I am stressed out. Anxious. Trying to figure out what is the best situation for my family while weighing all the pros and cons. Worrying about my aunt, who is in the hospital. Wishing I could be there for everyone, worrying that I’m not there for anyone. Feeling out of control.

I retreat, and I get the box.

the box

Holding it in my hands, I am transported. The contents are so special that I know where it is at all times.

I carefully untie the bow, and lift the lid.

The box holds a ziplock pouch.

the envelope

Inside that pouch are two perfect curls.

the curls

Curls I carefully selected to hold onto forever, from my favorite section of her hair just above her right ear.


Curls I had sworn I would never let her cut because I loved them so much.

Sometimes, holding the box is enough. Other times, I need the pouch in my fingers. And on the worst days, I open the pouch, and as I gaze at her locks I remember how soft her hair was, how long it was getting, how pretty it was.

It still smells like her.

Along with my shirt, the box keeps something that I can hold and touch and use to feel connected to her. It isn’t cold.

It isn’t her.

But it’s all I have.