T he doctor examined Idy. “That was quite a scare you gave us.”
Mrs. Sommers took Idy’s hand. “Come sit by the window. I’ll open it just a crack so you’ll have some fresh air. It will help your head.”
Idy wondered what would help her heart, but said nothing.
Toby joined Idy near the window, and sat down beside her on the bench. “Lulu’s exhausted. She’s sleeping like a… baby.”
Idy attempted a smile.
“Idy,” Toby said after a few moments of silence, “your mother was a wonderful woman. Would you like to hear about her?”
Idy wrapped her arms around herself. “Yes,” she said quietly.
“Her name was Devora.”
“De-vo-ra.” Idy savored the name on her tongue.
“I was close to her,” Toby said, her eyes gleaming with affection. “She was like a mother to me.”
A look of puzzlement crossed Idy’s face.
“My father died 11 years ago. I was just a little girl.”
Idy cringed. “I’m sorry for you.”
“Your father was the rabbi of our synagogue, our shul. My parents were close to your parents for years. Then about five years ago, my mother died. Lulu, Leah really, is named for her.”
“You’re an orphan,” Idy said faintly.
“Yes. I wasn’t much older than you are now. Your mother was warm and loving, and took care of me as if I was her own daughter. I lived in your house for one full year, until I married.” She smiled. “Uncle Moshe came every Shabbos for lunch. He’s my mother’s brother, and was like a father to me after mine passed away. He was close to your father too.”
“It’s so strange, all of this,” Idy said.
“How our lives are so intertwined.”
“Yes.” Idy was thoughtful for a few minutes. “Tell me, what did my mother look like?”
Toby face glowed. “She looked just like you. She was beautiful on the inside and on the outside. She was elegant and kind and had a wonderful sense of humor.”
“Did she… talk… about me?”
Toby sighed. “She did. She never lost hope that you’d come home one day. She davened… prayed for you every day. Sometimes we davened together, your mother, your father, and me.”
Idy linked her fingers together. “Did my… mother… cry?”
“Yes,” Toby whispered. “She missed you and Jacob something dreadful. She wore a locket around her neck with a photograph of you on one side, and one of Jacob on the other.”
Idy shivered. “The more you talk about her, the more I seem to remember. She was about my height, and had lovely blue eyes. My father had a short dark beard, and wore a gold pocket watch.”
“Yes! You’ll see, Idy, over time the memories will come back to you, and you’ll share them with Jacob.”
Idy hugged herself. “Thank you for telling me about them.”
Toby grasped Idy’s hand. “Don’t you see, Idy, your mother and father were such a part of my life like you’re a part of Lulu’s.”
“She saved me from despair,” Idy said. “After Jacob was gone, I thought I’d never smile again. Then Lulu showed up and gave me the push I needed to go on.”
“Idy, I believe, Hashem brought us together for a purpose. I can finally give back to the people who gave me everything. What better way can I pay back my debt to your parents than by having you and Jacob come live with us?” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 688)