Kathy and Brandon Gunn had been married for 9 whole years and still had yet to open one last wedding present.
The gift, great aunt, Alison, had gifted them was left sitting on a shelf in their closet. Scribbled across the package were the words: “Do not open until first disagreement,”
In a post written by Kathy on Facebook, she explained their reason behind keeping the box sealed:
“There had obviously been plenty of disagreements, arguments and slammed doors throughout our 9 years. There were even a couple of instances where we both considered giving up… 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 – and we’re both too stubborn and determined for that.
So, it forced us to reassess situations.
Was it really time to open the box?
What if this isn’t our worst fight?
What if there’s a worse one ahead of us and we don’t have our box?!?
As my Great Uncle Bill would say, ‘Nothing is ever so bad that it couldn’t get worse.’”
Then, one night, it all changed. The couple had put their two young children to bed and were enjoying a glass of wine. A conversation was started regarding an upcoming wedding they were due to attend.
They began to discuss gift ideas for their friends wedding. It was then that Kathy thought back to their own wedding day, and which gift had left a lasting impression.
The box had stayed in a closet for nine years and three house moves, the couple too scared to open it incase there was an occasion in the future where they needed it more.
On that evening, however, as they talked about the upcoming wedding of their friends, they decided it was finally time to open the box.
Inside were two hand-written notes – one addressed to Barndon and one addressed to Kathy – as well as some cash.
The note to Kathy read- “Go get a pizza, shrimp or something you both like.”
The note to Brandon read- “Go get flowers and a bottle of wine.”
There was also a crystal flower vase, two crystal wine glasses, bath soap, lotion, and bubbles, all designed to help Kathy and Brandon overcome any argument or trouble they might have faced.
It wasn’t the material objects that meant as much to Kathy, however, as the powerful message it gave them.
Stop and make time for each other again!
“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. So, we thought the box would save ‘us’ – and in a way it did.”
In the end, they didn’t have to open the box when they were struggling, but rather when their marriage was strong.
What a wonderful story, and what an inspiring gift by Aunt Alison!
The path of love is never straight forward, never easy to navigate. Yet when that love is real, fighting for what you have and wading through the difficult times together is as important as ever saying ‘I love you’ in the first place.
Share this article if you think love should always be given every chance.