I start the acknowledgments for every book I’ve ever written the same way—by thanking my amazing wife, Kalebra. If you knew what an incredible woman she is, you’d totally understand why.
This is going to sound silly, but if we go grocery shopping together, and she sends me off to a different aisle to get milk, when I return with the milk and she sees me coming back down the aisle, she gives me the warmest, most wonderful smile. It’s not because she’s happy that I found the milk; I get that same smile every time I see her, even if we’ve only been apart for 60 seconds. It’s a smile that says, “There’s the man I love.” If you got that smile, dozens of times a day, for 20 years of marriage, you’d feel like the luckiest guy in the world, and believe me—I do. To this day, just seeing her puts a song in my heart and makes it skip a beat. When you go through life like this, it makes you one incredibly happy and grateful guy, and I truly am.
So, thank you, my love. Thanks for your kindness, your hugs, your understanding, your advice, your patience, your generosity, and for being such a caring and compassionate mother and wife. I love you.
Wow! Lucky—no, blessed—are those who know and experience the feeling of falling in love, and staying in love. I mean, truly in love. The “you-had-me-at-hello” love, the “I-am-skin-to-skin-with-you-and-I-still-want-to-be-closer-than-close” type of feeling, the head over heels and tumbling over Niagara Falls kind of passion.
Countless souls of course have marveled at this magical feeling through the ages; some have attempted to say it in words: Don Juan deMarco, Shakespeare, Marilyn Monroe (“I guess I have always been deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really.”), Justin Bieber (“Flowers are great, but love is better.”), Voltaire (“Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.”), the movies (“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”) etc. Most struggle for words or explanation.
This serious, research-oriented work book, Falling in Love: Why We Choose the Lovers We Choose by Ayala Malach Pines looks at how and why and what makes us fall in love with people and attempts to demystify this most wondrous of human experiences.
I finished the book with the thought that I rather feel than read what love is all about. I had this conversation once (and by this, you know which group I fall into):
She (after kids and many years of marriage):
“Rae, sometimes I bumped into you in a lift, I still feel like you are like a stranger to me. Like I really don’t know you, and I want to know this lovely stranger. The wonderful thing is I know at the end of the day I will be going home with you after work. And I get to know you all over again.”
“Wow! I thought it was only I that felt that way.”
Most times when fetching her I will purposely arrive early. Out from the doorway will spill numerous people, and among the crowds, there she will be walking towards me. My reward: a beautiful woman with that smile I know so well in a crowd walking in my direction. And I know—the smile, the walk, she, is for me, only me.
1 The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers Team by Scott Kelby (New Rider, 2010)