It's the day we have to leave, and my dad hands me his soft, blue t-shirt, fresh out of the dryer. I make sure it is packed in my suitcase and head for the airport, where we say our goodbyes. And an hour later, I am in D.C. with my mom driving to her house, discouraged and lonely. She does her best to comfort me when we get home, but nothing can replace him. The rest of the day couldn’t come to an end fast enough and consisted of heartache. That night before bed, I put on his t-shirt to be closer to him. My dad is a very clean person and his t-shirts would always smell like his laundry detergent. Unfortunately, this also meant they didn’t get washed much when I had them because the smell would go away. That night, my nose was stuffed with the smell of his laundry detergent and this was my way of being with him even if he wasn’t actually there. For me, my dad was a person who I found safe and reliable and that's why I strived to make sure he would never be forgotten. When I look back now, the significance of the t-shirt wasn’t because of the object itself, but who it belonged to.
– Meier K.