He opens the letter and starts to read. His bride-to-be feels the goose bumps rising on her arms as a chill moves through her. She doesn’t know what to think. Surely it is an omen of some kind?
He continues to read and she takes it all in, her face in her hands. Their wedding was just a few weeks away.
Mary and Chuck
Mary Hall and Chuck Neese were very much in love. They lived in Illinois and already had a beautiful daughter together. They both felt that it was high time that they made it official.
Chuck proposed and just like that, they were engaged. There was only one thing left to do, so they set a date.
They decided on the 20th of January, 2018, and before they knew it, the wedding loomed on the horizon. Mary was soon caught up in the whirlwind of planning, choosing the perfect dress, attending bridesmaid’s fittings, and deciding on a caterer and wedding venue.
Then, there was the matter of compiling a guest list and sending out invitations.
Soon, wedding gifts started to arrive at the couple’s home. These days, it is common for a couple to compile a registry online. This makes it easier for guests to send the wedding gifts directly to the couple’s home with less of a chance of forgetting them.
It also makes it easier for the couple on the night of their wedding if they don’t have to worry about hauling their presents home on their big day.
An Unmarked Package
One day, a strange package arrived at Chuck and Mary’s door. It was a shoebox that had been taped shut, with a cryptic message written along the top in a ballpoint pen. Chuck was there to receive it, but he didn’t recognize the sender’s name.
Although his curiosity was growing by the minute, he decided to wait for Mary to get home before he opened it.
Mary, seeing the box sitting on the kitchen counter immediately, was just as surprised as her fiancé was. She didn’t recognize the sender’s name, either. It was all very strange.
Then she read the single cryptic message written on the top of the box, but it only raised more questions. It read: ‘Please open BEFORE wedding day”
“I got off work and I came home and the package was on the table,” she recalled later.
“Chuck was in the living room, and I asked, what was in the box? But he had no idea since he hadn’t touched it since it had arrived. It was all so mysterious, but exciting at the same time.”
So, what was in the box? The couple could hardly wait to find out. Mary nodded slightly, her heart thudding in her chest, “Well, let’s open it.” With shaking hands, Chuck started to break the packaging tape around the parcel.
When he finally lifted the lid to peek inside, he was baffled. There were a few items in the box, along with a letter.
Mary remembers that moment well: “We opened it, and he started reading that letter, and as he started reading, I just got chills and goose bumps all over. He kept reading…and I was just shocked.”
The letter started with: “Dear Chuck and Mary, Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!”
What Did It Mean?
Chuck continued to read aloud, and he and Mary’s bafflement grew and grew. “You do not know us, but we found your names through a Google search ‘Chuck and Mary engagement notice. Your names were the first listing on the search results to be getting married in 2018.” But what did it all mean?
And why did the strangers send the package in the first place?
“Through a little bridal registry ‘detective work,’ we found an address to send this gift to,” the letter continued. Chuck paused for a minute to inspect the other bizarre items in the box. There was a pair of engraved champagne flutes, which, astoundingly, had ‘Let me dance with you forever’ engraved into them, along with the names ‘Mary and Chuck’.
But why? And what did it all mean?
“We kindly wish that you will accept these engraved champagne glasses that had once belonged to our late parents, Chuck and Mary Felker of La Crosse, Wisconsin,” the letter continued.
It was all finally beginning to make sense to Mary and Chuck, as they stood there, shell-shocked by what the mysterious package contained. At the bottom of the letter, there was a photo.
Dance With You Forever
Chuck continued to read the letter, gobsmacked. “They were our beloved parents of seven children. Our family was most blessed to have them as parents. They had 62 years of a very happy marriage. Chuck (Charles) and Mary Felker were pillars in their community and very, very loving people.”
Then, the letter went on to explain the phrase ‘Let me dance with you forever’.
Although the reference to dancing could have meant that the couple had hoped to live their lives in matrimony forever, it was actually a nod to the way the couple had most loved to spend their time together.
“They most enjoyed dancing together and even taught ballroom dance classes for many years,” the letter explained.
The Seven M’s
The last line was signed “Best Wishes from the Felker Family, followed by seven family members’ names, Marcia, Mark, Mike, Marian, Monica, Marty, and Meg “(A “Affectionately called the seven M’s)”.
So their namesakes, Mary and Chuck, had not only been married for an incredible 62 years, but they had seven children!
Chuck finally came to the end of the touching letter: “Our family sends our wishes that you both also have such a blessed union.” But before the Seven M’s signed off, they had a recommendation for Chuck and Mary. It was a song.
“If you ever get the chance to dance to their favorite song, it would be Moon River, by Henry Mancini.”
Chuck and Mary were blown away by the strangers’ gift. What made it even more meaningful was that a blessing from the Felkers seemed like an amazing omen for their upcoming nuptials. 62 years of happy marriage was certainly something to aspire to!
But there was another amazing coincidence within the box that the letter and champagne glasses had been packed into that they could never have seen coming.
The box that the gifts had arrived in wasn’t just any old cardboard box, it was a Converse shoebox. Mary couldn’t believe her eyes. “I’m like, no way. It was just all very much a bunch of coincidences all together. It’s all really cool.”
But why did the Converse shoebox hold so much meaning for Mary?
Mary and her bridesmaids had all planned to wear Converse shoes at the wedding! So it seemed like a very strange coincidence that the mysterious gift had arrived in a Converse shoebox. Surely it was a sign that it was all meant to be?
That’s what Mary believes. It seems like the stars really did align for Chuck and Mary’s union. There was only one thing left to do.
Mary and Chuck decided to invite the Seven M’s to their wedding – after all, how could they ever thank them for their random act of kindness? Mary even posted her feelings after receiving the touching gift on Facebook, writing: “On the list of moments in life that touched my heart… this one is up there!”
In the end, Chuck and Mary decided to use the engraved champagne glasses in their wedding ceremony – and what better way to honor their late namesakes?