During my college years I lived 2 1/2 hours from my grandparents. This was the closest I had ever lived to them. I visited them often. I loved all of that time with just them. Many of my most treasured memories come from these visits.
During one visit, my grandpa invited me into his office to show me something. He sat down and reached for a frame that was sitting front and center on his desk. His eyes became misty as he explained his new treasure.
When he was a young man he enlisted in the Marine Corps during WWII. While he was away he and my grandmother wrote to each other. In one of her letters she included a few of her curls tied together with a patriotic ribbon. He carried those curls in his breast pocket throughout his time in the service. Over the years the curls had been forgotten in a drawer.
Fast forward to the mid nineties – my grandma came across the envelope of curls and had an idea for a special gift. She cleaned, combed and re-curled her locks. She found a suitable shadowbox frame. She gathered a scrap of the wallpaper she and my grandpa had carefully chosen for his office. The wallpaper served as the backdrop for her newly freshened curls. After putting the frame together she presented this special gift of their past and present to my grandfather.
Listening to him explain the significance of this gift was a special experience for me. I felt like he had invited me into the circle of their love. It was about a year later that my grandpa died. My grandma lived almost seven more years. After her death our family very carefully worked together to make sure everyone was able to take some of my grandparents treasures into their lives. Among the few items I chose was this special gift.
These curls are one of my greatest earthly treasures. They remind me of the special times I spent with my grandparents, of their sweet love story, & of the joy that comes from giving a meaningful gift.
I am so grateful that I am blessed to be the current steward of these curls – true locks of love.