Let me tell you a story about a woman I know.
This woman (we'll call her Ginger for convenience) is an old friend of Eeees's. Up until last year, Ginger was an older single -- one of the legion of early 30s women stuck in the shidduch crisis. It should be pointed out that Ginger is not one of those people who was single because she was a misanthrope, or because she was hard to get along with, or because she weighed 450 pounds. On the contrary, she's a delightfully sweet person, kind, considerate, slim and wonderful around children (she's an extremely dedicated teacher). But, for whatever reason, she couldn't find the one right for her -- and so she remained single all through her 20s and into her 30s.
I always felt that part of the problem was that she was making it far too difficult for herself. Perhaps because she had been burnt before in the frum dating world, she was always very exacting about whom she would go out with. I often encouraged her to go out more, in the hopes that it might increase the number of prospects for marriage. "What do you have to lose? What's the worst that could happen?" I would tell her. "The worst that could happen is you have a lousy time and you don't see him again. But compared to the potential upside..."
Alas, she did not listen to me. But hey, she was a grown woman and capable of making her own choices.
Ginger also placed another restriction on herself as well. Her father had passed away when she was a teen, leaving behind two daughters -- Ginger and her older sister. The older sister has been married for quite a while now, but, to this point (and we hope it changes soon) has not yet had any children. So, Ginger felt that when she married, she had an obligation to name a child after her father. As a result, she would not even consider dating someone who possessed the same name as her father -- and it's a very common name. Presumably, that also included someone with a living father or grandfather with that name as well. And, again, in the complete spirit of friendship and concern, I told her that I thought she was making a mistake by limiting her options so. Of course, I hoped I was wrong. I hoped that she would have her every wish fulfilled -- but I was also hoping she'd be realistic and allow for more opportunities to date.
Well, of course, as happens in many of these stories, my advice was not listened to. And, as often happens in these stories, everything worked out fine and (at least in this case) I turned out to be completely wrong. HaShem led her to her intended. They got married in August and now, nine months later, they have a beautiful baby boy. Eeees and I attended the bris this morning where they named the baby boy after her father (and her father-in-law who had the same name).
During the meal, Ginger's husband (we'll call him Sam for convenience) got up and told a bit of his family history. As I said before, Sam was an older single -- in fact, he's my age. What I didn't know is that Sam's father was an older man when he became a father too -- in fact, his father was born in 1919 -- making him about fifty when Sam was born. While Sam is not an only child, he is an only son, as was his father. So, when he spoke at the bris about there being another person with his last name in the world, it was truly a joyous moment.
As I mentioned earlier, Ginger is a teacher. In fact, she's a teacher in the school that my sons attended -- they were both in her class. The one-time menahel of the school (he's since retired) is a man I've posted about before. While I may disagree with him on various issues, the man has my utmost respect and admiration. He always, without question, had the best interest of his students in mind and in his heart when he ran the school. I may have disagreed with him on hashkafic issues, but I never once doubted his integrity or his intentions.
This menahel also served as a mentor and a father figure to Ginger through her years of dating. Indeed, I have little doubt that he cared for her as he would have his own daughters. The menahel was at the bris today and when he spoke he quoted the verse from Tehillim - זֶה-הַיּוֹם, עָשָׂה יְהוָה; נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בוֹ. -- This is the day which HaShem has made, we will be rejoice and be happy in it. He mentioned this day, the day that we could celebrate by the bris of Ginger's son, was a day that was a long time in coming. And indeed it was a long time in coming -- but nonetheless, it has finally come. Ginger now has a beautiful baby boy named after her father.
Just as he entered into the bris, so to he should enter into Torah, the chuppah and good deeds.
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