Wednesday, July 25, 2012
My mother's hidden hand?
How is my mother's influence still being felt? How's this: I am planning to go to Israel with my son next week for two weeks. But I'm having a problem. My son's passport expired. (Children's passports are good only for five years, so you really have to stay on top of them to make sure they're still valid.) We applied for a new passport six weeks ago. Heard nothing. Then last Friday we get a letter from the State Department: he didn't sign his application and we have to reapply. I called the State Department many times to make sure we did everything we could to get it on time. On Monday we went to the Post Office again to file a new application. There was no one I could talk to at the State Department who could assure me it would come before our scheduled flight.
This morning after davening I was talking to a friend about the problem. Another congregant overheard our conversation. He said, "talk to Elliot Engel's office" (our local congressman). Aha. Never would have thought of that. And so I did. And they helped. Apparently they specialize in helping constituents with this kind of problem. By day's end, the congressman's staffer assured me the passport had been issued and would arrive tomorrow or Friday.
I left a message on the congregant's Facebook page thanking him for his advice. He responded it was "bishert" (fated) because he was there this morning because he just happened to oversleep. And I was there because I just happened to mention the problem to a friend. Because I am going to shul. Because I am saying kaddish for my mother.