BRETT: Let’s go out and talk to Caleb in Washington State. Caleb, welcome to the program. I appreciate your patience in holding.
CALLER: Yeah, Brett, it’s great to talk with you, and mega dittos to you and the Rush community. I’ve listened since a baby riding in the car with my dad, and it’s a pleasure to finally get through.
BRETT: I’m so happy to have you here.
CALLER: Yeah. Absolutely. Thank you. It’s my pleasure. I wanted to call because I wanted to share just a tribute to Rush. You know, I just turned 40 a couple of weeks ago and, like I said, I grew up kind of in a Rush family, a conservative-Christian home. Over the course of the last month and a half, our family, my wife and I and our eight kids, um… We walked through an experience that has just been traumatic, difficult, and, yet, you know, we walk through these things in life every day.
So on January 23rd, my wife and I and our eight kids we went for a hike behind our house in the mountains, and on that hike my wife said that she felt some discomfort in her abdomen, some bloating and swelling. So over the course of the next week, it had just gotten worse and worse. On January 30th, we went into the hospital. They did some, you know, CT scans, some blood work.
The following Sunday morning they went in, they did surgery, and they found that her abdomen was full of tumors. It was a recurrence of a melanoma cancer that she had had about 10 years ago. Now, she’s only 31 years old at this point right now. So we went into the hospital January 31st, and then over the course of the next two weeks, you know, we waited for biopsy results.
We were looking forward to different treatment plans, and as — as as the days went by and things just got worse and worse, you know, we were praying. (choking up) We had literally an army, hundreds of people, you know, family coming around us, friends, church people, just supporting us, helping with our kids, with our home, so that I could stay in the hospital with my wife.
At 1:20 in the morning on Valentine’s Day my wife, you know, went from — went from looking at my face and holding my hand, uh, to stepping into eternity and holding the hand… (choking up) holding the hand of her savior and looking at the face of Christ. And so, you know, I’ve been walking through this last month… You know, yesterday was one month.
So with our kids walking through the grieving process, walking through, you know, trying to figure out how to put life back together in the wake of this. Shortly, you know, after she passed I heard of Rush’s passing, and, you know, it’s just been incredible for me to see (deep breath) the grace of God extended to me in our suffering because even now, it’s there.
You know, I put my 4-year-old to bed last night. You know, the hope that we have because of our faith, because of the principles this country was founded on and what we see in the community around us, it’s just like a solid foundation for us to be able to go forward. And so I just wanted to tell you, all the Rush listeners, all the people involved in this that, you know, we walk through it together, and there are better days ahead. I don’t know how. (chuckles)
CALLER: You know, it’s hard, but we have faith, and it’s gonna work. So that’s kind of my story right now.
BRETT: Caleb, I can’t express condolences enough to you for this fight that you’ve had to walk through for this last month. As a married man, as a family man, I just want you to know I’m gonna be praying for you. And you have such an opportunity to witness to these eight children now.
You have an opportunity to transform their future trajectory because of your heroism with your wife and your heroism in standing at this time and your orientation to come out and say, “She held my hand and looked at me and then looked at Christ and held our savior’s hand” is exactly what you need to share with your children.
Because this is a temporary station in existence, and we have got to be confident that we will all be together again as one united family with Christ. And God bless you for your work through this. And I know you’ll see your wife again one day.
CALLER: Could I share one last thing with you?
CALLER: Yeah. You know, my wife, like I said, she was 31 years old and when she was 19, she went to Malawi, Africa, and —
BRETT: Caleb, they’re gonna knock us off the line here ’cause we have a hard break here. Just stay with me, please. Stay with me, okay?
BRETT: I’m gonna come right back to you, man, I promise. This is unbelievable.
BRETT: I want to welcome back to the program Caleb from Washington State, who has been sharing with us his story of loss of his wife at age 31 just this last month — and, Caleb, I appreciate you holding on the line. What was your wife’s first name?
CALLER: Her name was Becka.
BRETT: Becka. Becka.
BRETT: And you were talking about this moment as we were going to the break. You were talking about how she had made a trip to Malawi. Talk about that.
CALLER: Exactly. Yes. When she was 19 years old, she had the opportunity to go to Malawi to do some orphanage ministry work with some friends.
CALLER: And through a short time there, she fell in love with the place, the people. And so she moved back there and over the next 10 years she had bought some land, built a farm to make it sustainable, and began working with a partner there to build an orphan home that would be fully sustainable, self-sustainable, and be able to take care of kids as they get older.
And then over the course of that, you know, in 2012, she completed adoption of our first son, Wongani is his name — and then a month later his older brother, Petey, Peter — and she brought them back to the United States in 2012. Her and I were married in 2013, and then in 2015 we moved. We relocated for work, and we began the journey of going through pursuing some adoptions to build our family.
