Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Love, Virtually

This is a blog post about You!

Writing about loving people enriched Aunt Ruth’s and my life beyond anything we imagined.

Our blog had hits from China, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ireland, Ukraine, Thailand, Israel, Canada, Russia, and Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, and the United Kingdom. Virtual love inspired, sustained, and delighted us.

You know who you are.  You are the followers who comment, like us on Facebook, and most recently sent an actual mail surprise in Aunt Ruth’s favorite color, orange.  As much as I wonder about the difference between “liking” and “loving,” I want you All to be certain that your virtual love has made a big difference to Aunt Ruth and to me. 

Thank you for being touched by Aunt Ruth’s lessons and my photography.  Thank you for each“share” on Facebook.  Thanks to those who asked about attending an Aunt Ruth Seder!  Thanks for trying Aunt Ruth’s recipes and for appreciating her ingredients for living well.   Thanks for learning from Aunt Ruth’s lessons, enjoying her humor, and being inspired by her courage.   Thanks for cooking Aunt Ruth’s recipes and letting us know that you did.  Thanks for entering our first contest and making winning Aunt Ruth’s recipes a wonderful prize. 

Thanks for taking time out of your day to listen to Aunt Ruth’s story.

"Honey, what I know for sure is that love is the most important thing in your life.  It is the greatest gift. 

During some of our dark days, YOU inspired US.

I never dreamed that I would open my mailbox and find postcards and presents.  Thank you for being OUR greatest gift, virtually.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Leap of Faith

Forty-five years ago, my older sister announced her engagement to a Methodist.  My mother wasn’t sure she would fund such a union let alone attend.  Aunt Ruth helped my mom put aside her concerns about an inter-faith marriage, and a lovely wedding resulted.  

I don’t want to suggest that Aunt Ruth was thrilled about my sister’s choice, but she put her feelings aside, and she wasn’t even invited to the small, immediate family affair!  For years, my mother and Aunt Ruth drove to visit my sister, Jane, and her husband in Connecticut with a trunk load of home cooking.  Brisket, Daddy Cake, Rugelah, and other delights of Jane’s childhood.  Those sisters never went anywhere without food…lots of food!  All worries about the mixed faith marriage were lost over dinner!

In the recent New York Times Book Review,‘Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America, by Naomi Schaefer Riley, was reviewed.  Aunt Ruth was way ahead of this comprehensive study, but she surely agreed with the result about whether or not interfaith marriages were good for America:  “To the extent that it dispels ignorance, punches holes in stereotypes and deflates bias, I would say it surely can be.”

Last year, Aunt Ruth and Jane came to see my youngest son get married.  He fell in love with the daughter of an Episcopalian priest.  Unlike Jane’s wedding or Aunt Ruth’s, my mother’s, or even mine, our son and his bride celebrated their love in front of over 100 guests.  All watched as a priest and a rabbi spoke from their respective religious texts.  It was a glorious day. 

Aunt Ruth’s will to live came from loving people.  All people.  She came from an orthodox Jewish home and was raised to keep an open mind and heart.  In her library was this collection of books that speak to Aunt Ruth’s desire to learn, to grow, and to accept.  Most of all, she believed that love was the greatest gift of all. 

This was a courageous leap of faith 45 years ago for Aunt Ruth and my mom.  As Aunt Ruth said, “Always make sure you have love in your life.”   

Thank you, Aunt Ruth.