Kathy and Brandon just celebrated their 9 year anniversary. So when they began to plan the present they wanted to buy for a friend’s wedding, they sat and tried to remember what gifts they had received themselves on their wedding day, nearly a decade ago. That’s when Kathy remembered the plain, white box sitting in their closet.
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“For 9 years (and three moves) that box sat high on a shelf in various closets gathering dust” wrote Kathy. They had never opened the present– given to the couple by Kathy’s Great Aunt Alison”– because of the instructions written on the box were: “Do NOT open until 1st disagreement.”
“Now, there had obviously been plenty of disagreements, arguments and slammed doors throughout our 9 years.” wrote Kathy, “but we never opened the box. I honestly think that we both avoided turning to the box, because it would have symbolized our failure. To us, it would have meant that we didn’t have what it takes to make our marriage work.”
But as Kathy and Brandon sat, remembering the unopened present together, they decided that it was time to finally check out its contents.
“All along, we assumed that the contents of that box held the key to saving a marriage — an age old trick — unbeknownst to us rookies. After all, my Great Aunt and Uncle had been married for nearly half a century.” Kathy recalled. But when she and Brandon finally opened it, what they found meant more than anything they could’ve imagined.
Inside the box was 1 wad of money with a note reading “Brandon, Go get flowers and a bottle of wine. Love, Aunt Alison;” another roll of money with a note to Kathy saying “Kathy, Go get a pizza, shrimp, or something you both like. Love, Aunt Alison. P.S.– Get a ‘bath’ ready.” Along with the notes and cash were wine glasses and a bubble bath kit.
“I realized that the tools for creating and maintaining a strong, healthy marriage were never within that box– they were within us.” wrote Kathy. “That box went beyond what I believe my Great Aunt had intended. It was by far the greatest wedding gift of all.”
What an amazing gift and reminder of the power we hold inside ourselves.
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