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This year has been I think the second-worst in my 71-year life (the worst being 1999 when I had knee surgery, my mother died, and I had Coxsackievirus infection, all in the same three-month period). The government shutdown of society was and still is awful, and it cost me and Ray both our jobs. But the real worst part was finding out, in January, that Rush Limbaugh was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. We can get around the pandemic restrictions and job losses-there is something WE can do to better our situation. But my hero’s lung cancer; that’s something we can do absolutely nothing about. But, since then, I have given a great deal of thought to how much Rush has meant to me since I started listening to his radio show in 2001. This Thanksgiving, I will be saying mighty prayers for Rush to be able to continue his vital work.
I first was really introduced to Rush in 2001 by my Hubby. I had never actually listened to him before, and all I knew about him was what I had heard others say (the usual, he’s a blowhard, bigot, narcissist…). It only took about ten minutes listening in the car on the way out to dinner to get me hooked. I told Ray “This guy is really funny!” He made me laugh, and he said all the right things. I was only a budding conservative then, and he helped turn me into a rock-solid one. His analysis of current events was spot-on, and he helped make the complicated, understandable. He broke down the concepts and showed how conservative principles were the foundation of our great country. And he always said how much he loves this country, and hates to see how it is being torn down by the Left.
We followed Rush through many of his trials and tribulations (even the ones he brought on himself), including his opiate addiction and his deafness. We rooted for him every time and admired how well he handled everything that came at him. We chuckled when he discussed his weight problem, and commiserated too. We followed the news of his marriages and divorces, and we both opined that Rush needed to find the right woman. I became his biggest fan and listened to him every chance I got. I became a Rush 24/7 member and would email him periodically when something happened that I thought he might be interested in. I was flabbergasted to actually hear him read aloud an email I had sent on his show!
In 2005, one day while I was at work (don’t tell my old boss this), I called into his show, and I actually got through! This was around the time of Hurricane Katrina, and when I told Mr. Snerdly my story, he let me on. Well, let me tell you, Rush Limbaugh was an extremely gracious host, and we carried on a great two-way conversation. He was delighted to hear my story of how I discovered him the first time. My heart was going pitty-pat all the while, and I cherish that conversation.
And in 2010, when I started my personal blog, I adopted the screen name RushBabe49. I heard the call where a lady asked him why, if there were “RushBabies” whose parents introduced them to Rush, there couldn’t be “RushBabes”, applying to single women without kids. Well, he jumped on that suggestion in the blink of an eye, and a very short time later there were “RushBabe On Board” yellow signs, and t-shirts in the EIB Store, and a Facebook page “RushBabes for America”. My screen name follows me all over the Internet, and I wear it proudly.
When he started writing his Rush Revere books for kids, I bought every single one, and read them avidly. They are actually very good, and if I had kids, I would buy them the entire set to read aloud and discuss. They also introduced us to Rush’s new wife, Kathryn, who helped him write and publish the books. What a great lady she is, and we were so happy for him to have finally found the right person. He sings her praises every day.
And then, there are the cats. I was delighted to find that Rush was a cat person, and that he had an Abyssinian cat named Punkin. I had an Aby once, and they are quite remarkably “people cats” who just love to be around their humans and play. Aside from being just gorgeous.
This year, with all the things going on, and his periodic absences for treatment, has really brought home to me how much I value having been able to listen, and talk to, my Hero. Whenever a political story comes out, the first thing I think of is “What will Rush say about this?” The four years of President Trump’s administration have been some of the most difficult for us conservatives, and we have a hard time imagining all the crap he has been through. But Rush, as someone who knows and likes him, has been an indispensable interpreter of his actions. When we are discouraged about current events, Rush is always there to help us understand, and keep our spirits up. And I rarely make up my mind about an issue until I have heard Rush’s take on it. He truly is “almost always right.” I found that I have almost never disagree with Rush.
In spite of his illness, Rush has been tireless, doing all three hours of his show every day that he can. He is truly doing what he was born to do, and he always advises callers to find what they were born to do, and do it. One of the most important concepts that he promotes, both in himself and in others, is ignoring what outsiders think of him. He always stresses that all the dirt thrown at him matters absolutely not to him, and he just lets it roll off his back. This is an issue that he shares with President Trump (all the crap lobbed his way); what they do not share is what to do about it. But Rush totally understands that the President is a different person, and in a different place, and must respond as he sees fit. I always marvel at how optimistic Rush remains about this country, and about life in general; he would be a great role model in this.
I also greatly appreciate the “Limbaugh Method” of how to respond to leftists and their crazy ideas. He wasn’t the first to say that the correct response to a leftist’s crazy idea is to laugh at them. He says that leftists, since they have zero sense of humor, would be especially affected by someone laughing at them. I do try to keep that in mind whenever I am speaking with a leftist. And I will forever call it that Limbaugh Method.
So, now, I think about what I will do when Rush finally loses his battle with his cancer? That is a most excruciatingly painful thought. What will happen to those three hours of every day that are filled with his expert commentary, and witticisms, and appreciation for our country? What will I do without his funny commercials, without the Justice Brothers, without his constant encouragement to bear with all the opprobrium directed at him and the President, and all of us? Rush has been a very important influence in my life for nearly 20 years, and I admit that I just cannot imagine life without him. And as most of us know, life in America is about to get much, much more difficult for all conservatives, and really for most Americans.
Rush has been saying for a while that he has come to see every new day as a gift. He says that every day he wakes up in the morning is a good day, because it is another day of life, no matter how unpleasant. I try and see it that way, too. I just know that I will grieve greatly, and there will be a vast hole in my world when Rush is gone. So this year, I will thank God that I have had a chance to know, speak with, and appreciate My Hero, Rush Limbaugh. (And that meme above, which I created, will I hope come true, with Rush watching me from Heaven and smiling)