Our 30th Wedding Anniversary Surprise
© Joy Krauthammer
Nov. 12, 2004
Aviva is really something special. Wish you could have been here too to celebrate our simcha with us, our 30th wedding anniversary.
Aviva's fiance', Brett, played along; when he arrived with Aviva by plane from Boston the night before, Brett pretended that he did not know it was our anniversary. I was a teeny surprised by Brett's not knowing as they arrived, on this, the day of our 30th anniversary. He was apologetic as he proudly handed me an addition to my tourist shot glass collection. (Most of my collected around the world glass memories died in the '94 Northridge earthquake.) I am now the owner of a 2004 World Series Champions -- Boston Red Sox shot glass. (I also have a Cheers glass from my visit to Boston when Aviva first moved there for a Hillel job in 2000.) It is the only space I have for gifts. Marcel received from Aviva and Brett, a similar winner themed t-shirt.
Aviva TOTALLY AND SHOCKINGLY suprised me with the glorious gathering she gave to Marcel and me yesterday for our 30th wedding anniversary. I am amazed that Aviva could pull this off without me knowing or even suspecting. Roy, Marcel's aide, was even in on it, making sure Marcel was up and looking great in his new t-shirt. Marcel became speechless with the surprise visit of our guests.
I could not believe what I was seeing. I was stunned. It was as if I was watching a movie--of my life, a parade -- and each one all these dozens of people, dear, loving, caring, sharing, deep long-time friends of ours continuing in our lives today, arrived as in a parade band, cheering us, one by one in line and with percussion instruments–my tambourines and shakers. It was so strange...Surreal, as Marcel and I sat outside in the back porch getting ready to eat take-out vegie Chinese lunch (because I did not have time to cook the defrosted turkey), they entered, each friend from under the fruit-filled grapefruit tree, turning the corner from the side of the house and in the parade front was carried a giant 6' long banner reading, "HAPPY 30TH ANNIVERSARY JOY AND MARCEL." Ariel Levy, Aviva's god-sister, did a great job printing that out for us as a surprise.
These friends, every one of them, have been there for Marcel and me in trying times and times of joy. They have been there in the waiting room during Marcel's first brain surgery in 1988 and the many cancer operations following, always on call for us and present with Bikkur Cholim; visiting us at hospital and home, bringing cheer and goodies. We have shared shuls since being in the Valley and Aviva's birth. Friends have been there during Aviva's Bat Mitzvah in 1990 and with us during Aviva and Brett's engagement this last summer, 2004. They have shlepped assisting me with Marcel's needs, and in support to my performances as percussionist. We have played and prayed, laughed and cried, and gardened together.
As friend Yda wrote to us, excerpted from her 30th anniversary card "...in times of happiness and tragedy, troubles and rewards, yom tovs and bad days..." All, oh so very true. I hope that I too have been a friend to our friends, our angels, as they have all been to us. My eyes are tearing and I am choking up right now remembering yesterday, and how my tears of deep joyful, grateful, and touching emotion flowed from the moment friends were one by one and all in my sight and through the glorious gathering.
My immediate thought was, "How am I going to feed all these people?", and raced into the house to gather up nuts and fruits," having no idea that Aviva and her partner in this, my dear sister Faye, and our friend Suzanne were shlepping in tables, chairs, purple cloths, and food etc. I could not believe what I was seeing. It drizzled and everyone came closer together outside and some inside as they all gathered to honor us with their presence. The pack of purple and silver balloons here remind me that it is real, as do all the yummy chocolates and cheerful flowers and greeting cards. I had even placed outside, thinking we had one guest, the lovely bouquet from Marcel's mom, filled with purple dutch iris, purple liatris, purple lisianthus, purple-yellow tulips and yellow and white mums and daisies. I had picked and arranged my favorite purple bearded irises, seasonal yellow mums and red roses for inside.
Aviva printed and surprised us with an enlargement of one of our 1974 wedding photos and had that framed on the table for all to see; we looked so happy and smilingly cute together. Me in my long hair and Mexican white wovensniut / modest wedding dress we bought for $20 in Tijuana, and the veil I created, and Marcel with his big brown velvety bow tie for our Chabad wedding. I can still taste that wedding cake from Schwartz's LA kosher bakery.
In addition to our huge personalized delicious rich chocolate cake with a sizzling sparkler, Aviva and Faye also sweetly had an apple cake decorated for three dear friends celebrating their birthdays, back to back beginning yesterday, Barbara, Yda and Suzanne. (Karen's had been a week earlier.)
The table was graced with potted fall-colored mum flowers and chocolates from friends and purple flower vases, and a beautiful ceramic bowl for embracing luscious persimmons and other fruits. Some people, like Yda and Irwin have been with us since our wedding; Irwin and Marcel were colleagues for decades, and others like Suzanne and Alan, since my college days when Marcel and I were dating from 1969. They kvell with her memories. Friends were here from our religious communities with the Temple Ramat Zion Minyanairres, Young Israel, and during the days of Heschel Day School, and when Aviva baby sat for their children.
Too bad I would not change out of my
blue purple jeans and purple t-shirt for the one friend Aviva said was coming over; her friend since Heschel kindergarten, Shelly. And her dad Louis came. (Aviva had lived with them and mom Sandy, during Marcel's worst medical time.)
Not even earrings or make-up had I put on. At least I had taken out a gorgeous batiked red tassled table cloth from Bali.
I can not believe how many friends I spoke to during that and the prior day, who did not let on that I would see them in a few hours.
Interesting how many chairs and little tables I have around the back porch that I was able to keep pulling out. Am I glad I decided to dust the porch in the morning.
Oh, yes, immediately prior to the surprise!!! party, instead of dragging Aviva to the eye glass store for her opinion on the purple frames I was choosing, I took her into a boutique shop and early for Chanukah, bought her a few unbelievable stunning and unique outfits. All the women trying on clothes opened the doors to their dressing rooms to come out and see what the fuss was all about --that the Boutique women were making in oogling Aviva's modeling expertise. Everyone was jealous of how the garments looked on her tall, slim graceful body.
It was a memorable day. And when everyone left after yummy cakes, fruits and drinks, Aviva and Brett met at the house with a musician--a band leader, and then a wedding photographer, each to sell their wares. The guitarist Dale, serended Marcel in his hospital bed here at the house. Amazing day. Amazing Grace.
Our friends truly present in celebration whom I dearly love in addition to my loving family, Aviva and Brett, and Faye and Jim, include: Adina and Jerrry Kraim, Barbara Klaristenfeld, Joyce and Sheldon Kirsch, Karen and Brian Reff and their children, Jesse, Chana and Ben (with a head of new corn rows instead of his huge impressive afro), Lisa Weisbrod, Luisa Latham and Arnold Bryman, Shelly and dad Louis Magier, Shelly and Pepi Rosenbaum, Suzanne and Alan Levy, and Yda and Irwin Ziment.
Unbelievable how many incredible friends could show up on a Thursday afternoon and exactly at the surprise time that Aviva requested. I am so very grateful.
Very sad that Suzanne on left died 7.3.32016 and also on far left that Irwin Ziment died 8.4.2016.
Barbara, Suzanne, Alan, Yda, Irwin, Aviva
© Joy Krauthammer