In my post last week, I worried that I would not be able to find a menorah and Hanukkah candles easily this close to the holiday. The rehearsal/concert schedule is so fierce and time is so limited. Between last Thursday at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday at 7:00 p.m., Warren was home for approximately 22 hours, about 18 of which were when he was asleep. From Friday at 5:00 p.m. until Sunday at 7:00 p.m., I was home approximately 17 hours, 12 of which were spent sleeping. So there was no time to try finding one at a synagogue shop in Columbus (many of which would close Friday and not reopen until Sunday, if then). No time then, no time even this week until the weekend is upon us and Hanukkah half over.
My one faint hope was that Saturday afternoon, while Warren was in rehearsal, I could drive to the Mansfield Target and find one. I did not call ahead to ask as I had a few other purchases regardless of the success of the hunt and I did not want my hopes dashed.
Not that I had high hopes.
Target was packed. The Christmas area (where I was in search of a small tabletop tree for Aunt Ginger) was a madhouse. I found the tree, found the cheese grater that Sam had asked for in kitchenwares. But no menorahs.
There were lots of people but no clerks. I took one final stroll down the front aisle, and caught sight of a large cardboard Hanukkah sign topping the end of one row of cards.
I held my breath, walked quickly, and...
Menorahs. I quickly selected one, grabbed a box of Hanukkah candles, and sailed through checkout, menorah AND Christmas tree in hand.
When Warren and I met after the rehearsal, I told him I'd been successful. "It's just a relief," I said, adding that he'd see the menorah when we got home.
Warren didn't see the menorah until Sunday evening, Sunday performance demands (A church service! Two Concerts!) being what they were. I showed him and we talked a little about Hanukkah, which he has never seen celebrated. Then he said, quietly, "If you didn't find one this weekend, I was going to make you one. I wasn't sure how, but I wanted you to have a menorah."
That, my dear readers, is one of many reasons why I married the man. Because he was ready and willing to make me a menorah just so I didn't have to miss out on Hanukkah.
It turns out someone else was concerned I would miss out on Hanukkah. When I arrived at work mid-morning, I found this in my office:
Really? For me?
I had tears in my eyes, looking at it. I was pretty sure who made it, and a co-worker confirmed that my friend and colleague Anne had placed it there earlier this morning.
When I saw Anne, she said she and her son Sam had put it together this weekend. "I didn't want you not to have a menorah," she said, adding that she had read my blog and felt she had to do something. She knew tea candles were not quite the right thing, but she had the number of candles, and, more important, the spirit and intent of it just right. "I'll make the candles work," I assured her.
Hanukkah is all about miracles. Love—the love of my husband, the love of my friend—made its own miracle for me this year. This year I will be lighting two menorahs to celebrate the holiday, celebrate the light, celebrate the love, celebrate the miracles.