, old age, aches and pains.
Rebekah's not dead...only her Mortal Coil has been shuffled off.
Rebekah is more alive now than she's ever been. She's happy. She's free. She's met, actually met, God the Father and Jesus. Try wrapping your head around that!
The grief is not actually for her, I suppose, but for the Community who knew and loved her. Who considered her their friend. Who built their families with her at their side. Who relied on her skills. Who laughed when she begged the community to play board games on Valentine's Day instead of...you know...so she could enjoy Thanksgiving with her family nine months later.
Even the Amish attended her funeral and they generally don't set foot in "English" churches. That should tell you something!
Now other midwives are expanding their territories, adding more births to their already-full schedules, making sure no one Rebekah cared for lacks for midwifing.
It's a funny thing about life (and death!): It sure costs a lot of money! Rebekah was unique in that 1) she covered her head and wore skirts to Amish births in deference to their beliefs and 2) she only charged what you could afford to pay. And if all you had to pay her with was eggs, 75 dozen free-range Amish eggs to be exact, then she was satisfied with eggs (and gave a lot away!). (True story!) Or garden vegetables. Or new tires for her car.
On Sunday, a GoFundMe was also established to assist Rebekah's family with the cost of her funeral and burial expenses. I'll post the link as soon as it's re-published on GFM. (There was a glitch.)
Donations can also be sent to...Rose Pankratz at firstname.lastname@example.org via PayPal.
If all the loving, incredible tributes posted to Rebekah on Facebook are anything to go by, I think she'll be hearing one loud, emphatic, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
My favorite says, "I cannot wish you back. You now know the glory of seeing Jesus face-to-face. But oh for those of us who love you so much The grieving will take a while....You my friend, you worked hard, played hard, and loved hard. ...you served well my friend...There was a writer years ago, Erma Bombeck. One of her quotes was 'when I stand before God at the end of my life I hope I would not have a single bit of talent left, but I could say 'I used everything you gave me.' You gave lavishly my friend. You poured out everything you had. Sometimes I had wished you would ration a little bit more. But that wasn't who you were. You served with your whole heart. With everything you had...I'm going to miss you so much. And I rejoice with you dear sister as you have left behind the cares of this world to see your savior face-to-face. And my heart aches for your clients and your family and your friends. Rejoice my friend, you ran your race well."
And that wasn't the only tribute. They go on for pages and pages.