“I love your shoes, Mommy!” I shout excitedly while wobbling toward her wearing her black heels.

“Thanks Nannah!” My mom says happily, gently pulling more shoes out of her messy closet.

Contributing writer Amy Daly’s daughter, Savannah, wrote this article. She lost her sister several years ago.

“I love your shoes, Mommy!” I shout excitedly while wobbling toward her wearing her black heels.

“Thanks, Nannah!” Mom says happily, gently pulling more shoes out of her messy closet.

I was pulling all the different beautiful shoes onto my tiny feet. I looked over at the closet to see what other shoes awaited my eyes. Then I saw it, the little baby blue Winnie-the-Pooh hat box sitting in the corner. I stand up to go investigate. I pull it out of its dusty corner and inch my way back out of the closet.

“Mom! What’s this?!” I say jumping up and down. She turns around and the happiness on her face melts away. Her face now looks distraught and upset, like I did something completely wrong.

“Yeah, Mom, what is that?” My brother, Bryce, says walking into the room that was just a few seconds ago the bright mint green that gave everything happiness now seeming to turn a darker green, making everything confusing and gloomy. My brother shuts the door behind him and strolls in. My mom sluggishly walks to her bed and sits down. Bryce and I tail her tracks.

“What? What is it?” I ask, my speech slightly shaking. I’m so confused. What did I do wrong? I pass my mom the container.

“Well,” My mom pauses, “Remember how I told you about Alex, Sweetie?”

“Yeah I think so,” I reply, watching her every move. Did I do something wrong? Why is Mom so upset?

My thoughts are shouting at me, making me melt inside, unsure of my feelings. Feeling like everything at that solid moment right there, was my fault.

Her eyes track the box and her hands rest on it. She slowly opens the lid. Next thing I know, my eyes are inside. I see a bunch of little things that aren’t fitting together in my mind yet. My mom sees the confusion on my face.

“Honey, this is all of Alexandria’s stuff,” she said quietly, steadily. Everything still didn’t make sense to me. It was like a snow storm in the middle of the summer. It didn’t fit.

My mom starts to pull stuff out. Her shiny red painted finger nails dipping in and out of the package.

First there is a little blanket, then a little teddy bear. A little outfit with matching hat. A few pink hair bows. The puzzle pieces begin to fall together in my mind, forming that picture I never saw. Tears sting at my eyes.

“Alexandria is… gone?” I question. All the thoughts, everything I wasn’t sure about suddenly rushes together in my mind.

“Yes sweetie…” My mother’s thoughts fall away like a train off its track. She looks far away, a look of sorrow in her eyes.

My mom pulls out a few more things, lots of pictures of her and Dad with strangers in big white coats and weird masks, and a few of Bryce too. She pulls out two frames. One with tiny black ink footprints, missing a toe or two. The other with petite handprints, missing a thumb and maybe a pinkie too.

Alex is gone. Alexandria Nicole Daly is dead. Forever.

The tears that earlier threatened to fall make tiny rivers down my pink freckled cheeks. My brother puts a hand on my shoulder as I sob. My mom takes my hand gingerly in hers.

“And here’s my favorite thing,” Mom says, pulling out the remaining item. It’s a tiny Ziploc bag. She hands it to me and I pull it close to my eyes. I focus and see tiny brown hairs.

“That’s it guys” She says, clearly distressed.

I want to scream, just fall into a pile right there, but I don’t. I just hold it all in and put all the feelings in a jar, tightening the cap as tight as I can.

Bryce looks broken, torn apart. He looks as though he’s somewhere on Venus or Jupiter, somewhere far away from home.

I look up, the tears still roll down my pink cheeks. I look into the so called empty box and pull out the last thing. It’s a yellow envelope. The kind with the silver tabs that hold it closed.

“What’s this?” I say sniffling, the little rivers down my face now somewhat dry.

“It’s pictures… from after, after she was gone,” my mom says, her voice lifeless.

“Can we see them?” I ask, unsure.


My mother pulls open the little silver tabs and dumps the contents of the envelope into her hands. It’s about 10 to 15 pictures of a motionless Alexandria. We look at each picture one by one. Each one makes me cry a little more.

I don’t know what to say anymore. I feel jumbled. Alex can’t be gone.

After a few more hugs and crying I leave the room to go to my own. I just sit there, right in the middle of my room. Thinking about the sister I have, but I have never seen. Every day since then she has crossed my mind, and I have loosened the cap on the jar, and the little blue box will sit in the bend of my mind like it sits in the corner of the closet.

Savannah Daly 2012

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