It’s the middle of the night. I snuggle with my tiny newborn granddaughter, Chayaleh, as she peacefully sleeps on my chest, affording her dear mother a few hours of respite before she resumes the care of Chayaleh and her twin sister, Miriam.
The miracle of their births is not lost on me. Imagine – I, the proud bubby, the woman who was told by three doctors at the tender age of 21 that if I stubbornly continued to uphold “the antiquated Family Purity laws,” it was assured that I would never have children!
I had the zechus to consult personally with Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, and receive a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt”l, and after several years I was indeed blessed to bring forth the proud mother of the aforementioned twins, my dear firstborn, Rivkie.
In my innocence, I assumed that once my children grew up and married, they would live near us, so I was unprepared when several of my children either went on shlichus or took positions overseas or on the West Coast, while we remained in New York.
In a twist of fate, Rivkie, a mere two months after her wedding, returned to her birthplace, the U.K., with her British husband, Yossi. Kindly note that at the time, some 20-plus years ago, FaceTime and texting had not yet become a normal fact of life. To her immense credit, however, Rivkie was assiduous about phoning us, and blessed, Baruch Hashem, with a beautiful family, she would send us videos of the kinderlach as they grew, sharing the nachas with us.
The years passed and we all settled into what became our norm of sorts, which included, if we were fortunate, visits “across the pond” about once a year or two – until Hashem had a surprise for me indeed.
To my shock, you see, after 21 years of living and working in the U.K., Rivkie, Yossi, and family announced that they were returning to live in the U.S. And to add a bit more spice to my life, due to a series of unforeseen events, we moved as well, not far from Rivkie and my dear sons, Yossie and Shuie, and their families.
Long-practiced habits die hard, however. During the first few months that she was back, whenever we would spend some time at Rivkie’s home, I assumed that once I exited her front door it would be time for me to board a plane home. I had to mentally pinch myself that we lived only a few short minutes from one another.
And now, tomorrow evening, b’sha’ah tova u’mutzlachat, my husband and I will join our machutonim, as well as her proud parents, as we escort my Chaya, now a glorious kallah, in circuits around her chatan under the chupah, just as we did last year for her sister, Miriam (now a proud mother, Baruch Hashem).
Once again, I thank Hashem for the miracle of my precious family, reunited once more.
Hodu laShem ki tov, ki l’olam chasdo!