There's Just Something About Family
I have always had a special bond with my niece, Lindsey. So on June 12, when she became a bat mitzvah, my emotions were in full force. One minute I was smiling, the next minute I was crying.
I am so proud of this beautiful girl. (She hasn't realized yet that she is beautiful.) Lindsey is a straight-A student, has been taking dance lessons since she was a toddler, is active in her congregation's youth group and is an all-around great kid. My brother-in-law, Jay, probably put it best when at the reception he said that he couldn't have asked her for a daughter of whom he could be more proud.
Lindsey's bat mitzvah celebration was a weekend-long affair. It started on Friday evening when she led Shabbat services in her synagogue. On Saturday morning, several of our family members were called upon to do aliyahs at Lindsey's service. Until that morning, I had not been that nervous about the Torah reading I was to chant. But suddenly I was terrified. I was nervous about making a mistake, not nervous for myself, but nervous because I wanted everything for Lindsey to go smoothly. Everything did. Her mother (my sister), Glenda, was anxious throughout the previous week, thinking about all of the things that could go wrong. But she had no reason to worry; everything was perfect.
When Lindsey was on the bima chanting her Haftorah, tears began to roll down my face. Here was this beautiful young woman reciting the words of God without any hesitation. I thought back to when Lindsey was a toddler. Even then we knew she was smart. At the age of 4, Lindsey used to telephone me and tell me about her day at preschool. She even spent a few weekends with me when my sister and brother-in-law were out of town. Lindsey just completed seventh grade, and she is a member of the National Junior Honor Society.
The weekend continued with a luncheon after Shabbat services, and dinner for the family. By Sunday night, we ready to party.
Glenda and Jay went all out for the occasion. The theme of the part was the 1950s and every guest went home with a radio in the shape of a miniature jukebox, each with an inscription of the date of the event. The floral centerpieces were magnificent. The entertainment was captivating. The hors d'oeuvres were gourmet. The dinner was even better. But the food and the decorations were not the highlight of the event. The highlight of that night was the togetherness of our family. Many of our relatives traveled to South Florida to share this special time. And although we hadn't seen some of them in years, after just a few minutes of catching up, a stranger would think that we spent every day together.
We danced together, laughed together, gossiped, and we even cried together. But they were all happy tears during that night. It reminded me of how important my family members are to me, and how important we are to each other. No matter what happens, we can always count on each other, even it's been a little while since we've last been in touch.
That's the thing about family, at least my family. And I hope it's the same for all of you.