Just received: (my thoughts once I have a second to have some, but 1. it's a weird coincidence that she just confirmed some things I wrote about in my post yesterday 2. I see my dad's hand all over this letter)
Dear Abandoning Eden,
I’ve been wanting to write to you since you gave us the news about your intended marriage, but I didn’t know what to write. It’s always been hard for me to express myself on paper, so you will forgive me if this e-mail rambles a bit. I can only write how I view things, so please don’t take this note as a way of criticizing you. It’s not meant as that, just as a way for me to tell you what is in my heart.
Since A abruptly broke your engagement, I feel that you have been looking around for a way to replace some company in your life. You hear of your peers pairing off and that leaves you as odd person out. I know this feeling well as I was almost the last girl in my peer group to find someone and get married. You may have thought that I didn’t mind being alone but there were times I was very lonely. It’s very hard to be dating and no one seems to be the one for you. Plus there was the pressure from my parents to get married already. I finally told my father that if it was as easy as going to the supermarket and picking a can off the shelf marked "husband", I would have been married already. After I said that, my parents didn’t pressure me as much, but I knew they were still anxious for me to settle down already. Even when I told them that I had chosen your Abba, when they heard his parents were not observant, they were very upset. At one point Abba and I almost broke our engagement because our two sets of parents couldn’t get along. Abba’s parents even threatened not to come to our wedding because I think they didn’t like the fact that my parents weren’t Holocaust survivors. They had a hard time socializing with anyone who wasn’t "people like us. In the end, they wouldn’t let us invite any of their friends because they were embarrassed that there wouldn’t be mixed dancing. All this sounds ridiculous now, but this was among people who were all Jewish. In the end, we were able to reconcile everything, and even though I had a hard time feeling close to Abba’s parents (because even though I forgive, I cannot forget) they came to see me as someone who was their son was very lucky to marry. On February 24th we will be celebrating our 29th anniversary, so I guess the marriage took.
I see your situation as very different. Had you chosen to marry a non-observant Jew, I would have reconciled myself to that. (I wouldn’t have been thrilled but I could have lived with it.) With your choice, you have chosen to basically divorce yourself from the rest of your family. I understand that you feel that B is the one for you. What I see, is a man who has made no attempt to contact your family and to understand what this union really means. In time you may come to resent him. If you have children, they will be totally estranged from the rest of your relatives, and I hope you choose to tell the truth about why they don’t know your side of the family, without prejudice.
I have not told anyone of your plans, and am leaving it to you to call your grandparents, aunts. uncles and cousins and telling them yourself. If you are so happy with your choice, I figure that you would want to spread the news yourself. It breaks my heart that I am not able to celebrate your upcoming marriage and that, if you choose to go through with it, it basically means the end of our relationship. I once told you that every action has consequences, some good and some not. It’s not a punishment on my part that I am not having anything to do with you or your choice, it’s that I cannot be true to my own beliefs and accept what you are doing. If you expect me to respect your choice then you will have to respect mine.