~Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Grand(mother) Scheme of Things

Abraham and his parents agreed to not tell Bubbie, his Orthodox Jewish grandmother, about me just yet. The reasons varied: she had previously not taken an interfaith relationship well, and it would have broken Abe's heart to disappoint her.

"She's really important to me. I want you two to get along," he explained once.

"So just tell her something really bad so I won't be so bad in comparison. 'Bubs, I'm quitting my job and moving home with my parents. Just kidding. I have a girlfriend and she isn't Jewish.'"

Abe snorted.

"When are you going to tell her?"

"I wanted to tell her in person."

"So Hanukkah?"


But Abraham didn't get the chance. After seeing our pictures together crop up on Facebook followed by becoming Facebook official, a cousin told his mom, who in turn told Bubbie. Bubbie then logged on Facebook and saw for herself.

"Abraham, the one who made me a Bubbie," she wrote on his profile, "HUH????????????? (re: relationship)."

Oh shit.

Abraham called her after work and told her about me. But instead of being angry about my religion, she was angry that he waited so long to tell her.

"She didn't even ask if you were Jewish until like the 15th question," he told me. "It was way later than I thought it was going to be."

Bubbie was elated. She loved her grandson and wanted him to be happy. She asked him if she could write me an email.

"She would love that," he told her.

"Okay, but I'll send it to you first so you can proofread it," she said.

By the weekend a card arrived in Abraham's mailbox addressed to me in care of him. Bubbie didn't write an email. She handwrote a letter.

Sunday evening Abraham handed me the envelope. "Read it," he smiled.

I sat on his bed, dumbfounded that his family was taking this kind of care of me. The letter was beautiful and I struggled not to cry as I read it out loud. She wrote that she had a special bond with her oldest grandson and that if he loved me, she loved me.

"I'm going to impart some wisdom of my 80-something years," she wrote. "Be good to each other, love each other and be each other's best friends."

I looked at Abraham and swallowed a lump. It was all so beautiful.

"And don't shlep this out," I read. I looked at him again, "Shlep?" I didn't know what the phrase meant.

Abraham shrugged.

I googled the word. "'Shlep. A person who is dimwitted. An idiot.' What? That makes no sense."

"I don't know," he offered. "Do you want to call her now?"


Abraham dialed Bubbie on speakerphone. She asked if I got the letter. He angled the phone toward me.

"I did!" I exclaimed.

Bubbie gasped like she was just handed a Publisher's Clearinghouse $100,000 check. "Hi! You just made my day!" she fussed.

I laid on Abraham's shoulder as we spoke to his grandmother. The feeling was bittersweet. I was sad I didn't have any grandparents left to dote on Abraham like his grandmother was treating me. He would receive no such letter.

"Did you get the last sentence?" she asked eagerly.

"Funny you ask, Bubbie." Abraham said. "She didn't and she had to look it up."

"What did it say?"

"It said it was an idiot, but that didn't make sense."

"Oh no!" she cried. "That is a shlepper! 'Shlep' means 'to drag,' as in don't drag this out!"

I laughed hard. She wanted us to get married.

I nestled into Abraham's shoulder. He wouldn't say what he told her on that initial phone call; he simply blamed the blog again. But whatever he told her about me, it must have been wonderful.

There we were, lying on his bed on a Sunday evening and talking to his grandmother. Everyone was laughing and happy. I looked up to Abraham and watched him smile as we spoke to her.

This is it, I thought definitively. I'm done being single. This is the man I'm going to marry.


Anonymous said...

This brought tears to my eyes. If bubbie likes you, you're in. I'm so happy for you :)

Erin said...

This made me tear up. I had the same type of moment with my husband where I thought this was it. It's a beautiful feeling.

Anonymous said...

I love the entire story. Mazel Tov. You deserve wonderful things.

heisschic said...


Dawn said...

I'm crying! I was crying as you read the letter. And I was sobbing by the end of your story. You made the Bubbie happy. You done good, babykins!

And I agree with ames... if Bubbie likes you, you're golden. My Bubbie was such a hard-ass but if she loved you, she was mush. You made Abraham's Bubbie mush before you even spoke to her. Good work!

Anonymous said...

simply lovely. you deserve this moment. these moments sarah. thank you for sharing. thank you to Abraham as well.

makes me take stock of what I currently(still) have and wonder.

Mazel Tov!

Dawn said...

I had to come back and read this again. (And comment again.)

And even though I'd just read it, I cried again. And got good goosebumps again. Sigh...

My new favorite part is her saying "Hi! You just made my day!" Because, really, that says it all, doesn't it? Yes. It does.

Je m'appelle Danielle said...

I love Grandmothers, I'm in the same boat as you, as I wouldn't have any to offer to another person. I think this is great! And I love the handwritten letter, so sweet of her!

Anonymous said...

Just got the chills. So lovely. You deserve all of this and more.

TC said...

Dammit, you made me cry.

Anonymous said...

Love 'Bubbie' like a grandmother and tell Abraham to spend as much time with her as you can. Their approval, even if its silent does wonders for families. So happy for you guys.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Awwwwwwwwwww *happy tears*

Missy said...

Wowza - wonderful and congratulations on the security you feel. It is wonderful!

laura said...

so happy for you :)

Annie said...


Dawn said...

Can I comment AGAIN and say AGAIN just how happy I am for you?


I can?


I'm thrilled for you.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet moment! I am so glad that Abraham's family is taken with you.

Cebene said...

About darn time!


Anonymous said...


Love her like your own and spend as much time as possible with her & Abe.

Grandmothers are to be cherished. Beautiful post, made me miss my Grams.

Ps I'm loving the fact she's Facebook/email savvy yet wrote a letter. Just beautiful.

leddy said...

I cried with joy and happiness for you as I read this post. I'm not surprised at nice and warm she is because that's exactly how Abe comes across. And you deserve this more than ever xx (@dellers)

Juanita said...

This brought tears to my eyes too. I'm so happy for you!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you and Abraham and I don't even know you! Congratulations!!!

Lilly said...


Miss Lime said...

I just love happy beginnings! =)

M said...

<3 crying tears of joy for you hon, how wonderful!

Amber said...

This blog post made me cry. Happy, happy, happy tears! Can't wait for the announcement! And a picture of the ring :). xo

D said...

I heart this story :) You're so sure and so happy, it's so amazing and great to see! Can't wait to see what happens next!

Angela said...

This is my favourite post!

So lovely.


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