Helen dropped to her knees and started pulling out Sophie’s clothes from the dresser drawers. Small shirts and pants. Tiny socks. Oshkosh labels and small patent leather shoes all went into the boxes. She sobbed as memories washed over her. She hugged a stuffed dog to her chest and rocked back and forth. It had been one of Sophie’s favorites. She inhaled the smell that barely lingered on it. She couldn’t do this. Funny how life could twist on you like an unfamiliar road until you weren’t sure which way you were headed anymore. She drew strength from the recesses of her soul and plowed forward. It took her just over an hour to pack most everything up. Five boxes. Sophie’s entire life had been reduced to five pathetic boxes.
She stacked the boxes in the closet. She would not be getting rid of anything-simply stowing it away. Helen closed the door to the closet as if she were closing the door on her daughter. Her heart splintered. Out of sight but not out of mind, Helen glanced around the room. Her chest constricted at how barren it looked. How unlived in. She walked to the bed and drew up all the bedding into her arms and tossed it into the laundry basket before she remade the bed with clean fresh sheets and blankets.