Being biracial, multicultural, and multi-ethnic, my family is spread far and wide. For fourteen years I did not see the Dutch-German side, ascending from my German-Jewish mother, into the previous four generations. We still call each other cousins, despite the fact that we can hardly remember how we are related. That’s not the important part, though. My very lovely cousin said to me in confidence, “The most important thing is how you affect other people.”
It has been a long, strange trip around the sun for me, this year. I moved across the country, scrambling for a place called home, and often found myself thrown back to the other side. But this time, on the other side was a pot of gold! My sweet, beloved Dutch cousins have kicked the door open to my heart, in celebration. My piece of the family was invited to the wedding of one of theirs, and it was one of the warmest events I can recall in my life. In a room full of giggly people with a uniquely linked heritage, my family, my friends and I danced relentlessly into the night. We spent three days together, catching up on the past decade and a half, drinking (I finished two whole beers! Most in my life!), making music, and creating the most ridiculously funked-up cuddle puddles.
We knew in the first moments of seeing each other, just how deeply our roots ran. It wasn’t a question of who was related to whom, and how. There was no barrier between in-laws and blood relatives. All we were, was one big happy family.
If you are looking for a point to this story, be warned, you will not find one. This here is simply an expression of joy, at finding comfort and happiness in those with whom you share a lineage. This feeling was so evident during the graceful ceremony. Bride met groom under a hand-made chuppah, where the two illuminated everything with their deep love. Soft stories were swapped between Cantor and Rabbi, and the Seven Circles were made with great sincerity. Children of the wedding party passed from lap to lap, considering everyone as a momentary mother or father. The love in that room was palpable. The love in that family was (is) so strong. This is my second time being witness to someone finding their B’shert, and oh my, was it ever holy.
In the realm of Jewishness, this is pretty great. In the realm of community, this type of interaction is the most desired. But beyond all of these socially charged terms, I am just really happy to have such great people as family. Amply, I was affected, and I believe it was for the better.
Hi. I am Nahara, and I am thoroughly enjoying unraveling this great red yarn of life.
Header image courtesy of Pixabay.