A young man of twenty sat at a workbench slowly and carefully carving an intricate design into the top of a wooden box. He had no pattern, no specific idea in mind when he started carving, just the knowledge that he was creating something for someone special, but not even knowing whom.
A few years later the young man met and married the woman he knew he'd been searching for and gave her the box on their wedding day. They both decided that every day, they would each write a little note at the end of the day and place it in the box. Simple words to close each day, whether important or silly, just as reminders of their life together.
As years went by, the box filled with slips of paper. Bits and pieces of I love yous, births, deaths, bad days and good, contentment and worries, anger and understanding, sorrows and joys, passion and pain. They read each other's notes each night and placed them in the box, never to be read again. The years went by quickly. Children grew, moved away and married. Life slowed for the once young couple but the notes continued. Every night before bed, they traded tiny bits of paper, read them, smiled over them, worried over them, sometimes fought over them and in the end placed them in the box.
Years later the now ninety-year old man found himself alone. Children busy with their own lives and his wife taken from him long ago. But even after his wife had gone, the man continued to write notes each night, little conversations to her, reminders of his love, his way of keeping her close in his heart. One night as he opened the box to place his note inside, he realized that this would be last one he would write. And it was.
His children came home and found a letter from their father sitting on top of a carved wooden box, the wood softly worn smooth over the years by the touch of loving hands. In his letter, he asked his children to open the box and read the notes. They did as he asked and discovered that day not simply bits and pieces of their parent's lives but proof of two lives lived fully and with love. Life and love folded and held gently in a carved white wooden box.
[This story is inspired by a poetic friend who challenged me to write a story based on one word - BOX. I've done my best and hope to do even better with future challenges. Thank you again for the push.]