Dear Mrs. Bluth,
What I’m about to tell you is going to be one of the strangest things that could possibly happen, a one-in-a-million accident that, by rights, should have never happened under normal circumstance, and quite plainly shouldn’t have, had I not read your column two weeks ago. I truly think G-d has a strange sense of humor and that He genuinely loves us all. So, let me get to it, as you play a major role in this strange happening, and more importantly, I’m writing to you on my lunch hour that is really a half hour, so here it goes.
A little under two weeks ago, I was attending a business meeting and, that tooth that had been giving me trouble for the longest time, the one I kept putting off going to the dentist because I couldn’t afford a root canal and cap to replace, acted up again in a huge way. I barely made it through a buyers meeting when I ran to my room and rang the front desk to ask if they had a resident dentist.
The sympathetic front desk attendant referred me to a dentist two blocks from the hotel who would gladly see me as hotel guests were his specialty. I didn’t even think to ask if he/she was a good dentist, I just grabbed my purse and ran.
I arrived at the dentist’s office with not a seat left to sit in, there must have been at least fifty people in various stages ranging from mild discomfort to a few in my level of severity. Asking the nurse for a cotton roll with some kind of antiseptic on it so I could clench my teeth on to numb the pain, I sat on an end-table, the only thing available to sit on. As the clock ticked and the pain became somewhat manageable, I reached under me and pulled out a newspaper. Just so you know, I am an Episcopalian born and raised, so this is where G-d’s humor comes in. The publication in my hands was The Jewish Press.
No choice, what with a bit more of a wait till my turn, I began reading close to the center of the paper and my eye latched on to a column called ‘Life Chronicles‘ which seemed benign enough and I understood most of the words. I became so engrossed by the letter-writer’s story of finding a long lost sister so late in their lives, as the sister was given up for adoption and raised Catholic while the writer and her family were Orthodox Jews. What are the odds of something like that happening? I was so engrossed in the story, I almost missed my turn to see the dentist but held onto the copy of The Jewish Press.
The dentist was a lovely young woman who had a light hand and a genuine caring persona. She could not fix the entire problem in my mouth because it would require extensive work and multiple visits but she put a temporary cap on my tooth until I could see my dentist. Feeling much better and thanking her profusely, I got up to leave and asked her if I could take The Jewish Press with me as I was in the middle of an amazing story. She broke into a big smile and said I was the fourth person who asked to keep the paper and she knew exactly which column I was referring to. She said the office always stocks a number of copies of The Jewish Press expressly for the very same request.
When I arrived home, two days later the thought struck me that if something like that happened to this letter-writer, it could happen to others. For a very long time I had been feeling a strange urge to look up my genealogy, as my parents were older when I was born and I remained an only child from a very small family. This finally gave me the impetus to follow through and I applied for questionnaire and kit from a reputable genealogy center. After filling out what appeared to be a small novella of questions and a swab kit and mailing it back, I received the most amazing response a few days later. I, too, was adopted by my parents and I had two brothers who were adopted out as well because our birth parents were both killed in a car crash in another country. I was a newborn and my two bothers were two and three years old at adoption. The clincher was that I had actually had business dealings with one of my brothers without ever knowing we were related! And to top it off, we all lived in neighboring states!
I have yet to make the phone calls to my brothers as this just changed my life two days ago, but before I do that I just wanted you to be the first to know what an amazing column yours is and I’m sure your readership must wait with baited breath each week to see what life might hold in store for them. All I can think of is to say a paltry ‘thank you’ for changing the trajectory of my life. You have earned yourself a new Episcopalian reader and I will buy The Jewish Press weekly just to see what you and your readership are doing. Keep up the great work because it crosses all barriers of life and touches any and all human beings. Shalom and a million thanks!
You don’t have to be Jewish to read my column, just a little troubled maybe, or stuck in a place that has no physical windows or doors and need a little impartial, practical advice to see your way forward. But I must say, finding two brothers you never knew you had, from a bad toothache certainly wins the prize this week!
I’m really happy that you have found a whole new family dynamic, siblings who hopefully will anticipate and cultivate this belated relationship and extend a new family experience for all of you. There may be nieces and nephews, sisters-in-law and a whole new album to create. Most importantly, you don’t have to suffer a toothache or be Jewish to broaden the boundaries of familial love.
I wish you all the luck and love in the world with your soon-to-be new extended family. Please drop us a line and let us know how that first phone call and meeting went down and where it will take all of you. We, at The Jewish Press are cheering welcome you to our readership.