I walk into the house and catch the ringing phone.

“Judy?” comes a high-pitched, breathless voice.

“My mother’s still at work,” I say.

“Omigosh, this can’t wait. Naomi, you’re invited to the l’chaim.”

“What?”

“I’m engaged, that’s what.”

“Mazel tov, Aunt Debbie, I love you. I’m so glad for you.”

I hug my arms around myself, cradling this awesome moment.

It came, it came, just like that, the yeshuah came.

No more endless, lonely drives, no more lipstick and hair-tosses and who-on-earth-is-the-guy-on-the-other-side-of-the-door and first-date jitters.

No more.

Things can change.

They do.

Even after the longest of times.

The door opens and Mom comes in, talking on her cell —“Yes, yes, Debbie dear” — her eyes brimming, overflowing.

I fall into her arms.

“At last,” she murmurs, “at long last.”

I look up and into her eyes, bright like diamonds.

She is happy, truly happy for her sister now.

When it’s someone else’s moment, nothing can take that away, I think.

I catch her smile, and the two of us share a jig right there in the hallway, her silvery handbag still dangling from her swaying arm.

“We’ve gotta get ourselves over to the city, now, as in right now,” she exclaims.

I rush upstairs, fly out of my uniform, into my green belted dress — the one Aunt Debbie says brings out the depth in my eyes, as if she’s gonna notice tonight — grab a headband, and go.

L’chaim, Aunt Debbie, here we come.



Grandma’s living room is a bevy of voices and embraces.

In the cover of the crowd I stand and observe from the door for a minute. Aunt Debbie standing tall, so tall, and not only because of those ridiculous navy heels, her lacy blue dress fluttering as she falls into Mom’s arms and the sisters heave on each other’s shoulders. They are joined by Aunt Zehava and Grandma, a tight circle, four-strong, of love and hope and family.

When they finally dislodge themselves — Grandma clutching her heart, “Such nachas, such nachas” — I catch a glimpse of Aunt Debbie’s eyes. Bright, incredulous, finding mine.

“Naomi,” she cries.

I run over and hug my favorite aunt, letting her happiness spill over me. Miracles do happen.

“Hey, I don’t even know the chassan’s name,” I say.

And then I’m like, “Oh, Yerachmiel,” at the same time as she says, “Yerachmiel Newman.”

She mock frowns. “Really, how did you know his first name?”

“Oh, Aunt Debbie, you dropped a hint or two, you know.”

She laughs, shaking her head, like she can’t quite get herself.

“I better introduce you to said Yerachmiel.” She whisks me away, and leads me over to the man of the moment. Tall, much taller than her — so that explains the stilettos — a smile hovering over his trim beard.

“Naomi,” she says. “My niece, Judy’s daughter, they live right around the corner from your yeshivah.”

“So, you’ve been seeing quite a lot of your aunt lately, huh?” he asks.

He speaks gently, quietly.

How’s he going to cope with my exuberant aunt?

“Yes, but it’s never enough,” I say.

“You’re telling me!” And his eyes twinkle.

They exchange looks, and then Aunt Debbie blurts, “You might, just might, be seeing a lot more of us in the future. Yerachmiel is thinking about staying on at the yeshivah...” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 697)