These flowering plum trees stand in front of our house. We planted five of them 18 years ago when we first moved in, and for the last ten years they have always reminded us of the weekend of Matthew's bar mitzvah. It was a really special time for us, as our oldest child went through this Jewish rite of passage ceremony. Family and friends gathered from as far away as England and Israel to help us celebrate. The plum trees were in full, magnificent bloom that weekend, and ever since they have always served as a reminder of that special time. This weekend marked ten years since Matthew's bar mitzvah.
Now of course, it's bittersweet. But this year it's also made me think a lot about memory and the role that pictures can play in shaping and keeping it alive. For those of us who no longer have our child with us, the past is all we have. There is no present or future. This makes pictures, cards, e-mails and old school reports even more precious. They continue to connect us to our child and keep them present with us now.
So when I go through the pictures of Matthew's bar mitzvah weekend, I see them with very different eyes. I not only see the young, kind of awkward 13-year-old, but I also see the much more confident young man he became. I am so grateful to our friend Chris who flew over from England with his wife Sue and captured these precious moments from a very special weekend.
Here are a few which I especially love:
|Family pics in front of those flowering plums|
|Reading from the Torah|
|Havdalah (it's almost over)|
|Relaxing afterwards with his brother and cousin|