Around and Around I Go


It’s a continuous cycle that doesn’t seem to have an end. It’s not Alx’s fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not anyone’s fault.

I just can’t get over that little twinge in the back of my conscience that’s irritated with the whole Jewish wedding thing. I mean, we have already established that the wedding isn’t strictly Jewish. We’ve established that every single minute aspect will be filled with the essence of us. So why is it still bothering me? Well, I think I figured it out. It’s a point that Rabbi Berman brought up in our last meeting but I didn’t put any thought into it at the time. She hit the nail on the head though. She said that milestone events such as weddings cause a plethora of emotions to surface that really have nothing to do with the event; however, the event serves as a platform for the issues to be brought forth. Okay, either she is psychic or just that damn good.

What are the issues you ask? Where do I even start. Well, you know that perfect family set-up, Leave It to Beaver style? That’s Alx’s family except much, much cooler. They are the most tight-knit family that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Now this isn’t a bad thing. This is an absolutely fantastic thing. I love it. I love that our son, Raiden, will grow up with that.

So what’s the issue then? The issue is that my family is the opposite of that. We love each other but we are not close by any means. It isn’t for a lack of trying but we grew up with a tough love kind of dad. There wasn’t much hugging, pat-on-the-back kind of stuff going on. My mom grew-up in a traditional Japanese household where emotions and physical affections just aren’t a part of the family structure. To top it all off, my dad was in the military so we moved about every four years. Putting it bluntly, my brothers and I had no issues with packing-up, skipping town, and none of us have ever looked back. Until now.

Now, I’m looking back. I’m looking back at the missed opportunities of intimacy with my family. How does this pertain to the wedding you ask?

Well, it has everything to do with the wedding on an emotional level. I want what Alx has always had and always will have with his family. I am close with his family but let’s face it, it’s totally not the same. It doesn’t fill that longing void in the pit of my heart that bleeds because my family missed out on Rai’s first everything while Alx’s family has been there for all of it. Frankly, I’m down right jealous at times about Alx’s family intimacy and solid cultural background. It makes his aspects of our wedding pretty straight forward. I’m proud of my heritage, my diversity, even my complete fractured randomness but how do you make all of those pieces into something tangible and wedding ready?

This is my issue. This is why I’m going around and around and around with no end in sight. My pragmatic logical self tells me that it is an unwarranted fear and that all will be well. However, my somewhat schizophrenic emotional self obsesses over those fragmented pieces of me and worries that they won’t stack up. I’m thinking that Rabbi Berman has some work cut out for her. Thank the powers that be that she’s psychic and damn good.

3 thoughts on “Around and Around I Go”

  • Lula, you are an amazing woman. I can’t imagine anyone else coming into our lives and adding so much to all of us. From your sense of style to your sense of order. From your sharp no-fuss, no-muss-ness to your wide open heart. Okay, I’m not your mother. In fact, I’m not even sure I get the mother-in-law stuff right, either. But let me be clear. You are part of our family. And we all love you. And totally support you in discovering and rediscovering your self. Inventing and reinventing your self. We are all with you on the path.

  • I have gone through many similar emotions during my year long engagement. A book that my friend gave me that I have gone back to again & again is “The Conscious Bride.” I think it touches on a lot of emotions involving transition, specifically in marriage– emotions that are amplified a million times by including religious, spiritual, and faith transitions. The book has helped me understand my transitions much more than books about being interfaith have helped (so far). I highly recommend the book. The Conscious Bride by Sheryl Paul…. apparently there is also a website:

  • Lulabelle, I see your concern, and I wanted to chime in. You are not as fragmented as you might think. I urge you not to look at the deficiencies, the blank spots in your past, but to focus on the strong fabric of friends and family you have woven together over the years here in Philly. No, it’s not the same as blood, and sure, we don’t see each other that often (what with that whole kid you’ve got going on there), but I consider you a part of my family. A big family made of old Moore classmates, old Borders coworkers, people randomly acquired from design jobs, dance parties, and friends of friends of friends. It’s big and sprawling and weird and you started building it the second you arrived here in Philly, and we’re not going anywhere. You may have this history of picking up and peacing out with no trouble, but that only makes you more resilient, stronger, a better friend to everyone you let in. A rock to those of us who can only be described as “hot messes,” who need somebody like you to be the voice of reason, the unwavering logical mama. I hope that one day, if you ever get wobbly (which I have yet to witness), that I can help hold you up straight, like you’ve done for me countless times. So spin around if you must, I understand. But know that you are not a handful of mismatched puzzle pieces. The picture is whole, and clear, and I hope you can see it like I can.

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