Stock Photo. Photo credit: Marc Love on Flickr
My “Bubby” Marvis gave me a life-changing gift: unconditional love, acceptance, and respect at a time when I needed it the most.
Ten years ago, in my early twenties, I came out to her as a lesbian. Having grown up in a tight-knit, Orthodox-Jewish family and community, I was still struggling with my own acceptance of my sexual orientation, and grappling with feelings of guilt and shame. But from the moment I came out to Bubby, she encouraged me to be open with her, asking me lots of questions and showing a keen interest in my life and well-being.
When I introduced her to Gali, my girlfriend, Bubby welcomed her with open arms as well. Over the years, Bubby was always careful to include Gali in family gatherings, referring to the two of us affectionately as “my girls.” Her warmth and support helped quell my fears of rejection and gave me the courage to come out to others who I suspected might be less accepting.
In 2011, surrounded by our friends and family, Gali and I were married in a joyful ceremony that I couldn’t even have dreamt of, all those years ago. We stood underneath a wedding canopy made of a woven shawl that had belonged to my great-great-grandmother, a shawl that Bubby had given me at a my bat mitzvah.
My one sadness on that otherwise perfect day was that Bubby, who died in 2007, was not there to celebrate with us. But as I stood under that canopy, uniting with my soul mate, I fully felt Bubby’s spirit–positive, open, embracing and sharing in our happiness.
Keren R. (32)
Brooklyn, New York