My mom said to me right before she died that she’s so sad that she’ll be missing Miriam and Raizy’s weddings. I miss my Mom so much. But especially so right now.
Last fall I hosted a guest who happened to be a matchmaker, and over breakfast as she chewed her bagel, she had a thought that her childhood friend’s son, Mordechai, might be a good match for my daughter, Raizy. Weirdly enough, 3 of my 4 kids who got married in the recent past were introduced to their spouses by a pretty-much-stranger guest I hosted in my home. I fervently believe that all of our homes have a certain energy that attracts like energy. Every time I sell a house, I marvel at the uncanny similarities between the buyers and the sellers. I also fervently believe in reciprocal kindness – if we extend ourselves to others then I believe that others extend themselves back. My experience marrying off each of my kids is that the Orthodox Jewish dating process is so human, filled with so much warmth + generosity + kindness, and really so clearly orchestrated by a higher power. The ride is such a paradox of feelings – elation for the fresh eyed young kids, sadness and loss at my little girl leaving home, and unbridled joy at welcoming a new sweet son. Happy tears and sad tears (so many tears!) all mixed together over the course of a relatively short span of time.
When I was in Philadelphia two weeks ago, my mother-in-law’s neighbor came over to say hello on Friday night. Sandra, the neighbor, is a nurse and she was the devoted caretaker for Rebbitzen Kaminetsky for the year and a half of her illness until she passed away not too long ago. I’m fascinated by how lucky Sandra was to be so up close and personal with the most illustrious people in the world, Rabbi and Rebbitzen Kaminetsky, and I asked Sandra to share a little glimpse into her experience. Sandra shared that about a month before Mrs. Kaminetsky passed away, the Agudah Convention took place. R’ Shmuel Kamenetsky let his wife know that since she wasn’t feeling well, they would be staying home from the convention this year. The Rebbitzen responded that R’ Shmuel was the chair of the convention for so many years, and R’ Shmuel’s father, R’ Yakov Kamenetsky, began the whole convention from the start, and they were absolutely going because R’ Shmuel loves to be there. And then the illustrious couple argued with each other back and forth because He insisted on staying home for Her, and She insisted on pushing herself to go for Him. This was after 70 years of marriage with R’ Shmuel in his 90’s and the Rebbitzen a month before she succumbed to a painful illness. Sandra said that in the end they went for Thursday night only, for the opening ceremony of the weekend, and then they went back home to rest.
I’m excited to celebrate with all my favorite people tonight at a spontaneous celebration in honor of Raizy and Mordechai! My team asked me this week at our weekly meeting how my family feels about clients coming to our celebration and mixing work with our personal lives. I love my family and I love my clients; our clients are our family, there is no separation, and it will make me so happy to see all the people I love coming to share in our special moment!
I wish for all of us to savor and appreciate every moment of the sometimes sloppy, sometimes sad, but overall insanely beautiful human experience – all together with each other! Hope to see you later!