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June 27, 2003 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-06-27

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And there were guests to be notified.
"I immediately started calling family and
friends en route from Michigan," said
Brad, a graduate of Hillel Day School of
Metropolitan Detroit, West Bloomfield
High School and Michigan State
"Some of them were already in the air
and found out after they landed, but we
were able to get hold of some of them in
time," Allen Goldsmith said. "I caught
my brother getting ready to leave and
my father-in-law got as far as London
when we called him. My brother Louis
was already on a plane in California
when his wife, who was at home, unable
to make it to the wedding, called him
on his cell phone — and he got off the
Said Brad, "Watching Michelle go
through this has been heart-breaking."
But aside from the disappointment of
a canceled wedding, came the financial
loss of unreturned deposits and purchas-
es of unusable perishable items — like
food and flowers.
"But the caterer and some of the oth-
ers were able to work with us," said
Brad, a CPA working in international
tax. "In Toronto, most people are very
understanding, since SARS is a city-wide
But some effort and cost are
inevitable. "We have to get some sort of
new invitation to notify guests, redo the
programs, kippot and anything else with
the dates on them," Michelle said. "We
had a handmade ketubah [marriage con-
tract], but the artist will be able to fix it
so that we can still use it."
While some of their honeymoon trav-
el charges were not refundable, Air
Canada allowed a change of airline tick-
ets without penalty.


Michelle had the option of entering
"work quarantine," where she could
leave her home and take private trans-
portation to work where she would wear
a mask that covered her mouth and
"But she decided to stay home, since
she already had the days off from work
anyway," Goldsmith said. She had
planned to spend them in the Pacific
islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea
and in Los Angeles on her honeymoon.
Told to "pick a location and stay
there," Michelle spent the 10 days at her
parents' home. "I was not allowed to
have any visitors in the house," she said.
"People who did come to visit stood
outside the house and we spoke through
a window. The only people in the house
were my family, and I had to wear a

mask anytime I was around them. I also
was restricted to certain areas of my
house. I had to take my temperature two
times a day and report any symptoms to
the public health office. According to
the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention in Atlanta, those symptoms
would include a fever greater than
100.4, headache, feeling of discomfort,
body aches, mild respiratory symptoms,
dry cough and breathing difficulty.
Even though being in quarantine is
basically an honor-system process, the
couple never considered bypassing it.
"We would have loved to go ahead
with the wedding, but we would never
have wanted to expose our family and
friends," Brad said. "We had to be
responsible. Michelle works in the health
field and we know this is the way to stop
the disease. So there was never any ques-
tion of what was the right thing to do."
And being apart is nothing new for
the couple. "They met when they were
both counselors at Tamarack Camp, liv-
ing in different countries," said Brad's
mom, Fran Goldsmith. "They stayed in
touch through the years and got engaged
in December 2001."

Second Time Around

By June 2, Michelle was freed from her
quarantine, having exhibited no symp-
toms. 'And that's the only thing that is
really important," Brad said. "The wed-
ding can always be redone — but her
health is all that matters."
While Michelle says she didn't really
worry about getting SARS, she knows
being in regular contact with patients
puts her at higher risk.
"Unfortunately, since I work in a hos-
pital, this is hard to control," she said.
"But if I have a major event — like my
next wedding date — I will not be
entering any hospital or doctor's office
for at least 10 days before."
In planning a second celebration, Brad
had some positive thoughts. "Whenever
you plan something, you think next
time I'll do some things differently, but
who would have thought we'd be able to
plan our wedding all over again?" he
said. The couple rescheduled their wed-
ding for Saturday, Nov. 8.
"I guess anything I did not like the
first time I can correct," Michelle said.
"Truthfully though, these are minor
things that I probably cared about a lot
last year but don't even phase me today.
Having gone through this puts things
into perspective. The little things really
don't matter — like the flowers, the
chair covers, the food." The only thing
that is important she said: "I just want
to marry Brad." 111

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