I am a very lucky man, lucky because I have experienced the life-changing effects of love. The poems in this book are expressions of emotions for the people I’ve loved, those who have loved me and the relationships and friendships that I treasure deeply. Most importantly, this book reflects the power of love.

Love has contributed greatly to my happiness and success as a businessman, philanthropist and author. It is quite impossible for me to acknowledge and to thank all of the people who’ve touched me in heartfelt ways. Since I am limited in space, I’ve focused on acknowledging the people who have been a core part of the journey that resulted in this collection of poems.

My wife Ann is my soul mate and best friend. She has taught me about compassion, consideration and generosity by the way she lives each day. She has brought great joy and inspiration to my life and many of the poems were written for her. Our son Brett, and daughters Charly and Maxi, are awesome and the great loves of my life. They are mirrors to my own soul and fill my life with pride and inspiration. My love for them is expressed in several of the poems found in this book. My parents, Irving and Eleanor Jaffe, taught me at an early age the importance of becoming a loving and giving person. Their caring touch and expression of affection while I grew up built the confidence and foundation for my own inner peace and happiness. My sisters, Joyce and Susan, and brother Jack, have taught me so much about unconditional love and sharing lifetime friendships. My cousin, Idonna, whose sense of humor and friendship I treasure more than words can express, has always been at my side, through life’s ups and downs.

A philosopher once said that if a man has one true friend he is very blessed. I count myself exceedingly blessed for I have several friends who have made my life a much richer one. I thank each of you (you know who you are) who have shared my love and inspired both my poems and my life. You have taught me to make time every day to love, to laugh and to hug!

Finally, no project ever comes together well, whether it’s a business or a book, without people behind the scenes contributing their talent. This book is no exception. I’d like to thank my dedicated team. Erin Marsh for her infectious positive attitude and for helping schedule my time and making sure that every detail is attended to. George Foster for creating a wonderful cover for this book and capturing its spirit. Deborah Stephens, who believed in me, helped me start my publishing journey and was the quarterback directing all my teammates. Gary Heil for encouraging me to finally publish and for being a true friend and a coach throughout the process. Steve Bennett for helping me capture today’s technology to share my poems and thinking with others. Ken Druck and Jim Belasco for their love, support and friendship over many years. Thomas Oglesby, who went over every word several times, to make sure the stanzas of poems broke with the precise meaning I intended. The encouraging words of endorsement from Arnold Palmer, Ken Blanchard, Rabbi Telushkin and Lisa Nichols carry great meaning for me and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.

As you read through my collection of poetry, I hope it might inspire you to connect to similar moments in your life and provide a framework for you to think through your own travels in love and life. Though we often look to others for our own inner peace and happiness, it is only through truly loving ourselves and those around us that we can discover the ultimate purpose in life: to grow our souls.

I enjoy hearing from people who read my poems and who let me know which stanza touched their soul. Please feel free to provide feedback on this website and join my loving community.

Richard Jaffe
La Jolla, California
Fall 2007