The Secret to My Parents' Magical Marriage

Every single morning of their marriage my father made my mom breakfast and wrote her a love note.

Click here if you are unable to view this video.

Individually, my parents were very special people.

As a couple, they were magic.

In my dad's eyes, my mom was a queen.

He could see her flaws but he focused on her greatness, nurturing a never-ending flow of love and giving.

My dad, Joe Berman, was a man of few words.

He was an introvert who hated small talk. He never spoke without having something important to say.

So when he spoke, everyone listened.

He was a powerful business executive, in charge of running a huge national company.

At home, he was a marshmallow, overflowing with love and awe for my mom, Helen Berman.

Every single morning of their marriage my father would get up very early and make her breakfast: a pot of coffee, cut grapefruit, and a love note left beside her plate.

Sometimes it was just a few words:

Honey, you are the reason I get up in the morning.

I love you so much, it fills my every being.

Here's the note my dad wrote when he was 81 years old:

I don’t know where I’ll be on your birthday

So I’ll be celebrating it early

No matter where I am,

I’ll be the wind in your hair,

The sunbeam that is on a baby's face.

I was given life

So that I could be your husband and friend

The earth stays in orbit because of you.

I miss you and will love you

Until the end of eternity.

Love me.

My dad died a few months after writing that note. But what a gift he gave my mom.

She knew without any doubt of his deep love and appreciation for her.

It's those extra special things we do to make the other person feel loved and cherished that make a marriage phenomenal.

Comments (17)

(16) Bonnie, October 29, 2021 7:40 PM

True Love ?

What a special relationship!! Was it overbearing?? Maybe, but it sounds like what Real Love in a marriage can help a relationship last for so many years!!

(15) B, November 12, 2020 9:23 PM

Thank you for having a online live rabbi!

Thank you!

(14) Anonymous, November 5, 2020 8:45 PM

I'm what people of the Jewish Faith call a Gentile. However I support the State of Israel and the right of people of the Jewsish Faith to practice their faith in peace and harmony ]. Further, I deplore racism and I have never judged any person by the colour of theit skin. I judge people by what they do, for their deeds will truly show them for what they are really like. I once telephoned a fellow who is related to one of my Great Grandmothers and it was his son who answered the telephone and he said "There are no Jews here". My response was "No there wouldn't be as you are the nastiest family I have ever come across". This nasty person later bashed a man to death with a guitar while bith incarcerated 9n the psychiatric ward of the Shoalhaven Hospitall. Needkess to say I severed all contact with this nasty person's family.

(13) Ellen kline, November 2, 2020 5:40 PM

Shelly Grafstein please email me. What a beautiful tribute !
I have tears. My Mom, Shirley is 95 and well.

Ellen ?

(12) Anonymous, November 2, 2020 8:59 AM

What a wonderful man! He knew the secret to happiness was making his wife feel loved and valued. In turn I'm sure she loved him to distraction too.

(11) Marianne, November 1, 2020 10:31 PM

I have a husband for almost 38 years just like your Dad.

He only writes me a card for my birthday, but each and every day he holds me in his arms, looks into my eyes and tells me what I mean to him and how beautiful I am. A marriage is like a garden, if it is cared for, nurtured and fed, sometimes weeded of only non-beneficial weeds and appreciated daily, it will produce fruits for all to enjoy, give beauty and become more amazing to behold each year.

(10) Betty Matz, November 1, 2020 9:56 PM


So nice to see a couple who continued to do all those loving behaviors throughout their relationship.

(9) RA'ANAN, November 1, 2020 9:16 PM



(8) Anonymous, November 1, 2020 7:38 PM

May G-d always bless The Berman Family with love!

(7) Shellie Berman Grafstein, November 1, 2020 5:20 PM

Thanks for your comments

My parent's marriage put a lot of effort, respect, love, and laughter into their marriage to make it what it was. They adored each other. Their personalities were totally opposite, which helped in this case. We used to joke that my mom could make best friends with a wall. She was so friendly. My dad was an introvert They had very similar values and a passion to be the best version of themselves.

(6) Anonymous, November 1, 2020 4:41 PM

So beautiful. So inspiring.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful insight into a beautiful marriage. Such a lovely video.

It reminds me of a story my mother told me the other day. She's been in hospital for the past month, and it was her birthday last week. She told the nurse it was her birthday and one of them asked her how old she was. She told her "89". The nurse said, "Oh, I wouldn't have guessed that. I would have guessed 82, 83....what's your secret?" My mother replied, "A good husband." ( my father passed away back in March 2009, so it's clear his goodness made her life that much better and has helped sustain her.)

May both your parents' memories be for a blessing.

cg, August 12, 2021 1:46 AM

So beautiful! Thank you for sharing

(5) Shifra Slater, November 1, 2020 4:05 PM


Shellie! What a beautiful idea to share all that . Many people will surely learn from your father and begin to show their love and appreciation more than they did before - and all the merit will accrue to you!

(4) Nancy Weisbrod, November 1, 2020 3:41 PM

your parents' influence

Shelley, your parents' influence on my marriage; your mom - PS Cooking means I love you, your dad - first time hearing about an 'ethical will' evidently fueled by his love for his wife.

(3) Anonymous, November 1, 2020 3:18 PM

Thank you very much for sharing a glimpse of a love that transforms lives.

This video graphically depicts moments in time that show what it means to love humanity as well as oneself. To be other centered and to think on things that edify life and joy.

(2) Anonymous, November 1, 2020 2:43 PM


A good spouse is a bissel mazal! She hit the jackpot! We should all be blessed w spouses who love us & respect us ! A good mother in law is an extra bonus ( I wouldn’t know, but I’ve been told) !

(1) Alan S., November 1, 2020 2:09 PM


What a wonderful tribute to your parents. When a person has an fairly imperfect marriage like mine, just knowing that an almost perfect marriage exists, like the Berman's had, is very inspiring. Both of your parents were obviously deeply in love. Additional words could not describe their marriage any better.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive the Weekly Email

Sign up to our Aish Weekly Update Newsletter.

Our privacy policy