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An Extraordinary Wedding
Mom with a View

An Extraordinary Wedding

Two young adults with Down syndrome got married and we witnessed a miracle.

by

I went to a wedding last week where the hosts were extra considerate of the needs of their guests. What was the mark of their thoughtfulness? There was a small package of tissues on every seat. They knew everyone was going to need them.

This marriage was something extraordinary, the product of hard work, determination, grit and the kindness of the Almighty. It was the marriage of two young adults with Down syndrome, of Danielle Magady and Shlomo Meyers. (It didn’t hurt that Danielle’s parents met in our living room so I felt an extra share of nachas!)

As the groom, Shlomo, told me on the day before the wedding, “Everyone is going to cry happy tears tomorrow.” And boy was he right! Not just because we had a glimpse of the work involved in getting to this moment (none of us could actually claim to really understand what was required). Not just because we had seen the bride’s parents fight and push and struggle to mainstream their daughter and give her the same opportunities as her classmates. Not just because of the drive and determination and just plain old-fashioned effort required to bring about this moment. But because we all felt that we were witnessing something out of the ordinary, something where the world “special” just isn’t enough, something perhaps that we would never witness again.

It was like seeing a revealed miracle in our times. And yes, those happy tears flowed and flowed. As one of the guests whispered after the chuppah, “If this doesn’t bring the messiah, I don’t know what will.”

There were so many additional elements that added poignancy to the simcha including the bride’s grandfather singing to the beaming couple under the chuppah. But I think perhaps the overwhelming feeling was awe. There was an emotional intensity that could not be contained or put into words (which is why I debated whether to even try). Sometimes I tell my children (or these days my grandchildren) that “I love you so much I can’t take it.” There are not sufficient words or physical gestures of affection to adequately convey the intensity and depth of my love.

The emotional experience of this wedding mirrored this sentiment. We felt privileged to participate in this event, privileged that we were there to witness this moment, privileged that our lives had intersected with this extraordinary couple and their parents and allowed us to witness their joy.

Sometimes (I’m sorry to say) when we attend a celebration, we feel like we are doing the host and hostess a favor. We are taking time out of our busy schedules to participate in their celebration. But in this case the favor was reversed. The favor was done to us. We are forever in their debt.

I spent quite a while speaking with Shlomo the day before the wedding. Every time his bride’s name was mentioned, a big smile spread across his face. “She is the love of my life,” he explained. (All of our husbands should feel so excited and be so emotionally expressive!) But he also made a classic mistake. He told us a few times that the wedding day was going to be “the best day of my life!” Certainly his excitement was contagious but, as with all new couples, I tried to suggest that the wedding day is only a beginning and that, please God, things would only get better and better. And, like all new couples, he didn’t believe me!

I’m not naïve. All marriages require work and this one will demand more than most. The parents who didn’t stop pushing to reach this point are not now able to sit back and relax. Their work is not over (well no one’s is). But that is part of the inspiration. Because despite the greater level of work involved in now managing two lives instead of just one, these parents persevered and moved forward. On the days when I feel that “I can’t take another minute,” I look at them and put one foot in front of the other.

Sunday’s wedding uplifted us all. And goodness knows we could use some uplifting. At a time when some of the news facing the Jewish people seems to overwhelm us with its pain and sorrow, there is still the exhilarating joy of watching this couple and their families show us what’s possible and enable us to bear public witness to the awesome kindness of the Almighty.

Published: July 6, 2014


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Visitor Comments: 19

(16) Anonymous, July 15, 2014 3:25 PM

Happy for this wonderful couple

I'm glad to hear that this couple has very supportive family on both ends. Not every couple with a disability has both sides on the same page.

Unfortunately, I have spoken to a few parents I know whose children got married and only one side is supportive of them financially and emotionally.

Thank you for writing this article.

It gives me chizuk since my husband, I and my family are very supportive of our couple and their children.

(15) Anonymous, July 15, 2014 12:57 PM

Thank You!

Thank you for posting this. We have a one year old beautiful daughter with down syndrome. Seeing this article and the one related to Danielle backs up our belief that our daughter can have the same hopes and dreams as our other children. Thank you to the family who posted their wedding on You Tube as well. It is simply beauitful!

If possible I would love to be in contact with these other families. I can be reached at the e-mail given in this form.

Thank you again.

chaya ben baruch, July 16, 2014 11:13 AM

Avichi and Kirin's parents

we can be contacted at chaya2426@gmail.com

(14) Doris Jaffe, July 12, 2014 2:02 AM

Mazel Tov and Hatzlacha Rabba

I am elated for this couple. May HaShem grant them wedded bliss in good health ad mea v'esreem.

I am so glad their parents afforded them this opportunity. Other families can take an example with their special needs children. I join everyone who wishes them a hearty mazel tov and hatzlacha rabba as a married couple.

(13) yafa elyassian(solimannian, July 11, 2014 4:53 AM

mazal tov i love u alwayes haveing semkha

THAT WAS AMAZING WEDDING.WE HOP BE TOGETHER 12O YEARS TOGETHER WITH ALOT OF HAPPENASE

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