Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tales of a Fortune Cookie

Adam brought home Chinese food for lunch.
I opened my fortune cookie and it said:

Love waits for one thing, the right moment.

I'm not sure I agree.
I thought back to when Adam and I met.
It was not the right moment.
We were introduced by 
my boyfriend and his girlfriend.
His girlfriend told me they were getting married.
And I was devastated. 
(Even though I barely knew him).

Later, I broke up with my boyfriend.
And decided to enjoy the last of my college days
ignoring men and enjoying the company
of my zany sorority sisters, 
acting silly, giggling and generally wreaking havoc.

Against my better judgement,
I went on a date with Adam.
Imagine my surprise when I realized
that I'd met my husband.
This was anything but the right moment for me.
Yet, we immediately fell in love.
We had much in common, enjoyed the same things.
Dreamed big dreams.
But we also knew we were imperfect.
We argued.  We yelled.  We slammed doors.
We broke up.  Twice.
But we laughed.  Loudly.  And we spooned.  
And snuggled.  We held hands.
We shared inside jokes.
We went on adventures.
And we had each other's backs.  
Though we fought with each other,
we fought harder for each other.

We moved away together.
We began building a life.
We got married.
We had babies.

Adam grew up Jewish.
I didn't.
It didn't matter to either one of us.
Until I wanted a Jewish life.
So I studied.  A lot.  For two years.
And then I converted.
And on the day of my conversion,
I was in my bathroom, 
carefully getting dressed in a lovely 
black and white silk skirt and black sweater.

Adam came up behind me and put his arms around me.
And told me I was helping him to fulfill
his dad's dying wish.

I didn't know what he meant
but he went on to tell me that as his dad was dying
he asked Adam to be sure to marry 
a nice, Jewish girl.

I was stunned.
Adam never said a word of this to me.  
Never guilted me into converting.
Never pushed me toward it.
Never made me feel like I 
should be someone different.
Always just wanted me to be me.
And I realized how difficult
it must've been
to keep that secret from me.

I told this story to my mother the other night.
And my eyes filled with tears.
Adam's silence about knowingly 
letting down his father
in return for a life with *me*
overwhelms me with love.
And then knowing that we didn't 
let down his dad after all... humbles me beyond words.
It makes giving Adam a Jewish family
all that much more rewarding.
And it makes the process of converting 
all that much more
pure and meaningful.

So does love really wait for the right moment? 
I don't think it does.  
In fact, I think love might even make 
some moments disappear forever.


Monica Marino said...

This is a magical post. I love that you have more time for writing now, so I can read more of this!

Manda said...

I adore this post! I relate to it in some ways and in others it's so uniquely you. Beautifully expressed!