In the United States, it is customary to buy gifts for couples who are about to get married. Buying something that will help them in their marriage is not uncommon, nor is something of emotional value that’s worth more than money.
Many couples remember months after the wedding that they still have coupons or boxes with gifts that they have not yet opened. And that’s why Brandon and Kathy Gunn’s story is so interesting and fascinating. Kathy and Brandon have
been married for 9 years and have yet to open a single wedding gift.
The gift came in a white box that was left on a top shelf inside the closet. The Great Aunt – Aunt Allison, gave them a present and on the box she wrote, “Do not open until your first big argument”.
When Aunt Allison first gave the gift to the couple, they agreed to respect her wishes and avoid opening the gift.
Of course they had small arguments and quarrels over the years, just like any couple, but they continued to refuse to open the box for any reason other than what she thought of it.
In a post written by Kathy, she explained why they decided not to open the box yet: “Of course there were a lot of arguments and slamming doors during our 9 years of marriage. There were even twice when we thought of breaking up.. but we never opened the box”.
“I really think we both avoided turning to the box because it would symbolize our failure. For us, that meant we did not have what it took to make our marriage work – and we were both too stubborn and determined for it.
So, it forced us to solve our problems. Is it really time to open the box? What if it’s not our biggest fight? What if there’s a worse fight ahead of us and we do not have our box?!? Just like my uncle Bill used to say ‘There’s nothing bad that cannot become worse'”.
So one night, everything changed. Kathy and Brandon put their two kids to bed and enjoyed a glass of wine. They started talking about a wedding in Kalamazo, to which they were invited, in the same place where they met and studied at university.
During the conversation they began to wonder what to buy for the happy couple. So Kathy thought about their wedding, and what gift left the biggest impression.
“The funny part? The gift with the most meaning was still packed in the closet..”, Kathy said.
The box remained in the closet for 9 years and moved 3 homes. The couple were afraid to open it in case something happened in the future and they would need it more.
But that evening, as they talked about their friends’ upcoming wedding, they decided it was time to finally open the box.
Inside the box were two handwritten letters – one for Brandon and the other for Kathy – as well as some cash.
“Buy a pizza, shrimp or something you both like”, Kathy’s note said. And Brandon’s note it read “Go buy flowers and a bottle of wine”.
There was also a crystal vase, two glasses of wine, bath soap, body lotion, all designed to help overcome Kathy and Brandon’s argument or quarrel.
But it was not the material things that meant so much to Kathy, but the powerful message behind the gift.
“All this time we were sure that inside the box there was the key to saving our marriage – an age-old trick that we young people are not familiar with”, Kathy said. “After all, my great aunt and my aunt had been married for almost 50 years, so we thought the box would ‘save’ us – and in a way it did”.
Although they could turn to the box in their first fight, it taught them patience, understanding and compromise.
In the end, they did not have to open the box when they were having a hard time, except when their marriage was strong.
What a wonderful story, and what a wonderful and ingenious gift from Aunt Allison!
The path to love is never straight, and it is never easy to navigate. But when that love is real, the war for what you have and the effort through the hard times together is as important as saying ‘I love you’ in the first
Share the article if you believe that love deserves to be fought for non-stop.