Hope Of Israel
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Valentine’s Day Post 3 of 3

During the month of February so many years ago, I leaned in to kiss my future bride for the first time. I was nervous. I was scared. We had been dating in the shadows for several months. Some close friends knew of our budding relationship but not many others. However, I had finally worked up the courage to take that next step. Outward demonstrations of emotion were not part of my childhood. That is not a judgement against my parents or the environment in which I was raised but simply the way it was. So there I stood, all my courage and fear and uncertainty on display, leaning in to kiss Karra for the first time. And then she started to laugh.

I know that I was startled in that moment but at the same time I was reminded again exactly why I was drawn to Karra. “I am sorry,” she pleaded, “give me a second.” She calmed her laughing and indicated that I should try again. Three times I tried and three times she burst into laughter. The same thing happened on our wedding day, in front of everyone.

Some people have given me a hard time for not placing a dedication to my wife and family in the front of my first book, Hope of Israel: Miriam’s Journey. Maybe I am still influenced by the lack of outward displays of affection that I experienced in my childhood, I don’t know. But my reason for not including a dedication was not that. I have always felt that while public displays of appreciation are appropriate, they are not the most influential. If I want my family to know that I love and appreciate them, I show them by my actions and words in private more than in public. Yes, my public interactions with my family need to be consistent with what I do within the walls of my own home, but they are only a reinforcement of the life I already live.

The problem is that as I worked to finish Hope of Israel, it literally consumed me until its completion and I may not have been as diligent at communicating my appreciation to the people that I value and love. Karra has always been there for me. In all of my crazy adventures that may have gone against all logic, she has stayed true to me and to the type of person that I would like to be. And when I tend to take things too seriously and start to stress out, there she is, laughing and smiling and enjoying the live we have been given. And that has always been exactly what I have needed in my life.