Early on Monday morning in the quietest residential neighborhood in Phoenix, I was preparing to say goodbye to my fiancé Shira before driving home.
Without warning, she uttered the eight sweetest, most mellifluous words ever to swim into my ears:
“I can’t wait to start living with you.”
Like a snowball sunning himself in the Arizona desert, I melted.
Even though engaged couples exchange millions of words, Shira’s engraved golden affirmation will continue to illumine our united path and united life as long as we breathe.
Shira’s enormous array of gentle and generous traditional moral values would redden the faces of many religious persons I know.
Her delicate, modestly underscored supply of unbreakable courage straightens her spine and exhaustively informs a brilliantly illumined mind.
Betty Crocker may have gone to her heavenly reward. Were she among us, Shira’s kitchen wizardry would force Betty into a permanent blush of insecurity.
When Shira is not creating innovative nutritional miracles, we spend our pre-marital evenings dining
at La Bella’s pizzeria in Peoria, the lone kosher eatery in Shira’s neighborhood, as you can see.
Hail to the Ages
Thankfully, G-d did not place an age limit on falling in love, fortunate for us because our combined ages reach 149 years.
Our relationship formed, melded and matured with a rapidity that chuckled this summer at the man-made speed limit.
Because 400 miles separates our homes, we started our exploration by telephone – every day for three weeks, two to four hours at a time.
My matchmaker, Laurie Young (Seattle Shadchan & Associates), led me to a website for Orthodox singles, where Shira and I met.
Laurie’s advice: “Tell the person what you like about him or her. Be generous with kind words.
“Ari, I know Shira gives to you in so many ways. Giving is the ultimate act of love. Not by accident, the Hebrew word for love means ‘to give.’”
Late on every Shabbos afternoon, my wisest senior friend – married for six decades — and I stroll a noiseless neighborhood near our synagogue. “You know,” he said last week, “you and Shira are having more fun than most people your age.”
This, of course, is to Shira’s credit, as is the jet-fueled success of our magical relationship, which parallels living in Disneyland, except Shira is real. Really.
And only my gratitude for her shimmering, other-worldly presence equals my love for her.