Thursday, July 11, 2013
So I watched the video of my Bar Mitzvah last night for the first time in more than 25 years. Wow.
My Bar Mitzvah was 30 years ago this year, January 8, 1983. The theme was Pac-Man. I even had a robot that talked (controlled by a guy who hid in the coatroom or something, but it was high-tech for 1983).
Watching the video I was struck by a number of things.
It gave me a combination of warmth and sadness to see so many relatives and family friends who have passed away since then. My grandfather, George, was very ill with cancer at my Bar Mitzvah, but to watch the video you would never know it. He channeled every bit of energy and happiness and pride and love into his body that night, and it showed, so it's amazing to think he died a little more than a month later. My grandmother, Gloria, suffered so much from osteoporosis later in life, that it's wonderful to see her actually standing upright.
Seeing people I've lost that meant so much to me in my life at a time when they were so full of life was simultaneously wonderful, surreal, and depressing.
Thanks to the amazing power of social media, I keep in frequent contact with, or have connected with nearly all of the friends who attended my Bar Mitzvah. The only ones I've not been able to get back in touch with are those not on Facebook or those who remain impervious to Facebook and Google stalking. (Shameful, I tell you.) But seriously, that's pretty great.
Although I had a lot of hair back then (it was the 1980s and I was from Jersey, after all), and bigger, darker glasses, it's unsettling to see how many of 13-year-old Larry's mannerisms I recognize. (My favorite comment from W when watching this was, "Wow, you rolled your eyes even then!")
Since then, I've grown a bit taller (although not much, sadly), my voice got deeper (thankfully), and I worked hard to lose my Jersey accent, but the Larry of 1983 isn't vastly different than the Larry of today. More sarcastic, sure, more confident in myself (most of the time), and certainly a bit wiser and more cynical (it is what it is), but still fairly similar. And I don't know that I mind.
I am so thankful to have these memories so accessible, and so grateful to have had so many special people touch my life, and continue to do so. Makes a Bar Mitzvah boy proud.