While I wrote the address on the envelope from memory, I remembered the letters I sent to that address years ago -- more often than not months after I'd written it, when I'd found it in a pile somewhere. I could usually count on getting an out-of-date letter or two in return around Pesach, when Michelle had to clean her room thoroughly to make sure there weren't any leavened bread crumbs lying around.
My mom and Carol, Michelle's mom, met outside of their apartment complex on a rainy day in Bremerton, Washington when they were 4 and 5 years old, and shared an umbrella. Their parents became friends as well, and years later their children became friends. During summer trips to Washington, I split my time between my grandparents in Tacoma and Michelle's family in Bellevue. Michelle has a daughter who's just Jane's age, but they really don't know each other yet. I want to correct that. I want to see this three generation friendship extend to four.
When Peter and I got married on Tuesday, August 18th, 1998, Michelle and Carol told us we'd picked "a date fit for a rabbi's daughter." Tuesday, the 3rd day of the week, is special because the 3rd day of the creation account in the Torah is the only day where it says "and God saw that it was good" not just once, but twice. And 18 is special because it's the number that the letters of חַי -- "chai," which means "life" -- add up to in Hebrew. In a few weeks, our anniversary will be on a Tuesday again for the first time since we were married.
My wedding wasn't the first time I unwittingly picked a good Jewish date. I was born on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year -- and on an 18th of the month, again.
I remember chatting with a very nice older gentleman at a Bat Mitzvah celebration brunch for Michelle when I was eleven. When I explained that I was Mormon, he said, "Ah, well, you know, Mormons and Jews, they're like cousins." I'm not sure most people would see it that way, but it made perfect sense to me at the time.
*I thought I was a genius when it first occurred to me to use my sewing machine for paper crafting projects back in high school. Back then I was limited to utility stitches, but now I have a sweet machine that lets me get fancy with the decorative stitches.