A Bittersweet Wedding, A New Chapter Begins

"It takes a village to raise a child"

This resonates with me, not in the sense that everyone in my "village" helped to raise me, but that I can point to many people along the way in my life who have contributed to who I am today. Besides for my parents who played an obvious leading role, there are many other "parents" of mine who I've looked to time and time again for guidance and love. Some came and went, and some have been there for as long as I can remember.

One of the constants in my life was Stella Frankl. Many of you who have read my blog know that Stella's battle with cancer affected me deeply, and when she passed away last year it was devastating. I felt like I had lost a mother of mine. She was a constant symbol in my life of peace, tranquility, a successful Olah to Israel, and so many more things. I distinctly remember unsuccessfully trying to keep my emotions in check at work on the day she passed away and of breaking down at my desk at the end of the day and just letting the tears flow freely.

Over the past year, as I've watched Yarden, Max, Miriam, Rivka, and Yedidya pick up the pieces, I've tried to do so myself. It's not been an easy task, especially with making Aliyah this year. When Rivkah and I came to Israel on vacation in 2012 while Stella was in remission. I had the opportunity to spend some time talking to her one-on-one and I told her that we were serious about making Aliyah in the near future and she told me that she'd be there to meet our flight. I was so excited to be able to share my Aliyah experience with someone who had inspired me so much and was one of the main role models I had for doing it. That conversation was one of our last talks and it's something that sticks with me to this day.

It has been especially exciting to see Yarden picking up the pieces and meeting his now new wife Gilly, who went through a similar experience as Yarden's, and I had the privilege of attending their wedding in Bat Ayin on Thursday night. It was actually the second time I had been to one of Yarden's weddings (I was in attendance when he and Stella got re-married after her conversion). I have to be honest that the celebratory mood did not come easily for me. During the dancing I fluctuated between extreme happiness (how couldn't I? Yarden looked so ecstatic) and stepping outside to let out some tears. I even called my father back in the States and we talked for a while about the good old days in Potomac.

Despite the tough emotions that I was facing, I think I've hit a turning point though. I still miss Stella every day, just like everyone else she touched and affected during her lifetime. But during the wedding I could feel her presence there, and I could feel her approval. I felt like Yarden and Gilly were including her in the celebration. I didn't feel like she was being packaged up and put into a dusty box on the shelf. Yarden has left no doubt in anyones minds that Stella wasn't just a phase in his life, a chapter that he's left behind. And on Thursday, as he started a new chapter with Gilly, Stella was there along with all of us, helping us write the first few sentences and putting her stamp of approval on the page.

I hope that Yarden and Gilly share many great years together. It's truly amazing that they found each other and their love and joy was abundantly clear.


  1. The decor at this place is absolutely beautiful. In terms of decor, this is definitely a big step above a typical wedding venue. San Diego Wedding venues are spacious, breathable, and absolutely glowing. They can bring in an open bar as well into this place.

  2. Don't know how I missed this. Thank you. What you said about Stella being there, not many people noticed but under the chuppa, I had a little blue cloth up my sleeve that I used to wipe the tears. It was a piece of a bandana Stella used to wear. She continues to be as much a part of my life as Gilly.