Completely Engaged

July 15, 2020

I never did much speculating about my children's future spouses—all I really cared about was that they be good people. I married a wonderful person, and wanted the same for my kids. It’s just as well I didn’t waste time on guesswork, as every significant other has been a (mostly welcome) surprise. The only married Seyfried so far is our oldest, Sheridan, and his wife is pure gold. I adore Ya-Jhu, and sing her praises to all who will listen. What were the odds that happy lightning would strike twice?

Well, it’s taken several years, and more than several boyfriends and girlfriends among them, for the next in line for matrimony to take their place. But one spring night it happened: Julie, our youngest, got engaged.

The day they met in New York City, Julie’s first impression was that Gil Gavish was kind of a grouch. I know MY response would have been: he obviously doesn’t like me, I’m out. But not my daughter. She told me later that she took it as a challenge, and immediately began a campaign to make him smile. I think it took her a week, but she got that smile.

By the time we met him, he was all smiles—the kind of guy our little Aiden instantly grabbed by the hand and led downstairs to see his truck and car collection. Gil did not emerge for quite a while. Julie went down to “rescue” him, only to be told, “I’m fine. We’re having a good time.” They’ve been best buddies ever since.

Gil is, on the surface, Julie’s opposite: tall, bald, with a few impressive tattoos and a wardrobe featuring T-shirts from rock bands. Gil is not American, or Lutheran, either: he’s a Jewish guy from Israel. Gil also happens to be a brilliant artist who, with his partner Amit, owns a wonderful VFX (Visual Effects) studio, Realmotion, in Manhattan. Amit hired Julie as post production coordinator (after Rose introduced them).

Throughout their years of dating, we were consistently struck by Gil’s teddy-bear gentleness and humor. We began to wonder when things would get serious, but Julie had college to finish and a career to begin. She did both of those things, with Gil’s wholehearted support. They eventually moved in together. It may be that their contentment during these past months of quarantine sealed the deal. In any event, on Gil’s birthday, my daughter got her ring. We anticipate a wedding in the US and a big celebration in Israel when the time comes.

Gil said to Jules the other night: “You’re going to have the best life, because of me.” As a mom who tried so hard to give her kids a happy childhood, to hear someone promise to give her daughter "the best life" fills me with joy. It’s all I ever wanted for her, and I truly believe Gil will move heaven and earth to make it happen.

Mazel Tov, dear Julie and Gil. Such a blessing you are to us!


    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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