This past weekend I was fortunate enough to get to go to a Bar Mitzvah. It wasn't just any Bar Mitzvah, but one for a son of a very close friend of the family who passed away in October. It was a wonderful affair, with so many well loved and familiar faces in one place at the same time.

Oolong was there, as ready to dance as I was. She joked, "We're going to be those two little old ladies at every party who dance together aren't we?" I laughed and thought of younger versions of ourselves, dancing as teens to Rock Lobster, showing the preppies how it's done.

Another good friend sat at our table with his wife. A bunch of us teased him about future plans for children as we bemoaned the fact our children were near or at the age when they wanted to go on dates. With a sheepish grin, he remembered his dating history before finally meeting his amazing wife. We all remembered the days of being "smooth as sandpaper" while trying to figure out the mysteries of love and commitment.

The children had a great time as well. Most of them had known each other since they were in diapers, with Oolong's daughter (I dub thee Rum!) and Mike's daughter (I dub thee Coke!) mostly inseparable as usual (hence the names). The seating at the temple forced them to be at opposite ends of the pew but that didn't stop them from starting a giggle loop that had the whole row of children desperately trying to stifle giggles during a moment of silence.

That of course brought me back to the giggle loop my husband and his friend shared the day of Mike's funeral. I noticed that I wore the same high heels for the Bar Mitzvah as I had on that day. It was impossible not to notice Mike's absence, especially when nostalgia was running rampant, his voice missing in the conversations that went on that day.

It was also impossible to stay sad too long. There was so much happiness in watching the boy, who in his toddlerhood reminded me of a Hummel figurine, confidently lead a congregation in prayer (I dub thee Pepsi!). There was happiness in watching my son with him, joking around the way their fathers had done years ago. There was happiness in hearing the giggles of his youngest sister (I dub thee Sprite!) and my daughter as they ran around the temple. Wonderful memories were being made that day, and as much as there was a small ache in my heart for things lost in the past, joy for the present and the future was there too.

Now "Man On the Moon" and "The Joker" stops me in my tracks
Every time I hear those songs, I go back


  1. It's the circle of life, isn't it -- a sad family occasion followed by a joyous family celebration. The dance goes on!

  2. This was a lovely memory. Keep it wrapped up tight and thank you for sharing.