Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

“Love life. Dream Big. Be positive.”


Last night I ventured out into Hollywood-land to attend a fundraiser for an organization that helps sick children make small ‘legacy’ films. I’ve been volunteering with them as a film mentor ever since Kaz died. It just so happens this is the second industry fundraiser I’ve been to in a week. The first one (last Saturday night) was for a friend’s short film, took place in her backyard and I brought my puppy. Last night’s was at the Writer’s Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills and there was a red carpet. Naturally, I came late to avoid the red carpet and sneak inside while the lights were off.

One hour into the show of comedians, singers, speeches and short film clips, there was an intermission. I walked into the bright lobby to join other attendees searching for refreshments. A filmmaker acquaintance I haven’t seen in a long time flagged me down and struck up a conversation. “How are you? What’s the latest? What are you working on?” I managed to stumble through my answers. I’m directing a play this spring, I’m writing a book, I’m trying to get out more… Then he asked about my late husband and how I’m doing now emotionally.

When I answer these types of questions in a crowded setting with only a few minutes before the listener’s attention drifts, I sometimes experience the sensation of leaving my body and watching myself give the answer. What I hear myself saying always sounds ridiculous.

“I’m doing better. You know, one day at a time.”
“Are you dating again?”
“No,” I responded. “I tried last year, but it didn’t feel right.”
“That must be so tough, to come back from something that intense.”
“Yes, it–.”

The lights blinked on and off signaling Intermission was over. The acquaintance said a quick goodbye. I turned to look for a traschcan for the coffee I didn’t get to drink, and to ponder if anyone would notice if I left now. I decided against this and returned to my seat.

In the second half they showed a trailer for a film recently made in honor of Rina Goldberg, who had Mitochondrial disease. Rina wrote this short film before she passed away at age 15, and this organization made the film a reality. The clip is amazing and beautiful. After it ends, a slide remains on the screen while they tell us Rina’s mantra: “Love life. Dream Big. Be positive.”

I begin to cry silently in the darkness. I want to hug this little girl and thank her for the message. I want her to know that I hear her and appreciate her and she will never be forgotten. We are all sitting in the dark listening to her weak voice say repeatedly, “Be positive, be positive, be positive.”

Other sick children went up on stage. One sings an Adele song. Another plays Bach on the piano. We give them standing ovations.

When the program ended and the lights came up, I headed over to the founder of the organization to give her a big hug. Several goodbyes later, I paid my valet ticket and drove back home to let the puppy out of her crate. In her groggy state, she stumbled around the apartment like a drunken sailor before collapsing in bed for the night. It was much later than I expected, but I was grateful that I had gone out. I fell asleep thinking of Rina Goldberg.

Rina Goldberg and her mother

Rina Goldberg and her mother

If you want to learn about Rina and her film, check out http://www.rinasmovie.com/PublicPages/Home.aspx

Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

11 thoughts on ““Love life. Dream Big. Be positive.”

  1. Very touching. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Speechless and with tears, touched deeply. If you want to privately contact me. Stacy, always rinas mom

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  5. Hi, I’m Stacy’s sister and Rina’s aunt. Just saw your blog entry for the first time. So glad Rina’s film and message helped you. She is and was my teacher. Rina was a very loving, accepting person so it is with much compassion and love that she passed her message to us.

    • Hi Corri, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Rina was amazing. I hope it brings some comfort to know how much she affected others for the better. xo

      • Hi Niva La Diva (did I get the word placements right?!), Yes, it was a miracle and a huge gift to have the movie made and her message reach many people. A gift to her (we believe she knows about it) and a gift to all of us who love her dearly. Much love to you, Corri

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