Nine-Year Wait: The Surprising Reason Why This Couple Waited Years To Open Their Wedding Present
Invitation to a Wedding
Weddings are happy events, especially if you are a friend to the bride or groom. The excitement begins when you receive the invitation, followed by a slight rush of panic with thoughts about buying a gift for the newlyweds.
Some dishware and a couple of towels would be the safest option, but considering that this was a wedding, maybe something more lavish would be appropriate.
Must be Perfect
With a wedding invitation in hand, Kathy and Brandon Gunn were in a predicament. The excitement at the upcoming event brought along a deep sense of duty. The couple getting married were their friends, so they took it upon themselves to give the perfect gift.
This wedding was even more special because the site was the college where Gunns fell in love years ago in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
On a mission to devise ideas for the perfect gift, the Gunns sat down to deliberate after their kids went to bed. As a perfect wedding present, it has to be unique, not just some item you could get from the local mall.
It had to symbolize their heartfelt affection for the bride and groom and be filled with wishes for a happy married life to come. As they brainstormed, they remembered a long-forgotten item.
Forgotten No More
As if struck by lightning, Kathy hurried towards the closet. She removed some items that were in the way and finally smiled as she spotted what she was looking for tucked away in a corner.
She retrieved a small box, something she had received nine long years ago. Little did they know that the content of the long-forgotten box would revive a couple of essential lessons about life, love, and commitment.
For A Reason
Gifts are almost always opened immediately after a wedding. The couple enjoys the surprise and excitement of not only the gift itself but knowing who gave it to them. In this situation, some might say that it was rude of the Gunn couple to forget this one little present for over a decade.
But contrary to others’ opinions, they had a good reason for not opening this particular gift.
Different From The Rest
A few years back, when Kathy and Brandon tied the knot in Jackson, Michigan, with their family and friends, their halls were filled to the brim with gifts! They had received the typical wedding gifts of dishware, linens, and towels.
The newlyweds did not expect much from the presents they were given, but their curiosity was tickled when they saw something small on top of the pile of gifts.
They say that a wedding must have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. The couple was intrigued when they saw the tiny box with a ribbon and a handwritten message on the card.
It was definitely not what they expected to receive, but it was undoubtedly the most unique present among all they had received that day.
It was a gift from one of Kathy’s beloved Great Aunt Allison. Kathy was surprised that a gift from her aunt was so tiny and was intensely curious about what was inside.
But before opening the gift, they needed to read what was written on the card. What kind of message had Great Aunt Allison sent them?
Across the front of the envelope, in Aunt Allison’s familiar handwriting, read a message that was different from the congratulations and well wishes on their other wedding cards.
It said, “Do not open until first disagreement.” Little did they know they would end up discovering when they finally opened it.
Now, of course, nothing was stopping Kathy and Brandon from just ignoring the instructions and taking a peek into the mysterious card as soon as they got home.
Something inside them told them that it was important to listen to Aunt Allison and save the gift for a time when it was needed.
The Greatest Gift of All
Years later, Kathy would speak with Love What Matters about this exceptional present, describing it as “by far the greatest wedding gift of all.”
She and her husband never expected just how much Aunt Allison’s thoughtful gesture would end up meaning to them. It was truly the perfect gift for this special couple.
Kathy and Brandon decided together that they would put off opening the box until they truly felt it was the right time. They suspected there was something amazing inside.
They didn’t want to waste the moment on a trivial conflict or just a regular old night. They’d be surprised when they finally uncovered its contents.
Days, then months and years passed, and the couple experienced life together while the box remained unopened. They faced many challenges together.
They got new jobs, moved houses, and welcomed a child…and then a couple more! Throughout all this, the gift from Aunt Allison remained on the shelf.
The Tough Times
Sure, like all couples, they occasionally exchanged harsh words and slammed doors, and they endured nights where tears were shed. It wasn’t always easy.
Even though at times, their relationship was pushed to its limits, they still didn’t unwrap the gift.
All along, Kathy and Brandon assumed that inside the box was some sort of secret trick for preserving a marriage, something Aunt Allison and Uncle Bill had learned in their 50 years together.
They thought that the present within would “save” them, and in a way, it did – just not how they expected.
It Stayed Closed
Before the time came where they found what was inside, but well after their wedding day, Aunt Allison happened to ask Kathy if they had opened the gift yet.
With a laugh, Kathy told her beloved Aunt that they hadn’t opened the box – it was still wrapped up tight.
Two Years Passed
Kathy and her Great Aunt Allison had a very close relationship. She was more like a grandmother to Kathy than an aunt.
When she heard that the couple still hadn’t opened the gift, even after almost two years, she thought they were crazy! Still, she and Kathy laughed it off.
The Family Joke
The news spread throughout the family that Aunt Allison’s gift remained unopened, and it began to become a joke amongst them all.
Every time they got together around the table for a birthday or holiday, someone would ask if they had finally opened the box. Yet they never had.
Eventually, it had been so long that Kathy’s mother actually started to get concerned. What if the item inside was perishable or had an expiration date?
They asked Aunt Allison and she told them that there was nothing time-sensitive inside. So what could it be? Everyone was scratching their heads.
