Sunday, October 16, 2005
The kids and I left early today, so Yaakov could build our sukkah without interruptions. I drove down to my mom's, and saw her neighbor was having a garage sale - with strollers! I need a new stroller.
Anyway, there's a story behind the garage sale neighbors. I grew up with these people, they live 2 doors down (and they happen to be the only other Jewish people in the neighborhood). We were very close at one point, when I was in college. But those days are long over. I crossed a big line with her.
She has a son who married a non-Jewish woman, and had a child with her. The mother did not want to have her son circumcised. So neighbor lady said to me, "Can you believe it? My daughter-in-law is refusing to give my grandson a bris!" I replied, "Don't worry, the child is not Jewish."
She knew her grandson wasn't Jewish, on the deepest of levels - she KNEW. But the reality of having a non-Jewish grandchild was too much for her to bear. She had to create a gentle denial for herself. And then I had to be the one to drop the bomb. I didn't do it on purpose, I wasn't even really thinking. It was just a casual, truthful remark. So she hates me now. The nerve of me, to tell her that her grandchild isn't Jewish.
I find this all to be tragically beautiful.
I haven't spoken to her in years, but every Rosh Hashana I send her a card. And today, I went to her garage sale. She barely said 2 words to me. Her daughter was also not so nice. We were friends all our lives.
I tried to make light remarks. "Wow! a book about Mr. T! I have to get that for Yaakov (I love you please don't hate me)." "Oh, too bad this stroller doesn't recline all the way, it's so cute (we are sisters and we share a soul)." "I just love garage sales (I miss you and I'm sorry for causing you pain)."
I bought an embroidered pillow, the Mr. T book, and a little plastic doll for the kids.
I wished them a sweet year.