Maurice D. Kornberg, in his nineties, has written a touching tribute to his beloved wife of almost fifty-four years, Ruthy. Within this unabashed love story are relationship pearls of wisdom aimed at the younger generation.
Bereft at Ruthy’s sudden death in 2008, Kornberg wrote My Glorious Marriage at the suggestion of his doctors.
His love story of more than five decades has a nontraditional beginning. Kornberg relates that his father had been concerned that the young man had not found a woman to marry and had rejected several prospects. “Then my father met Ruthy… .The moment he arrived home, he declared, ‘I’ve met a beautiful young lady and she is just the right one for you.’ The man was literally driving me crazy,” Kornberg confesses, rather fed up with his father’s meddling, but he gave in and arranged a meeting on a Sunday night, so as not to “kill” his Saturday night.
It was literally love at first sight, and within four months they married, taking their vows in Hebrew. The father’s interference didn’t end there. When the couple was on the tenth day of their honeymoon, his father called to tell him to come home, and Maurice hung up the phone on him.
The book includes a seven-page color section of greeting cards Kornberg drew, and which Ruthy returned to him with special birthday greetings. It also contains a number of photographs in black and white or color that reinforce his pride and her beauty at various stages of their lives.
Both he and Ruthy were born in Poland and both were Jewish. Among his bits of advice for young people is that compatibility of cultural and spiritual backgrounds is important. Other keys to a long and happy marriage are having mutual respect and love, and a strong sex life. He cautions young women to be like the elder generations who did not run “the sampling game,” trying out relationships and living together without marriage. He hopes that young husbands will be able to look at their wives and say, “Wow!” throughout their lives. And he shares a story of how he and Ruthy resolved a heated argument by talking things out. They also never missed out on the simple things of life and held hands wherever they went. Bedtime involved holding hands, kissing, and saying goodnight.
He writes of the couple’s love of travel and his pride in her recognition as Outstanding Teacher for her commitment to education. Kornberg’s sadness after her death is palpable. Through their long “glorious” marriage, they had become one.
Although the book lacks a professional cover and would benefit from editing, it nonetheless meets its purpose of sharing a very special marriage and the secrets of its success. It invites readers who grieve to reflect on the wonderful people and relationships in their lives. Young readers will hopefully benefit from Kornberg’s advice.
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