And then over the next, you know, five years later, here we are today. We’ve had several kids come and return to family, and we’ve had six that have come and stayed and have permanency now in our home. And so, like I say, our two oldest ones are from Malawi; our four kind of in the middle at the bottom are tribal, they’re Native American; two, I would say, “They’re pale skin like us, like me and Becka.”
So our family is a beautiful collage of God’s creation. I would say that, you know, Rush especially last year after George Floyd and all that happened, you know, we were really emphasizing with our kids that, you know, the world we live in is a broken place and love and sacrifice are the two things that God did in healing the brokenness of this world, and that’s what we need to do. And so my wife’s legacy, I would say, is that in… (choking up) In her short 31 years, in our short eight years of marriage, God gave us the opportunity to dramatically change the lives of these kids.
BRETT: He did.
CALLER: I just want to encourage every person, every single person that God gives us one life. That’s what Rush said after the George Floyd thing: God gives us one life. There’s no going back. No second chances. And if we can make the most out of it like my wife did, like I hope to, then the effect is gonna be huge. It’s gonna be amazing. And so I just to want pay tribute to my wife. I want to share with my kids as they grow up how beautiful her life was and that each one of us has an opportunity to live that kind of life.
BRETT: Well done. Well said. You’re doing it. And you just have to keep doing it. I can’t tell you how many people have been touched by this phone call and hearing this message that’s so important, and I’m so happy to know that she and Rush are probably having a great conversation right now.
BRETT: Caleb, God bless you and your family. I appreciate you coming by on the program and sharing this — and please, keep in touch with the show, okay?
CALLER: All right, Brett. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
BRETT: God bless you, man. That’s Caleb, and a lot to think about there. A lot to unpack, and the impact… You know, I think the key impact, the key takeaway with Rush was his overwhelming generosity, his overwhelming desire to see people succeed, even people he might never talk to on a telephone call or get an email from but knowing that generosity is innate in our American spirit.
We are a giving country.
We are a loving country.
And we are not a perfect country. We are not perfect, and that’s important to understand. That is important to understand, because it’s about true hope versus false hope. In fact, this is a great opportunity. Mike, I want to play cut number 14 here. Because this is not about offering false hope or pretend hope or anything like that. It’s about offering true solutions, true solutions. And Rush spoke about this recently. Go ahead.
RUSH: Now, to me, it is patently obvious that the Democrats are one false promise after another, that they cannot fix what they promised to fix, that they haven’t fixed what they’ve promised to fix in 50 years. And so what they’ve become experts in is off-loading the perception of the problem to Republicans, to you, to me. It’s our fault. It’s our problem.
And why? Because of white supremacy. There isn’t any white supremacy, 82% of the people that immigrate to this country are people of color. How can that happen in a country that is white supremacist? It simply can’t. There are other countless examples. I mean, if I wanted to, I could point out Oprah, the wealthiest and most popular television personality in America. How can that happen in white supremacist America?
“Rush, you can’t say that.” Yes, I can because the black population is 13%. It’s not enough to make Oprah a billionaire. It’s not enough to give her number-one audience ratings for however many years she did her show. She needed the white audience for that to happen. She needed white business partners and a white audience for her to become a billionaire.
That doesn’t happen in a white supremacist country. But this is now being spread around and everybody’s believing it. And it’s a shame. It’s a shame. Because people are being guilted into feeling guilty, and it isn’t gonna change anything. It’s not gonna improve things that people think have been broken by white supremacy or white privilege.
White privilege is a failed concept.
White privilege is exemplified best by who?
Elite, white liberals. Hollywood, Silicon Valley, New York, Boston. Where do they live? They live in communities by themselves. The real white supremacy and the real white privilege is not found in the American middle class, which is being blamed for it every day here.
The real white privilege in this country is being practiced every day by white American liberals who refuse to send their kids to public schools or where African-American kids are going. “No way! Ain’t gonna do it, Jose. I’m not gonna send my kids to those dilapidated schools. Those are for other people.”
It’s not the white middle class. The white middle class doesn’t have the power to do 90% of what they’re being accused of doing. But white, rich liberals who run all of these blue states and cities where all of these problems are taking place — how in the world can any of this be an argument for the Democrat Party in a sane world?
BRETT: And that goes back to the point that Rush was making in the first hour, talking about if you’re not a media creation, then you can’t be taken down by the media. Well, would you want your daughter, your wife, your niece, your sister to go and work in any kind of close proximity to the current governor of New York state given the allegations that are out there?
But yet he was held up as a great hero, a great hero for women. He signed the bill that legalized essentially infanticide in the state of New York. He is somebody who was celebrated as the counter to President Trump. But would you want…? On the micro level, would you want somebody important to you to work in his close proximity? See, this is the problem. The problem isn’t a lack of consistency or a lack of being cultured or any of that. It’s a lack of character.
Character is what matters.
Character is what built this country.