What made this event so poignant, was the memory of a particularly dark day in 1998. I had answered the pay phone in the waiting room at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia where I had spent several weeks by that point, holding vigil while awaiting a liver transplant for my husband that never came to be. The voice on the other end was that of my friend Barbara Cohen who has been in my life since we were 14 year old competitive swimmers who met on the bench prior to our event. She offered an honor to me. “Glenn and I decided to name you Cady’s God-mother, so you will have a little girl to spoil.” Grateful tears fell as I welcomed this gift and a distraction from my pain.
One of my favorite Cady memories was when she was around 6 months old. One of my hats is that of a clown who loves to teach people that humor is healing. I was prepping for teaching a workshop and wanted an example of the perfect laugh. What could be better than a child’s giggle? Cady was lying on a blanket, feet kicking in the air and we played the universally fun game of peek-a-boo. With a tape player nearby, each silvery twinkle was recorded. The members of the class loved it. Wish I still had the tape and wonder if Cady is still open to playing peek-a-boo. (:
On the bimah (platform/podium in front of the synagogue), Cady was enwrapped in a floral tallis (prayer shawl) lovingly created by her paternal Bubbe, which is Yiddish for grandmother, whose name is Corrine a.k.a ‘Cookie’. Cady’s older brother Alex and older sister Blake were similarly gifted by Cookie’s talents and in 7 years, their little sister Darah will be making her choice of fabric for her own tallis. I was honored to stand by Cady’s side and read a poem called A Rainbow of Friends and during the reception afterward was called to light a candle on the decadently decorated cupcake cake. Those were not the only tearful moments, but stood out among them.
I marveled at the passage of time as I took note of the friends of Barb and Glenn who shared in the joyous occasion as well. Jimmy, who was Glenn’s Best Man at their wedding ( I was the Matron of Honor), and was also my counterpart as Cady’s Godfather, had come up from Virginia with his wife Bernadette (lovingly referred to as ‘Bernie’). Caught up on the lives of Chuck and another Edie; creative types…Chuck works for an ad agency and Edie is a jewelry designer. A poignant moment came when Ralph, Barb’s formerly vigorous, tall father was brought in by wheelchair, pushed by her brother Tony. Widowed a few years ago, when Barb’s mom died as a result of a stroke, he maintains an active social life, playing cards with friends and spending time with family.
At the reception, while Cady’s friends where indulging their appetites at the buffet, the D.J. encouraged the ‘big kids’ to come out on the dance floor for what he referred to as ‘adult swim’. Motown tunes blasted out of the speakers as we had a blast, ‘sweatin’ to the oldies’. I do have to say brazenly and without modesty….we still got some moves(:
I offer you the song that was played when I was called up to light the candle. That’s What Friends Are For