Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Kosta is God's Gift to Me from Across the Ocean

 Kosta is God's Gift to Me from Across the Ocean.
My Husband, Kosta, © B. Radisavljevic
"K" is a hard letter because I've previously written K is for Kennedy Club Fitness (where Kosta can often be found swimming and talking to friends) and It's Kite Flying Day -- both for this blog. My husband's name also starts with K, and  Kosta's story deserves a post here, as well as in previous articles I've written about his life. 

Many people have seen Kosta Radisavljevic around the North County at Kennedy Club in Atascadero, Covenant Presbyterian Church, KPRL Coffees, and North County Tea Party meetings and events. Few people really know him, and no one knows him the way I do. Few people realize he spent time in a Communist prison in Serbia as a child. Few people have heard the story of his escape. Some have worked with him in Southern California. Some of you knew him at UCLA when we were students. Here is the Kosta I know.

I met him when we lived in the same dorm, Dykstra Hall, at UCLA in 1962. He was active in Bruin Christian Fellowship (a chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.) Another Christian student introduced us at dinner one night. It soon became apparent that Kosta was a magnet in the dining hall for Christian students from any organization and their roommates and friends. Our table seemed to have all the fun. Kosta made everyone, no matter what their religion, feel welcome to sit with us, and we all became friends.

Kosta was not raised in a church. He was born in Serbia. It took the grace of God to  get him out of Serbia. Kosta tells that story himself in the videos I made of him in this article, Enemies of the  People: Life in Communist Yugoslavia.  I also show you photos of his childhood and provide a bit of the background for the videos. This article and its videos will help you understand a bit of how Kosta became who he is. I was born in California and had a sheltered and happy childhood. It's hard for those of us who did to even comprehend what Kosta's family went through.

Kosta did not become a Christian until his family had emigrated to Canada. He went to a Christian Boarding School, Prairie Bible Institute, and it was there he became a believer. In 1959, Kosta's family finally got their green cards and moved to the United States legally. Finally, about 1961, he arrived at UCLA, where he majored in physics.

 Kosta is God's Gift to Me from Across the Ocean.
Kosta Playing with the Children One Night, © B. Radisavljevic

We became fost-adopt parents of two older children, siblings, Sarah and Jason in 1982. Kosta loved to play with the children, as you can see above. The photo was taken shortly after the children came. We loved traveling with the children and seeing the country together. We looked forward to seeing the children grow up and start families of their own, but that didn't happen. Jason died in an accident when he was just 14.  We were both crushed. Below you see Kosta speaking at Jason's memorial service, which was held outside our church.

 Kosta is God's Gift to Me from Across the Ocean.
Kosta Speaking at Jason's Memorial Service, © B. Radisavljevic

We also lost Sarah, though her death was much later. You can read the story of her life and death here.  After Jason's death we moved to Templeton to start a new life closer to Kosta's parents who needed more of his help. He was very busy during those first ten years helping me with my book business and then caring for his mom in her last years.

Now all our parents are gone. Occasionally we have time to get out and have a bit of fun. The photo below was taken by a tourist we had been talking to at Leffingwell Landing in Cambria.

 Kosta is God's Gift to Me from Across the Ocean.
Kosta and I at Leffingwell Landing, © B. Radisavljevic

I took the following photo at Cachuma Lake on our way home from a business trip to Ventura.

 Kosta is God's Gift to Me from Across the Ocean.
Kosta at Cachuma Lake, © B. Radisavljevic

The photo below was taken in Summerland on the way south to Ventura on business.

 Kosta is God's Gift to Me from Across the Ocean.
Kosta at Summerland, © B. Radisavljevic

I am  very thankful that after almost 53 years of marriage, we are still together and still have each other. Whatever Kosta may be to others, he is still my best friend. I'm hoping that we will still be allowed a few more years together.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it. The sharing buttons are just above the comment box at the end of this post. The photo below is especially designed for pinning.

 Kosta is God's Gift to Me from Across the Ocean

This is my eleventh post for the 2016 AtoZchallenge, a Blogging Challenge for the month of April, 2016. My theme is Things You Can See or Experience in North San Luis Obispo County. Here are links to the other posts if you missed them.

A is for Acorn
B is for Barney Schwartz Park
C is for Cattle in Wine Country
D is for Dark Star Cellars
E is for Electric Wires
F is for Family Farms
G is for Graveyard Vineyards
H is for Horses
Insects in My Neighborhood in April
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