Vietnam and New York, our worlds were far apart. Camp for me meant refugee sites, ration lines; for Adam, summer and water sports. After we met in college, he gave me my first bouquet. I plucked flowers from his gift (and the college grounds) to create my own bouquet for him. “You don’t rebundle a gift,” he said. “Why waste money?” I countered. It took us 30 years as a couple to finally agree that both are true: A gift shouldn’t be re-gifted, but once given, a gift is no longer yours. Now, we’ve moved on to new disagreements! — Oanh Ngo Usadi

I wear her sweater once, sometimes twice, a week. It’s light gray, woolly and worn, with a delicate hole in the neck. My friends say it’s shoddy, often questioning why I keep it after she and I split up. In these moments, I hear her honeyed voice reminding me that damaged doesn’t mean damned. Defects add depth. “How lucky we are,” she’d often say, “that our shortcomings give us stories worth sharing.” I consider our handle-less coffee pot, our well-worn books and her parting gift: a holey sweater that feels like home. — Riley McKinney

They say: Your brain is dying, Dad. You will forget how to calculate the angles of a woodworking project, slice a grapefruit, change the oil in your truck, salute the flag, play games with your grandchildren, recognize your bride, tell us you love us. You say: You will live with Alzheimer’s with grace. You will learn new skills: how to live in a smaller house, how to get around without driving, how to let other people help you. They say: You will not forget the feeling of love. I say: We will never let you forget that you are loved. — Lena Sunada-Matsumura Newlin

On our sixth date, we went hiking on an unseasonably warm 60-degree January day. After hours on the trail, we split up to shower before dinner. I checked the weather at my place, across town from his apartment. Snow was coming. The smart choice for work the next day would be to call off the evening. But I went. When we woke, the world was covered in white. I knew I should go home. But something told me to stay and work remotely from his place, in sweats and yesterday’s makeup. That was the day we fell in love. — Zoë Abrahm

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