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There is so much romance in the “I’ve been holding on to this for years” gift


Sylvia Haider, who met her husband through work. Early in their relationship as colleagues, she says, “In an abysmal attempt to be funny, I started making up a story about ninja donkeys who would defend damsels in distress. The story flopped and was never mentioned again.”

Years later, when they were a couple, she says, “For the holidays, he gave me a crimson silk book with an illustrated 20-odd-page story about our relationship evolution centering around a ninja donkey (him) and a damsel (me). He’d been working on it for months (story line, rough drafts, illustration, coloring, etc.). He remembered every detail I made up during our initial conversation, researched and referenced my cultural background into it as well.” This beautiful labor of love, she says, is still her most valuable possession.

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