Uncle Bill's Legacy
The couple got to thinking and decided that it must be some kind of keepsake from Aunt Allison and Uncle Bill’s marriage. After all, they had been married for nearly 50 years.
He had passed away in 2004, and the thought that the box might contain something special from dear Uncle Bill’s life made the gift all the more significant.
How had they managed to go nine whole years without opening Aunt Allison’s gift? Certainly, they’d had plenty of disagreements in that time period.
What they realized was that every time they had a fight, they took a moment to consider whether it was enough to make them open the box.
The Secret of the Box
Not knowing what was inside stopped them from opening the gift over a petty argument or something that would be forgotten.
They didn’t want to diminish its importance over something minor and regret having opened it, so it caused them to pause and take stock of what really mattered in that moment.
The Feeling of Shock
This realization came to them that night, as they were thinking about their friend’s upcoming wedding. Sitting with the small white box between them, they were struck with emotion.
They were shocked that they’d managed to go so long without opening Aunt Allison’s present, they had simply forgotten it.
The longer they thought about it, however, the more they realized how it had helped them look at their struggles from a different perspective.
It made them consider the promises they’d made to each other, and ask, “Over the span of a lifetime together, how much will this really matter?”
Any time a challenge came up, their resolve to not open the box caused them to put it off until it was something “bad enough” that they absolutely needed saving.
Sometimes they thought about opening the box, especially when times got tough. It was hard not to, but somehow, they never did.
The Strength of Their Bond
Over the years, it started to become a symbol of their strength as a couple. The longer it stayed closed, the more it represented their commitment to each other.
They started to realize that they didn’t need “rescuing” and that the secret to keeping their marriage strong was really within themselves.
They Didn't Need it Anymore
Perhaps it was their competitive natures that kept them going, or just plain old stubbornness, but nevertheless they had made it nearly ten years without opening the box to “save” them.
They decided, if they had made it this long, perhaps they no longer needed it. But what could be inside?
Buzzing with excitement, the couple carefully unwrapped the little present that had stayed a secret for almost a decade. They couldn’t believe this moment had finally come.
When the ribbon had been untied and the tissue paper unfolded, they couldn’t believe what was really inside after all this time. It certainly wasn’t what they thought.
What Was Inside
With the gift finally open, Kathy and Brandon found two smaller packages within. One was addressed to Kathy and the other, to her husband.
These packages also had a message on the outside. There were yet more instructions for the happy couple, and when they read them, they laughed out loud.
Kathy’s note said, “Go get a pizza, shrimp, or something you both like.” It contained enough cash to order a takeout dinner and maybe a couple of extra treats.
Aunt Allison’s note also said to run a hot bath, a sure de-stresser after a tough night. Brandon’s note came with some instructions, too.
Brandon also got some cash, but on his note, Aunt Allison had written, “Go get flowers and a bottle of wine.” She’d also included a couple of wine glasses.
Their sweet Aunt Allison had planned a romantic date night just for them. The couple couldn’t help but smile when they read her notes.
What They Had Learned
Of course Kathy and Brandon were thankful for their Aunt’s thoughtful gesture, and they called her up to let her know they’d finally opened her present.
What surprised them, though, was how this little box had come to symbolize something much larger. They realized how much it had inadvertently taught them.
Thanking Aunt Allison
When they told Aunt Allison they had finally opened her present, she was thoroughly amused at how long it had taken the couple to unwrap this particular wedding gift.
Kathy and Brandon explained what her small gesture had come to mean to them as a couple, and she was truly touched.
Though it seemed a little crazy at the time, it became clear how much the little present had come to mean to Kathy and Brandon.
Inspired, Kathy wanted to share their story with more than just their family. Little did she know that the amazing story of this wedding gift wasn’t over yet.
As the happy couple thought back over their years together, they remembered how the present had started to become a token of their commitment to one another.
The longer they waited to open the box, the stronger their resolve became. They refused to let life’s stumbling blocks tear them apart.
Writing it Down
It soon occurred to them that other couples might be able to use the lessons they had learned from this beautiful experience.
But how would they share their story? Kathy had an idea – and set off to work writing down the whole tale of Aunt Allison’s wedding gift.
Sharing the Story
Kathy was a member of the Love What Matters Facebook page, and enjoyed their heartwarming posts. They featured stories about the uplifting side of humanity.
She posted what she’d written about the little box that had been forgotten, and hoped people would be touched by her words. She would be shocked at what happened next.
Just a few hours later, Kathy checked her notifications and nearly dropped her phone on the floor. She stared at the screen in disbelief.
Her post had racked up thousands of likes and shares from people all over the world. They loved reading about Aunt Allison’s present and were truly moved.
The comment section was full of people sharing what they had learned about marriage, and thanking Kathy for publishing her story.
The response was overwhelming, and lots of people were so inspired by how a small gesture had grown to be such an important factor in their relationship.
The Lessons Learned
It’s pretty amazing how one gift made such a huge impact on Kathy and Brandon’s marriage. They learned some big lessons from the little box.
Not only did it help them keep their perspective in check, it taught them the importance of patience and communication, and helped them teach those lessons to many more people.
We wonder if Aunt Allison knew what she was doing all along…