post written by: Marc Chernoff

How Love Begins

How Love Begins

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is to love and be loved in return.
- Natalie Cole

On a chilly October night nine years ago…

I would have preferred not to write to you.  In fact, about a week ago, I put a post-it note on my computer monitor that said, “What would Skyman do?” (Skyman is my cat).  It was supposed to remind me not to do things that Skyman wouldn’t do.

Skyman would just wag his tail or wiggle his little nose, and hope that whoever he’s wagging or wiggling to understands that he’s hungry, or lonely, or in love, or whatever.  But he certainly wouldn’t write a silly love letter to the coolest girl he knows.  Because he can’t form complex thoughts.  And because he’s smart enough not to be so stupid.

This evening, the post-it note fell off of my computer monitor and landed on the floor.  And although post-it notes usually lose their stick after a few days, this one was different.  It was still really sticky and shouldn’t have come unstuck.  And it was light green, which is the color of your eyes.  These were obvious signs I couldn’t ignore.

So I decided to write to you…  To tell you that Hanging by a Moment is a totally awesome song.  That Diet Coke tastes better when you smile.  And that the world seems easier to understand today than it did yesterday.

But still not as easy to understand as two days ago, when a friend and I shared a three scoop 5 & Diner ice cream sundae at midnight.  And decided that some people are like hot fudge and others are like hard candy.  And I don’t remember why we decided that.

But it had something to do with friendship.  And ice cream with two spoons instead of one.  And later that night, after I dropped you off, I wanted to call you to ask whether you preferred hard candy or hot fudge, just to find out whether you’d sigh and giggle simultaneously when I’d ask.  Because that’s what I think you’d do.

I didn’t call you because Skyman wouldn’t do that.  He wouldn’t even know how to dial your phone number.  Because a cat’s paws are not nearly as dexterous as human hands.  Which must be nice for Skyman, because love is a lot simpler when you have paws.

Anyway, it’s midnight again.  And I’m sitting up in bed with my laptop thinking about how our lives begin and end in the time it takes the universe to blink.  Which isn’t too long.  But long enough for letters that aren’t too long.  Letters that ramble instead of saying what they want to say.  Which is…

I wish you were here.  Just breathing beside me.

Photo by: Kliefi

Download the ebook If you enjoyed this article, check out our new best-selling book.
Marc and Angel Subscription via Email And get inspiring life tips and quotes in your inbox (it's free)...

Enter your email address to get new articles delivered for free:


  • I love this story Marc. My cat is equally smart, and a very good teacher also.

    The most powerful ways of being are found in the simple and the basic. Our cats are confined to that realm, but we can choose it!


  • Beautiful!

  • “I wish you were here. Just breathing beside me.” Oh this is just beautiful! You are a lovely writer!

  • Hi Marc,
    What a beautiful letter. I’m especially drawn in to the idea that the universe blinks in the time our lives start and end. What a profound statement, and one that reminds me that life, really, here is short. And that now IS the time…for whatever it is in our lives we want to do (write that letter to someone special, experience life, find our deeper meaning, etc). Now is the time. That is all we truly have.

    Skyman…he’s got it figured out…it doesn’t have to be complicated. Life is….what we make it.

  • Wow. Love this story that you posted. Vivid memories of how your love begun definitely shows how you can love today (more and even better) than how both of ya were in the early days. :)

  • That`s so sweet it can replace sugar…. I love it

  • Oh, I love this post! I love the way it’s written and the happy way it makes me feel. Thank you for posting this and making my morning a little bit brighter.

  • What a beautiful post! I loved it.

  • You all are too kind. ;-) You’re making us blush… really.

    Thanks so much for the positive feedback. Your kind words mean a lot to us.

  • Absolutely beautiful!

  • Three cheers for Skyman! Simplicity is essential.

    On another more serious note,

    I can really relate to this, as I recently said goodbye to my girlfriend a few weeks ago as we parted ways to go to our separate colleges. We decided not to do long distance which was a difficult decision no doubt.

    The amazing thing is, even with her being thousands of miles away (Her in Brazil and I in Shanghai) I can still feel her presence through the memories we shared.

    Regardless of our “status” I will always have a place for her in my heart and will continue to tune in to feel her loving warmth.

    Not a night goes by that I don’t wish the same thing you did:

    “I wish you were here. Just breathing beside me.”

    Thanks for sharing. You are truly blessed in every meaning of the word.

  • This was lovely, as usual. Great writing style and content. Stumbled and tweeted. :-)

  • Great post. Love your writing style and love the music references.

  • I ran across your blog just yesterday. I’d like to say that it’s incredibly beautiful how the two of you run this blog together.

    Continue to share the love you have, and you’ll not lose it, you’ll just enrich other’s lives. :)

    Thank you and God bless you.

  • Yet another case for why I think cats are best.

  • Beautifully written! And Hanging By A Moment is an awesome song. :)

  • WOW!!!

  • @Bud: Angel loved your “Three cheers for Skyman” remark. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. ;-)

  • Thanks, I enjoyed reading this personal little post.

    Tell Skyman I said “What up”


    “It was the work of the quiet mountains, this torrent of purity at my feet” Jack Kerouac

  • Sweet! :)

  • I love this post. It is beautiful. I too enjoy the person I love just breathing beside me. You are a beautiful writer

  • This is beautiful,
    I linked it on my blog, i hope you don’t mind.

  • Hey, what a wonderful article!

    I really enjoyed it.

    Keep writing.

  • Wow, that is beautiful. You really are a great writer.

  • I came upon your blog a few weeks ago, and since then I have been so addicted to it! I love this post… It is one of my faves… I think you both know the inspiration you bring, but I just want to reiterate- what a blessing it is to have two people in this world inspire and encourage the world!!! Awesome prose!!! Love it!!!!!!

  • Oh, thanks for sharing this Marc!
    This was lovely! Great writing style and content.

  • I loved reading this. I’m a new subscriber to your blog so I’m catching up :) But it was so sweet…makes me so happy to be with the one that I love breathing beside me, because I truly do. It’s so good to be able to celebrate genuine love in this crazy world. Thank you!

  • This is the most beautiful, touching thing I have ever read…well done. Very well done.

  • Just beautiful Marc. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Marc, I just started reading your blog, and this post blew me away. It makes me want to scour your archives for more goodness, even though I doubt I’ll ever find another piece of prose this moving.
    Thank you.

  • wow, wow, wow, this is truly my favourite, thank you Marc I have read it a million times and the phrase
    “I wish you were here. Just breathing beside me” has been with me ever since. Absolutely holds the magic of what love is!

  • Just perfect. Thank you for sharing this. I will keep it in mind and ask myself what my cat would do. She’s very cool, just like Skyman. I bet she would dare write the letter I don’t dare to write…

  • Loved it! Especially the last line, “I wish you were here, just breathing beside me…”

  • Love this, thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply