The rain danced on the roof with a familiar tone, the gentle hum of water tapping on metal. Something you’d hear on an old hay barn or home built with tin roofing; our home, that evening, was nothing of the sort. Rather we found ourselves, by way of #AirBnb, cuddled up just south of Seaside, FL in the cozy recesses of a renovated Airstream. We giggled in disbelief of our current situation. Hard to believe we’d been married for 5 months and these kind of solo adventures are the norm. We had each other: cozy, adventuring, together and far from home. Pure magic. What a blessing it was that cool October evening in 2014, little did we know our humble aluminum rendezvous would make such an impact on us only months later.
Crying, we tried to compose ourselves. “We need to do what? We have to go to court and testify? See James Holmes in person? Relive everything in front of real people, with real hurt and real families like ours? His family even…” Months after our Airstream beach adventure, we got some news. This was our first response to hearing the fact that Bonnie Kate would have to testify in court for the trial of James Holmes for the 2012 Aurora, CO Batman Theatre Shootings. The night she almost lost her life, that has marked our lives in so many ways since, and one we hadn’t properly ‘worked through’, really, yet. It is a strange thing, the human response to such a visceral, nightmarish hell. But self-preserving, prayerful compartmentalization can only take you so far before you need to look it, all of it, in the face and push through; chronic pain marking each step along the way.
As many of you know from having watched Wildflower, Bonnie Kate was shot by James Holmes in her left knee in the summer of 2012 in that fateful evening in that movie theatre. It has been really, really, really hard since, with blessings along the way. It’s been almost 3 years and she still can’t have a good night’s rest, walk a city block without the aid of crutches or not want to cry everyday around 4pm because the endless pain depletes her of the energy needed to do the normal things she wants, so badly, to do. Chronic pain is a real bitch, but we are learning to rely on Jesus all the more; a refining but costly season. BK’s plight is something of an anomaly as we’d hoped, by now, she would be without pain. But recently we’ve (started) to accept that “someday without pain” is a day that very well may never exist for Bonnie Kate. Since ‘someday’ doesn’t look to be happening anytime soon, we humbly accepted (and still daily accept) that this is God’s will for us. Oh, and then we bought an Airstream, kinda.
It is from this strange tension and reality ‘Adventure Us’ was born. The combination of good days like our little beach trip and hard days like, well, testifying against your alleged killer and the whole nation. Coming to grips with the fact that what happened 3 years ago in Aurora actually happened. Like really happened, not just a rehearsed, removed version of it in our heads, but it was real. Real people died. Real victims and their families are still mourning. Real pain still exists in our hearts, minds, knees, arms, spines and so much more.
So we needed a silver lining, something to look forward to, something a little more ‘here and now’ tangible that our finite minds and ready hands could grasp onto. Not that heaven and the hope of glory aren’t our fuel, trust me, it’s all we have most days. But if we’re going to lead a life with chronic pain, it’s going to be in style, and sure as heck will be replete with service, adventure, friends, travels and great coffee. Why not do it in an Airstream? Our thought, exactly.
So here we begin, the next chapter in our lives as The Zoghbis. A filmmaker/photographer + illustrator/stylist creative duo who are taking our careers on the road full time to redefine the American dream. With one year of amazing marriage under our belts, a heavy trial to work past, and an Airstream to flip, we’ve got our hands full. But we are led by the God who is loving enough to get us through the very evil He allowed to happen, for His glory and our good. He is our strength, courage, hope and help.
Here in this blog you’ll initially find some DIY Airstream flipping tips as we bring ole’ Rosemary to life, along with ramblings + stories about faith, life, cameras, projects, collaborations, illustrations, travel, America, style and adventures out on the open road less traveled (depending who’s writing each week). Hope you’ll stay tuned, share if you like and be encouraged as we learn to #beadventureus. Also, we’d love to collaborate, hit us up. For reals.
-Max + Bonnie Kate