How well does anyone know their friend’s kids, especially when they live 3 states away? What I know of her is what her father, Larry, has told me over the years.
But roll the clock back about 20 years…when she and her family came to visit. We had a house full of parents and kids. I announced that I was going to the local spring for water and asked if anyone wanted to join me. Without missing a beat, Rebecca chimed: “I’ll come with you,” a bold move for an 8 year old, to hang out with an adult.
In that ½ hour, or so, that we had together I felt that we bonded, that I had a peephole view into who she was becoming as a person…a free-spirited, strong-willed, determined and outgoing young lady.
What gift do I buy this bride that I really don’t know?
One day in March, I left my wife’s store and I was struck by an urge to enter another store on Main Street, SunCatcher which had been there for about 7 years but I had never once visited. The owner, an artist named Anna Kronick, does spectacular Judaic paper-cut art. For whatever reason, I was immediately struck with the idea that this would make a perfect wedding gift for Bekah. Not only that, a particular picture spoke to me.
I called her parents to find out if she was remotely interested in Judaica, and I called my other close friends to see if they thought this a good gift and would share in the cost. The store closed 2 weeks later.
While I focused on the one work, I was uncertain that I alone should make the choice. So, I brought 3 works to NJ for my friends to help choose. You know how difficult it can be to get people to agree. Ultimately, I prevailed and stuck with my original choice. We wrapped it, and off to the pre-wedding event we went.
The free-spirited Bekah had planned her wedding her way; a traditional Jewish wedding in a non-traditional, outdoor setting.
The chuppah, symbolic of the home the wedding couple will make together, was a quilt made by Donna, the bride’s mother. It was the tree of life with over 100 leaves, adorned, inscribed and decorated by the guests. At the bottom of the quilt was the phrase “I am my beloved, and my beloved is me.”
The Jewish papercut work that I chose is the tree of life, with the bride and a bearded groom on either side, just as they stood at the wedding, with the Hebrew inscription…”I am my beloved, and my beloved is me.”