After my mother-in-law passed away last month, I felt the need to write something -- not in particular about her, but about the experience of going through two major milestones in one week: her death on the Monday evening and my oldest child's bar mitzvah on the Shabbos.
I had gone to a wedding on the night before she passed away, I went to her funeral on the Tuesday, I went to my son's bar mitzvah on Shabbos and I went to an unveiling on Sunday. The only thing missing was a bris.
Talk about life cycles...
I wrote my personal essay, then looked around to find it a home in print. Aish.com was the first place that came to mind, but they didn't want it. The Canadian Jewish News agreed to hold on to it for a while, should there be extra space in the paper (but never actually saying they would run it, either). I tried Mishpacha magazine with a query, but didn't hear back.
Then I recalled THE JEWISH PRESS, out of NY. Years ago, when I was still single, I'd had two personal humorous essays appear in their singles' pages. I'd been thrilled with the venue, knowing that I'd be hitting the right target audience with my words.
So I went straight to the top and queried the senior editor of The Jewish Press and ... long story short... Jason Maoz agreed to print the piece.
The newspaper is accessible throughout the U.S. and Canada, with a large proportion of the readership in the NY/New Jersey area and perhaps in Florida as well. My piece will appear somewhere in the newspaper this Friday, August 1st. It will be available in their online edition Wednesday, July 30th.
In bungalow colonies in the Catskills, in family rooms across the five boroughs, at lakefront summer homes this Shabbos, people will be reading my words. Strangers will be getting a glimpse into my psyche. My late mother-in-law, z"l, will be receiving some form of recognition.
It's always nice to get published; it's nicer to get published when a piece has personal significance in your life.
My words will have found a home and for that I'm grateful.