On her wedding day, her simple widowed librarian mother gifted her a sweet box. She had waited the entire night for handing this over to us together, herself. She had tears of joy in her eyes when she handed us the box.
It was a grey colored box, completely closed with a slit on the top and a latch in the bottom. It looked just like a piggy bank.
“This box is your wedding gift, it will protect your wedding. Every time you guys create a happy memory, write it in a chit of paper and put it in the box before sleeping that night. Promise me you will.”
Honestly, I was intrigued with the idea and wanted to do it. We promised her.
After that, we went for our honeymoon. We spent a lot of days in arms of one another. It felt bliss. Every night before sleep, we would make chits for all good memories we created that day. There were so many for the first few months!
This went on for a long while. After about an year, the box was full. Her mother sent another one.
My wife conceived. I got a promotion at work and we decided to keep the child, although we hadn’t planned for one. But soon, my new job roles started fetching long hours out of my day. Office started becoming my new home. Things were so bad, that I was on tour within the country almost every fourth day.
This started taking toll on our relationship too. She was pregnant, and hence expected more time from me. I could arrange all house help and nurses for her, but couldn’t give her my own company.
A few months went by in utter chaos at home. We didn’t put anything inside the box. Rather, there were times when she got so pissed that she screamed of breaking the box. She never did.
One morning, I was leaving for the airport to catch a flight for some meeting in some other city, she stopped me, complaining of having bad nausea and stomach ache. She wanted me to stay back. I called up my office, but my company’s Vice President was accompanying us and he himself had asked for me to be present. I couldn’t stay back. She was crying when I left. I was crying too, but deep inside my heart.
I decided to take off to hometown right after meeting. But when I turned my phone on after the meeting, I saw 30 odd missed calls from home. I froze. I dialed back.
The house nurse told me how my wife was having health issues, had to be taken to hospital. She asked me to come ASAP.
I was in the hospital within 6 hours, just in time to learn that she had a miscarriage. That too, 3 hours before I reached. 3 hours she sat there, lamenting about our lost child, all by herself. I should have been there, I wasn’t there. I knew what this would mean. I went inside the ward to see her.
That was the last time my wife saw me. She asked me to leave the house before she was discharged. I took refuge in a friend’s home.
I knew what had happened would leave a nasty scar on our relationship. I also knew that she was capable of blowing things out of proportions in her head, if left to herself. So I was expecting the worst case scenario.
A month went by, she never called. Then one Sunday morning, her mother called me over to her place. She wanted to talk to me.
I immediately went over. My wife and her mother were sipping tea. I noticed the two boxes in front of them. Her mother started :
“She called me to discuss her decision to taking a divorce. However, I wanted a last talk with you both before anything else.”
She then said, pointing to the boxes, “You have filled two boxed in these years. Now is the time to open them both and read each chit, together.”
I went over to my wife’s side of the sofa, passing her the first box. We started reading…
April 1, 2014 :
I was not in a mood for his boring card party, he didn’t flip out when I refused, rather we stayed home and made dinner together”
April 3, 2015 :
My protein powder got over today and I, as usual, forget to order in advance. Opened gym bag, found a new protein box, from wife!!
January 31, 2015 :
Hubby makes me breakfast in bed and makes my coffee just right! I suddenly love my period days!
…….. the list went on.
We were not finished with the first box, but tears filled in our eyes. We looked at each other, and in that moment saw immense love, care, sacrifice and compassion we had shown towards one another all these years. We were reminded of our love for each other. Reminded of our marriage vows. Reminded, by our own happy memories.
I couldn’t help it, I ran across to hug her mom. For the first time ever, she beat me to it, reached and hugged her first. We stood there, in a group hug for a long time. I don’t remember if we were crying or laughing, but we were feeling lighter, better.
This was the best gift her mother ever gave her.