First Person: Artist gives memorable gift at girlhood friends wedding

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My friend Sherry and I were 12 when we met at Ditmas Junior High in Brooklyn. Even then, she was "the student" and I was "the artist." Sherry ran for class office; I designed the posters. Sherry's mother got mad at us; I drew funny cartoons to charm her into forgiveness. Through college (still close friends), Sherry majored in science; I majored in art.

Geography separated us after graduation as we married and started our families, but we always kept in touch. We shared life-cycle events by telephone and by letter, especially after Sherry moved to Los Altos in 1984. Fate conspired to bring us together for a simcha one year: Sherry's niece and my daughter had bat mitzvahs in New Jersey a week apart.

But the greatest coincidence occurred last August, when my family and I moved to Millbrae and became Sherry's (freeway) neighbors. Our reunion was perfectly timed because it meant that not only were we certain to attend Sherry's wedding to Don Schare on Dec. 23, but I could also help with the joyous preparations!

Sherry and I talked about beautiful ketubot we had seen, and what a lovely custom it is to select and display the Jewish marriage contract. Immediately, I knew the ideal wedding gift: I offered to design a ketubah for my dear friend and her groom. Sherry did research and finalized the wording, then I executed the art with love. Colors and symbols with personal meaning to Sherry and Don were incorporated, and I found a frame that enhances the ketubah perfectly. This is a special gift created by both giver and recipient, just like the deep friendship we have shared for so many years.