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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 8/10/07

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We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

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Dear Rachel,

The woman who wrote the heartfelt letter about “lost love” reminded me of two lost loves of mine. And I would like to tell them both that I know Hashem had a purpose, a reason to bring us together, and a reason to break us up too.

This letter addresses both my ex-husband, and my former chassan. While we may not understand why our relationships failed, there were reasons for us to be together at different stages in our lives.

To my ex-husband: our son had to be born for Hashem’s purpose; to my former chassan: you helped both of us heal from past hurts, and you to took my son’s soul and developed it to manhood, ensuring that he would have a proper Bar Mitzvah – filling the void left by his father.

The pain of losing you, as well as the regrets that you both did not love me as much as I loved you, will, however, always be with me.

I just hope that when you reflect on what we had in the past, you will have learned from your mistakes as much as I have learned from mine, and you will improve your ways, as I have tried to improve mine.

Please let this woman know that she is not alone with her regrets of lost love.

Thanks for helping us heal our broken hearts too.

In the Same Boat (I)

Dear Rachel,

Unfortunately, this woman is not alone being married and loving somebody else. It’s a crazy thing but it’s way too common … how is it possible to forget a first love?

I’m very happily married, Baruch Hashem, with many children, kein ayin hara, and I’m in the same boat. I love my husband like crazy, I really, really do. I don’t find that he lacks for anything at all and I’m proud to be by his side, but I do still love my first and I don’t think I will ever get over that. We just shared such a strong bond for so many years together when we were younger that I will never get over him – ever. I wish I could!

I don’t think it affects my marriage, but who knows what goes on subconsciously. I do know that I would make the same choice again given the chance – I’d marry my husband, because it was obviously meant to be and I really am crazy about him. Who knows if it would have worked out with the ex?

Only Hashem knows and Hashem does what’s best for US. This should be some sort of consolation to the woman who is so unhappy.

In the Same Boat (II)

Dear ForEver Mine,

I am a man about your age, married with a family B”H and with a story like yours. The details of our relationship, however, differed in many respects, including how we met and why we split. What you and I have in common is that I too cannot forget this woman.

I hope this letter gives you chizuk and some measure of comfort. Not because I have an answer or cure or advice, because I haven’t any. If I did, I long ago would have forgotten this love.

I can only assure you that you and I are not alone. I know this may be of small comfort, but at least it’s good to know that this situation is not so unique as to be an anomaly.

About two years ago, AARP magazine ran a long article about how middle-aged people were trying to reconnect with their former loves. Changes in their lives, divorce, death, etc., spurred them to actively seek out old flames. And amazingly many were successful, with happy endings.

As I read the article, I wondered why people “regress” back to their youth instead of moving on. Is there something about getting older that impels us to think, remember and reminisce so much about something in the past? Why won’t it go away?

It is interesting that you wrote your letter to Rachel at 58 years of age. You said that you thought about him for 40 years, but presumably you are telling this story for the first time.

If I am correct, then you too are thinking and feeling this more strongly and painfully than before. In the recent past I’ve thought more about this woman, than [I had] in the last several years. Not that I forgot her. She was always teeming under the surface. But now it has become painful and an obsession.

Perhaps as our lives slow down, as we mature, repressed feelings come to the surface. I don’t know. I shed some tears as I read your story. I empathize and sympathize, and that’s all I can do.

I hope you find peace . . . you, me, and maybe others.

In the Same Boat (III)

Dear Readers,

Acute nostalgia brings on waves of emotion. Human nature is such that we pine for “the good old days.” Whether they actually were that “good” or not is another story. The mere loss of something makes us obsess over its value and appreciate it more than when we had it and took it for granted; bygone days have always seemed so special and appealing.

With our accrued wisdom and maturity, would we make all the “right” moves given another chance? After all, we’re so much smarter now than we were when youth was ours.

But alas, we’ve had our chance and must now live with the choices we made and make the best of what we have. A good cry can be cleansing, and while reminiscing is normal and harmless, living in and mourning the past is detrimental to our overall health.

The best thing we can do today is to give thanks to our Creator for His kindnesses (despite our sometimes foolhardy choices), and pray on each new day that we exercise our freedom of choice wisely.

Thank you for sharing.

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About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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