Our walls are filled with family pictures. Each one is a story, a chapter in our lives. Now we are finding space for another treasured photo. This will be a bridal shot of our granddaughter Adiel and her bashert Matthew. They were married on Sunday in a spirited and joyous event with floors reverberating from endless dancing and hearts booming with happiness. The simcha was perfect in every way. The bride was spectacularly beautiful and the chatan handsome. The family members and guests clapped and sang and shouted their wishes for long years of mazal.
This young couple met at Camp Ramah in Nyack NY. Each of them grew up in New York City and attended Jewish day schools, different Jewish day schools. Until Ramah they had not known each other. Yet, from that one summer, love was born and grew. As it will continue to do throughout their lives. Todah Camp Ramah!
We have other brides and grooms on our walls. My parents and my inlaws beam down at us from their honored places in their wedding costumes. They are dressed much the same as Adiel and Matthew. Long white gowns with a veil and wedding bouquet for the mamas. Distinguished suits for the papas. I gaze at them often and think to myself, “I know about your lives. I know what you didn’t when these precious photos were taken. And I know that your lives went well. That you continued to love each other and that you had dutiful adoring children and grandchildren and that you lived to see most of them. I know that you all reached old age in mainly good health and that your lives were remarkably good and peaceful. Your luck began when you met each other and it continued throughout your lives. And now I stare at your pictures and wish the same for this newly married pair. I hope you will send your blessings down upon them.”
Our walls have the usual assortment of photographs. We have wedding pictures of all four of our children. In each case we loved the new additions as if they were our own and, through the years, they have indeed become our own.
And we have the babies, our treasured grandchildren and now our great-grandson. Yesterday they were infants and now they have begun to get married. We rejoice and we tremble. It’s going too fast. They now worry about us. We, who helped to care for them, are now being told by them to think about giving up our driving licenses, about stopping the big meals because they’re too much for us. Oy va voy li! Dearest grandchildren, you look at us and see ancient ones and we look on our walls and see blessed babies. Time is going too fast. I don’t want to hold back the hands of time for you……only for us. Not possible I know. A problem with no solution.
But the pictures. They say it all. They capture the joy in our lives and look at us and we are all beautiful and energetic and healthy with long years to share. If only. If only.
Our pictures are our family story. Their narrative brings the generations together so that our brides and grooms from over eight decades ago share the walls with our brides and grooms of this century, of this decade, of this week! What I pray for this precious young couple is that they bask in their love and be blessed in all that they do for many many many decades to come. Ad maya v esrim!