I was under the impression, for 26 years, that my father was in the process of converting to Judaism when he met my mother. It turned out that he had converted in order to marry my mother. They divorced when I was in college, around 1991 or so (I don’t remember exactly).
At the time, I had a LOT of problems with that, and with Janet, whom I percieved to be the catylist for my father’s new found faith in Jesus. I boycotted their wedding. They wanted me to not only BE there, but to read psalm 23 in Hebrew. Since I was still in my 20’s and rebellious, I stood my ground and didn’t go.
Since that time, back in 1997, and a LOT of therapy later, I have come to love and adore Janet. Dad and I get on GREAT, in fact, WAY better than mom and I, (but that’s a different blog post for another day). Dad and Janet are even presidents of the Narda fan club. Dad likes to remind me how he “dated a black girl back in high school.” So since he was in highschool in the late 50’s, that’s actually pretty cool. Even though it comes out sounding like “My best friend is black.”
But I digress. Dad and Janet have been awesome. Janet’s kids, officially my step-siblings, (but it’s hard to consider step-siblings when you are an adult), are great, and their kids are great. We think “Nik,” the 14 year old, is a big ole baby dyke, but we aren’t giving her the toaster just yet, as it could be a “phase” that all of “these kids today” go through. (But we don’t think so…) Anyhoo – all of this to say, that Janet’s family has been the MOST embracing and loving, even more so than mom. (Again, another blog post for another day, I promise) Dad and Janet are Malka’s grandparents in every sense of the word. And it’s SO wonderful. They have embraced MY family with open and loving arms.
I am constantly amazed at Janet’s strength and courage. In the 70’s, she was one of the first families to adopt from Korea. She has four children, two of whom were born in Korea. She was out there in the early stages of working the whole “blended family” thing, and was an advocate of women having their OWN money to be in charge of – kind of an early Suzie Orman, if you will.
And now, Janet proves her strength yet again. While dad was here to help celebrate Malka’s birthday in December, we found out that Janet had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Yesterday, she had a double mastectomy. She is looking at all of this “as an obstacle.” And nothing more. I wish I had one tenth of her strength.
Please think good thoughts for her.