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Letter to an Old Love

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“We’ve got an old love.”

It’s true. I’ve known you more than half my life.

I remember when I first met your family, for the I-think-we-are-going-get-married interview. Your grandma, who by then was not leaving her apartment too often, came to Sunday brunch at your mom’s house.  She sat across the table from your cousins Harry and Sally, and discussed in Yiddish whether I was a suitable match for you.  I struggled not to let on that I understood a few, key words of their conversation.

I think it was after we had eaten, when I was in the kitchen with her, that Mom told me, “Honey, I’ll always take your side.”  But that might have been after we got engaged.

Shortly after we married, you adopted a standard response to the question, “What do you call the rabbi’s husband?” It always gets a laugh. I am smiling as I type these words—even though I’ve probably heard that joke more than fifty times—because, really, I’m the one who is “lucky.”

We were married almost ten years when you first played this song for me.  I remember thinking that it wasn’t your typical type of music—more country/folk than classic rock or classical—and that we didn’t actually have an old love yet.  Still, I played the CD until it wore out, and every time I heard Neal & Leandra singing I thought about our future together.

As you celebrate this milestone, the age of counsel—not yet “old age” or the time for “whitened hair,” according to the rabbis of the Mishnah—my wish for you is that you retain your sense of humor for the second act, the time for old love. We can’t know what’s ahead, but I expect we’ll need to laugh at ourselves even more than we did in the first act.

“We don’t know just what’s in store,

But in spite of all of this,

I don’t love you like I did,

Why, I love you so much more.”

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Comments (3)

well said

Mazal tov to David!! And since I was “in the neighborhood” when you two met, gosh I can’t believe how long ago that was! Ad meah ve-esrim (and yes we survived the hurricane)

Thanks, Naomi! You were, indeed, there at the very beginning of the unanticipated romance. Glad to hear that you survived Sandy’s wrath. My family in CT & NJ still affected. My disconnected-from-the-grid-Dad is the subject of this week’s post.

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