What a month!

I can’t believe it has been an entire month since I posted last, and I can’t believe how much has taken place since then as well. The wedding experience in Mexico was amazing, and as soon as I got home, it was time to prepare for Trevor’s 18th birthday on the 22nd. And then, of course, it was time for Christmas, and for the first time in 20 years, I was faced with spending Christmas morning alone. Amazingly, a few days before, my friend and mentor Jerry called me to see if I could do a baby naming for his friend, Janet Shapiro, on Christmas morning. “Absolutely!” I said, and called his friend to begin planning the ceremony. It was a small family gathering for his friend’s son and daughter-in-law, and their two boys. They had been circumcised at birth, but never had their naming, so we created a beautiful service that honored the family, and the history of the boys’ names.

The family was lovely. They welcomed me into their home, and were so grateful that I could accommodate them on such short notice, with such a nice ceremony. Little did they know, I really appreciated them even more than they appreciated me on that day, because being without my kids and the “other side” of my family, whom I had celebrated with for so many years made for somewhat of a sad day.

It was time to break the tradition. Wayne and I have worked hard over the years to save our kids from feeling the effects of a divorced home. We worked hard to carry on traditions without changing how we observed or celebrated, and have always celebrated together. But, being that the kids each turned 18 and 20 this year, and our need for each of us to begin to claim independent lives, it was time to make the break. In the end, I’m glad we did, and I’m looking forward to creating new traditions for myself. In the meantime, having families to celebrate lifecycle events with, like the Shapiro’s, makes me know I am continuing on the right path.

Little did I know at the time that my lifecycle practice was about to diversify…Stay tuned…

Debbi Ballard

Cantor Debbi brings warmth. passion, and an infectious smile to her ceremonies, serving Jewish-Interfaith couples and families for all of your Jewish lifecycle events in Florida, and around the world. For weddings, baby namings, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs and spiritual worship needs, Cantor Debbi works personally with each family – no rules, just right!

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