This past week was the wedding of my friend’s son. Readers might remember that my friend was not invited to attend, as the result of a terrible divorce many years earlier.
As the night of the celebration approached, my friend Eva, felt worse and worse. The tears kept rolling down her face and she couldn’t help the overwhelming feelings of sadness and helplessness that overcame her. The more the day of the event grew closer the more she felt that she must make a decision. Should she go in any case, to the wedding, whether she was invited or not, or should she stay at home and cry?
As mothers we all have our instincts, especially when it comes to our children. My friend Eva, felt that she must make the right choice. Eva has two other children who throughout the years did renew contact with her. Nachum, who was getting married that night, was much younger than the other children at the time of the divorce, and he took it the hardest. He, therefore, had no intentions of giving her a chance of renewing their contact no matter what.
Eva asked her other children what they thought she should do, and they told her to come, and not to pay any attention to anyone there. They explained that she was just coming to see Nachum get married, and shouldn’t be concerned with anybody else.
Nachum’s father had remarried almost right away after the divorce, and the lady he married wasn’t fond of Eva to say the least. There was no contact over the years with Nachum. However if this woman and Eva would ever meet, the exchange of bad energy and words would shatter.
Eva got dressed and was ready to go. She was very nervous about meeting any undesirable faces. The only face she wanted to see would be Nachum’s.
As Eva entered the hall she stood in the lobby for quite some time mustering up the courage to actually enter the hall. She was glad that her “Covid-19” mask was placed properly over her mouth and nose, making it a bit harder to see her face. But as fate would have it, Nachum’s stepmother was on the lookout for any intruders.
When Nachum was 13, Eva tried to come to his Bar Mitzvah, to which she wasn’t invited, and the results weren’t pleasant at all. This woman was definitely looking for Eva.
The stepmother spotted Eva in the lobby and was on her way to show Eva the door to leave. Eva’s heart skipped a beat, she remembered so clearly the embarrassing scene at the Bar Mitzvah, and felt her knees buckle. Eva quickly changed her position and pretended she was looking for something on her phone with her face down. Eva saw this woman from the corner of her eye come closer and could hardly breathe. She prayed to Hashem that this moment would pass peacefully and held her breath for a few seconds. Her prayers were heard, and just before she could say anything to Eva, a family member came rushing over to the stepmother, to let her know that the chuppah ceremony was about to begin.
Eva took a deep breath and a lot of strength and courage and entered the hall, knowing that everyone would now be busy with the ceremony and would not be looking for her. Eva spotted one of her children and stood behind them trying not to be seen.
She was finally there, watching her son get married. Eva kept telling herself, one day also Nachum will return to me and I will tell him that I was there for him. I will tell him that I came to his wedding and saw him at his special moment, because a mother is a mother and there is nothing a mother won’t do to try and make her child happy.
Eva’s other two children saw how nervous she was not to be seen, and couldn’t believe the courage she had to come despite these feeling. They hugged her and told her that they were so proud of her and encouraged her by telling her, that one day Nachum will appreciate her coming to his wedding as well.
Eva stood there half frozen and half feeling. She felt she made the right decision.
The chuppah ended and Eva flew out the door not even looking back, not wanting any undesirable eyes to set themselves on her. She went straight to Kever Rachel, the resting place of Rachel Imeinu, and shed tears of happiness and of relief.
As Eva retold me the story the next day, I couldn’t believe my ears. What courage, what a woman; never giving up, always looking to do what is right for her and her children, even when it comes at a great emotional cost.
We are just a few weeks before the Day of Judgment, and the High Holidays. Let us have the courage and strength, to come before our Father, our King, and ask from Hashem to bring us closer to him and to give us all the best year possible.