Kathy said she and her husband had plenty of “disagreements, arguments and slammed doors” over the past nine years, but they both never turned to the box.
Recently, they were having a glass of wine on their deck after putting the kids to bed.
“We were talking about how excited we were to attend an upcoming wedding in Kalamazoo (where we met and went to college) and discussing what would be the perfect gift for the newlyweds,” Kathy wrote. “So, I thought back to our wedding day… The gift that meant the very most was still sitting in a closet unopened.”
Kathy explained that the symbolism of the box came to mean a lot more than what was actually inside it.
“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,'” Kathy wrote. “All along, we assumed that the contents of that box held the key to saving a marriage.”
Recently, the couple decided to finally open the box.
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Inside were instructions to the couple on what to do after their first fight. Taped to some cash was a note to Kathy: “Kathy, Go get a pizza, shrimp or something you both like.”
Another note and some cash was addressed to Brandon: “Brandon, Go get flowers and a bottle of wine.”
Just before opening the box, Kathy said she had an important realization: “I realized that the tools for creating and maintaining a strong, healthy marriage were never within that box – they were within us.”