Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lace and Pearl Paper, Mothers and Daughters

Yom shlishi, 20 Kislev 5773.

 To my dear friend, the mother of my future daughter-in-law:

For more generations than you and I know, Jewish mothers have had to imagine what it was like for far-away daughters to go through the stages of growing up, because it has been a sad part of our people's heritage for families to wander, sometimes separately.  It cannot be easy for you, even with all of the modern technology that allows us to stay in better touch than families of other times, or of other less-developed cultures.

Your email today about some of the steps you are coordinating with us from across the sea inspired me to write a little something for you and your daughter, and also for all of the mothers and daughters separated by an ocean and a dream of a better life.

I never had a daughter
So the pretty silver laughter between you over dresses is a sound that’s new to me
Your affection for pearl paper for her wedding invitations
Rings as sweetly has her joy for tulle and lace and grenadine

It must be hard to be so far away
While she is changing from your little bird into this lovely dove before our eyes
May we share for many years the love and laughter that my ears have had the privilege
Of sharing as I’m watching from the side

I hope this fragment of a love song shares just a bit of the happiness and awe I feel at being permitted to be part of the friendship you have with this lovely young woman.  I look forward to when you will be her neighbor here in Israel, and mine.

Watching this mother-and-daughter dance will be even more beautiful than hearing it.

And I would consider it an honor if I can play a part.

My mama's not around anymore.  But we were also good friends.

In honor of all the mamas and daughters everywhere, who've been separated by time or distance, let's share a joyful tear together, shall we?

May all of our simchas be shared, in person, here in our holy homeland, very soon.
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